Choyi Butler

Here’s a bit about my family tree !!! My great grand father , my mom’s mom’s father , was Choyi Butler .The term Butler is an honorific title as he owned and ran a hotel called Choyi’s Hotel , in Kannur .I belief it was since sold and the current owners calls it Choice Hotel !!!Choyi Butler was a man about town ,who married my great grand mother and in course of time a white female !!! He sired families through both .For many years the children and white mother where never allowed inside the ancestorial house in Kannur , "Krishnanivas " ,but after he passed away the ice was broken and the two sets of families came together .The "white " side of the family flourished and did very well .One if not two went on to represent India at the Olympic Games , the one that comes to my mind is CK Lakshmanan.Also many did well in the armed forces with at least one reaching the rank of Major General .No mean feat in those days .The General Raj’s school in Delhi . comes from that side of the family. Our side of the family also did well , by and by will share the highlights .
Choyi Butler had a very romantic image , or so we are told .Tall and of military bearing .His sword hung on the wall of Krishnanivas for decades and I used to keep looking at it in awe ,when ever I went there.Last visit a few years ago , saw it missing and was hugely disappointed .Some one had either wacked it or thrown it away or sold it as an antique ???!!!I,ve never seen my Great Grand father , but carry a very romantic image of him in my mind and quite proud to be his great grand son .At Switzerland earlier this year ,at Glazier 3000 , we had an archery session.Each of us were given two arrows to fire at a target .I asked for and was given a "left handers" bow .Stood tall and straight and fired in two bulls eyes one after the other !!! Amidst the oohs and aahs , I turned to Deepa and said that after all you should expect that from Choyi Butler’s great grand son,no?? !!!  
Incidently have a 31/2 foot long sword of my own and a beautifully carved dagger I bought in Chennai from Victoria Technical Institute over 30 years ago .Wanted to buy another lovely dagger from China Town in Montreal , but Deepa didnt want me too .Said there where too many dangerous weapons around !! Shirish sugested a beautiful sword from another shop which specialises in antiques of the Knights Of the Round Table days .Lovely one , but extremely costly .Deepa continued to frown  and it would have been difficult to carry back on the flight , so gave up the idea . For a man of peace, do have a ken for weapons , no??? Choyi Butler’s blood after all !!!

Author: hari008

Business Leader , Mentor and Executive Coach with a long track record of achievement , developing high performance teams and mentoring team members who now hold responsible positions in several leading companies

19 thoughts on “Choyi Butler”

  1. Hey,

    I was doing a small time research to find out who iam from who is my great grand father and his father, finally i got the answer from dads uncle(Mr.sumithran). actually i am surprised to see an nice article in the www. Mr.Choyi butler’s son is Mr.C.K Barathan and his son is C.P Lakshmanan and his son is my dad C.P Anil kumar and my self C.P Amrish Anil Kumar. does this mean that i related to you, are we both have the same family dna?

    I went to tthottil house and mada pura house in kannur guided by Mr.Prakash its awesome and felt proud that iam from this great family in kannur.


  2. Hi Hari
    My family used to stay at the Choyi’s Hotel on the beach in Kannur.I think this would have been around 1947-1955.
    Last year we visited the area and tried to find the building.
    Do you know if it still exists? Did it used to have some stairs cut into the rock which took you down onto the beach?
    Do you have any pics of the old hotel?
    Am just curious as my family talked so fondly of the area.


    1. Hello Mary , I understand Choyi’s Hotel changed hands a couple of times . It’s name changed to Choice Hotel . However for the last several years it has been shut down account of disputes with the sales tax authorities . It’s quite possible the place is now in a dilapidated condition.I am trying to get photos of the hotel during it’s hay days . Will post them if I get hold of it .
      Thanks for stopping by and reading the post . Regards , Hari

      1. Hi Hari,

        Thanks so much for your reply.
        Yes, I was so excited when I first came across your post, with all its intriguing story.I have heard my family talk about Cananore (Kannur)Beach and the holidays spent there for more than 40 years.I became very intrigued.
        Even though I never actually stayed at Choyi’s Hotel, my older siblings who did ,will be very pleased to hear your news.
        When we traveled to Kannur a few years ago we spent several hours looking for the building, but never found it.
        I wonder if you know any map I could look at ,that would actually pin point exactly where it is?
        We plan to travel back to India next year and if we are in the area I would love to find the building if it is still standing.
        I would love to see any pictures if you find some. I only have pictures of family on the beach , none of the hotel.
        Best Wishes

      2. Hello Mary ,

        I too don’t live in Kannur and visit the place only once in a while.Have asked a relative if he can get a bit more info on the current status of the hotel and some photos in it’s hay days . Will post all this as soon as I get hold of it . Best wishes , Hari

    2. Hello Mary, I saw this blog from Pattaya, Thailand on 08th Oct 2015. My Name is Raghunath and I am the neigbhour in Coice Hotel. Well the old hotel is demolished and constructed to a 60 rooms hotel. Owners are muslim family from Kannur. Unfortunately the hotel construction is illegal based on Coastal Regulation Act 1991 and it is in illegal construction list and may demolish any time.

