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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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3450 videos foundNext > 

Abeer Gulal - Sant Chokhamela - Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki

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

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 अभ्...

Johar Maibap johar - sangeet kanhopatra- abhang by sant chokhamela- - atul khandekar

to rajhans ek 21st aug, 2011 pune.

Nagpur Chokhamela Hostel Students on Hunger Strike

Nagpur Chokhamela Hostel Students on Hunger Strike.

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...

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....

Sant chokhamela -sunilagresar-.avi


3450 videos foundNext > 

15 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:56:11 -0800

Stockholm-based Lars Fredriksson speaks, writes, and teaches Chinese, plays jazz on a French horn, and is a Mylaporean — emotionally, spiritually, and physically. He pays an annual rent to retain a fourth-floor terrace apartment with a clear view of ...
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 ...
Times of India
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 13:42:27 -0700

Farzana (name changed), a native of Goa, was exploited for around seven months during her stay in city at the home of her lover Sharad Dhanwal (23) in Chokhamela hostel quarters near Deekshabhoomi chowk. She had lodged a complaint at Pernem ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 20 Jul 2013 04:55:24 -0700

Using the varying textures of poetry from Tukaram, Namdeo, Janabai, Chokhamela, Soyrabai and Dnyneshwar, Wagh explored the central opacity of Vithal. This she did by approaching him through the relationships his devotees fashion with him seeing him ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Wed, 01 Jan 2014 18:18:33 -0800

The ending finale (Abeera gulala) by Saint Chokhamela, an abhang, truly revealed the trajectory of her voice modulation. Violinst Padma Shankar displayed her excellent bowing skills, Ganapathy Raman's handling of mirdangam testified to his spirited ...
Mon, 10 May 2010 00:00:00 -0700

His repeated denouncement of the then Mahar attempts to claim descent and or derive inspiration from the bhakti poet of fourteenth century, Chokhamela underscores the same logic. He saw the act of bhakti saints as the act of subservience to the will of ...
Sun, 11 Apr 2010 11:53:42 -0700

Chokhamela was the first known Dalit revolutionary in India. He achieved an inner, spiritual revolution. In one of his later poems, he writes that in the beginning he was an outcaste who worshipped a stone in a temple, but now he found himself filling ...
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 23:59:18 -0800

The dedication reads: “Inscribed to the memory of Nandanar, Ravidas, Chokhamela—three renowned saints who were born among the untouchables and who by their piety and virtue won the esteem of all.” Dr Ambedkar may well have been talking about ...

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