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The chief gate of Vithoba temple, Pandharpur. The small blue temple in front of the gate is saint Chokhamela's memorial (samadhi).

Chokhamela was a saint in Maharashtra, India in the 14th century. He belonged to the Mahar caste considered "untouchable" in India in that era. He was born at Mehuna raja, a village in Deulgaon Raja Taluka of Buldhana district. He lived at Mangalvedha in Maharashtra. He wrote many Abhangas. He was one of the first Dalit poets in India. Chokhamela lived with his wife Soyarabai and son Karmamela in Mangalvedha. Chokhamela's hereditary task was to remove dead animals from people's homes and farms and to dispose of them beyond the town limits (this is task that has traditionally been performed by Mahars in Maharashtra). As a lower-caste person, Chokha was forced to live outside the town in a separate settlement for members of the untouchable caste.

His Family also followed varkari cult.[1]

He was initiated into bhakti spirituality by the poet-saint Namdev (1270?-1350?). Once when he visited Pandharpur, he listened to Sant Namdev's kirtan. Already a devotee of Vitthal alias Vithoba, Chokha was moved by Namdev's teachings.

Later, he moved to Pandharpur. The traditional story is that the upper castes here did not allow him to enter the temple,[3] nor did they allow him to stand in the door of the temple. So he built a hut on the other side of the river Chandrabhaga.

While working on construction of a wall in mangalvedha near pandharpur, the wall fell down, crushing some workers. Chokha was one of them. His tomb is in front of the Vitthal temple, Pandharpur, where it can be seen to this day. According to a legend the bones of the dead Chokhamela were still chanting Vitthal, Vitthal, apparently yearning to visit the Vitthal temple. The bones were buried at the footsteps of the Vitthal temple. In early 20th century, the Dalit leader Dr. Ambedkar, while attempting to visit the temple, was stopped at the burial site of Chokhamela and denied entry beyond that point for being a Mahar.[4]


  • On the Threshold Songs of Chokhamela/translated from the Marathi by Rohini Mokashi-Punekar.
  • Dr. B. R. Ambedkar has inscribed his book The Untouchables: who are they and why they became untouchables to the memory of Chokhamela, Nandanar and Ravidas.


  1. ^ a b Zelliot, Eleanor (2008). "Chokhamela, His Family and the Marathi Tradition". In Aktor, Mikael; Deliège, Robert. From Stigma to Assertion: Untouchability, Identity and Politics in Early and Modern India. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. pp. 76–85. ISBN 8763507757. 
  2. ^ a b c Harrisson, Tom (1976). "A Historical Introduction to the Warakari Movement". Living Through the Blitz. Cambridge University Press. p. 40. ISBN 9780002160094. 
  3. ^ Prasad, Amar Nath (2007). Dalit Literature. pp. 10–12. ISBN 978-81-7625-817-3. 
  4. ^ Zelliot, Eleanor (1981). "Chokhamela and Eknath: Two Bhakti Modes of Legitimacy for Modern Change". In Lele, Jayant. Tradition and Modernity in Bhakti movements. Leiden: Brill. pp. 136–142. ISBN 9004063706. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chokhamela — Please support Wikipedia.
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5146 videos foundNext > 

Johar maibaap johar - Sant Chokhamela - Madhura Datar

A song from Marathi drama Sant Kanhopatra (1931). The abhang was written in 14th century saint-poet Chokhamela. Very nice rendition by Madhura Datar.

Sant Chokhamela (संत चोखामेळा)

संतांच्या गोष्टी (बाळगोपाळांसाठी संस्कार) लेखन, संगीत, निवेदन - शशिकला अभ्यंकर, संगीत संयोजक - विवेक परांजपे, गानवृंद - अंजली बेहरे, संगीता केळकर, सुप्रिया ल...

Abeer Gulal - Sant Chokhamela - Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki

Well known abhang by fourteenth century "untouchable" saint of Maharastra.

Pandharpur: Prithviraj Chavan launch Sant Chokhamela Book on Ashadhi Ekadashi-TV9

Pandharpur : Sant Chokhamela Book Published by CM Prithviraj Chavan on Ashadhi Ekadashi 2014...

Ashadhi Ekadashi 2013 Special:Pandurang Bhajans of Sant Chokhamela-TV9 /part1

Wari Pandharichi : Ashadhi Ekadashi 2013 Special: Pandurang Bhajans of Sant Chokhamela...

Pandharpur : Saint Chokhamela Book Published by CM

Nagpur Chokhamela Hostel Students on Hunger Strike

Nagpur Chokhamela Hostel Students on Hunger Strike.

Abir Gulal, Chokha Mela Abhang Live at Sirsi- Meera Sahasrabudhe

Live at Sirsi Temple on 1st September 2013.

Johar maaybaap (abhang by sant chokhamela)- atul khandekar

song from sangeet kanhopatra....

Chokhamela Hostel Alumni Meet 2012-13

5146 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

Firstpost (blog)
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:43:42 -0700

Sant Tukaram, Namdeo, Chokhamela had all pushed towards this direct connect with God. Every year, lakhs go to this temple in Maharashtra's Solapur district on foot, chanting and dancing. This annual pilgrimage is, in Marathi, a vari, or a trip, and ...
Fri, 01 Aug 2014 11:45:00 -0700

On request, they move on to render Natha Ghari Naache Maaza Sakha Pandurang, a devotional verse by the saint Chokhamela, recorded in the voice of singer-composer Jitendra Abhisheki. The impact of classical music and musicians is evident in the ...

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