      1. Hi Raghunathan,
        Thanks for your message, just out of interest ,how long ago was the original old Choyi ( Coice) Hotel demolished??
        Shame the old one couldn’t have been restored.I love the old bungalow style hotels. And now it sounds like a mess, with the new 60 room hotel.
        Are you still current neighbor or have you moved on to Thailand?
        My grand parents owned a home called, Hope Park in Kotagari and that has now been turned into Wedding reception venue with Holel behind.

        Best Wishes

  3. Hi everyone interested in Choyi’s Hotel, Kannur. My father was in India during the war and loved travelling around on his leave. He travelled around much of Kerala and stayed at Choyi’s Seaside Hotel, Cannanore, established 1927. He spent four days there and I have a letter he wrote home describing the hotel, meals, town, the sea, other guests etc. I also have an hotel receipt for his stay dated 7th April 1944, the proprietor is C.K. Bharatan. If this is of interest to anyone please email me. We are hoping to travel to Kerala later this year and would be interested if anyone has further news on this old hotel.

    1. Hi Michael
      It was great to see your email on Choyi’s Hotel. My name is Mary ,I contacted Hari last year after seeing his blog on Cannanore (kannur) . Interestingly we are just now back in India again now. We arrived a week ago up north but in two days will fly down to Bangalore. we are uncertain if we will have time ti go to Cannanore again this time.I also had grown up with my parents talking very fondly about their holiday stays at Cannanore. My parents owned a tea plantation up in the Nilgris Hills so I think they would go most years for a hoiday there. I even think they had their honey moon their.We also have receipts from stays.
      They married in 1946 ,so were definitely visiting Choyi’s from then up to around 1956 when they left India, moving to Australia where they had relatives .
      They had 5 children while living in India and as my oldest sist was 9 when she left India she can remember little bits of the seaside holidays and the hotel. She thinks there were some stairs cut in the rocks that lead you done on to the beach front . Did your father ever mention that?
      I organised a trip for all my brothers and sisters with partners in 2007 and we visited Cannanore. We spent hours driving around trying to find the hotel or the actual beach, unfortunately with no luck. There was a journalist that was supposed to meet us one morning as he may have known, but as there was a murder in the town the night before duty called and he never fronted.
      I hope you are more tenacious in your search then we were and push for some local knowledge before you arrive,we were all quite disappointed that we were never able to find Choyi’s . I would love to hear any info you receive. Unfortunately Hari in above blogs never did end up sending me any photos, but maybe you could try him again .
      Best of luck in your search.
      Mary Lambert

  4. Hello Mary and Michael , Great to see your tremendous interest in Choyi’s Hotel.As I said earlier , the hotel has changed hands several times and is now in a state of dis-use due to an unresolved tax dispute. I have been trying to get hold of photos of the hotel in it’s hay days without any success. I too dont stay at Kannur and only go there on the odd visit once in a while . Will keep trying to get a few photos . Best wishes , Hari

    1. Hello Hari
      Thanks for your email and I do hope Michael Griffiths has more success in locating the old hotel even if it is in disuse it would be great to see it and the location.
      Best regards ,
      Mary lambert

  5. Hi all
    I read the above correspondence with interest as my family and I used to holiday at Choyi’s hotel between 1970-1978, and had wonderful times there. There were two beaches that we could use, both had steps cut into the sandstone to get to the beach. Will see whether my parents still have any photos of those holidays and the hotel. Part of it had collapsed in a landslide in ’78. Best wishes Vasanthi

  6. Hi all,
    Great to read post from Vasanthi ,would love to view some pics and see on map where located. Even hand drawn would be great.
    We have just returned from 3 weeks holiday in India. Did not get to kannur this trip but spent quite a bit of time in Mysore and Coonoor . Fantastic trip. Vasanthi do you know if the Choyi’s is still standing? Some of my nieces are asking if I will take them on next time as they want to follow some family history of their grandparents . If it was still there I would include this in the trip. Best wishes. Mary Lambert.

  7. Hi all
    Mary, I don’t know if it’s still standing, but it’s located just south of the military hospital along the coast – we used to walk along the clifftop behind the hospital grounds, and go down a set of steps cut in the sandstone to get to a beach. I’m going to Chennai next month, will see what photos my parents have and whether they know anything about the hotel. I’d love to visit it again too.
    Best wishes

    1. Hi All,
      Vasanthi thanks for your information on location. I will try Google earth maps to try view area. Hope your trip to Chennai is great and would love to hear any news on Choyi’s Hotel that you may receive.
      Happy Travels and best Wishes,
      Mary Lambert

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