Atul’s Song A Day- A choice collection of Hindi Film & Non-Film Songs

Chal re chal mere chaak chal re chal

Posted on: June 9, 2014

This article is written by Arunkumar Deshmukh, a fellow enthusiast of Hindi movie music and a regular contributor to this blog. This article is meant to be posted in If this article appears in sites like and etc then it is piracy of the copyright content of and is a punishable offence under the existing laws.

BHAJAN MALA – GOLDEN 50s….(Pushp – 11th)

Today’s bhajan is from film Chakradhari-54. This film had become quite popular in the mid 50s due to its melodious bhajans. There were 13 songs in the film and 9 are already posted here. Today’s bhajan is the 10th.

When you say Chakradhari, immediately Lord Vishnu’s name comes to the mind as he holds Shankh, chakra, Gada and Padma in his 4 hands. In all his Dashavataars, it was only Shrikrishna who was with the Sudarshan chakra, so even he is called Chakradhari.

Sudarshan Chakra is a constantly revolving weapon, having 108 serrated edges. It is used only to destroy(kill) the enemy. Once the Sudarshan chakra leaves the finger, it must destroy the person at whom it is aimed. After doing its work, the chakra comes back to the finger-looks like it has some Boomrang like quality.

In Shiv Purana,it is mentioned that it was given to Vishnu by Shiv ji, after Vishnu’s tapasya. In Vishnu Purana however there is another story. Vishwakarma’s daughter, Sanjana was married to Surya Dev, but was unable to go near him due to extreme heat. Vishwakarma requested Suryadev to slow down a bit, so that she could come to him. When Surya Dev slowed, solar dust was created and Vishwakarma utilised this substance to make three things, viz.
1. The Pushpak Viman
2. The Trishool and
3. The Sudarshan Chakra,which was given to Vishnu ji.

However, the film Chakradhari-1954, though a Bhakti pradhan film, is not about Lord Vishnu or his Sudarshan Chakra at all. The ‘ Chakra ‘ in the title means a Potter’s wheel. The film is based on the story of the 13th century Vishnu Bhakta,GORA KUMBHAR or Gora,the Potter.

In Western and South India, Gora Kumbhar (kumhar-potter) was a very well known name of a Saint on whom films were made right from the silent film era. The first film on this saint was ” Gora Kumbhar ” made in 1923 by Hindusthan Cinema Film company, Nashik. A Tamil film ‘Chakradhari’ on the life of Gora Kumbhar was made by K.S.Gopalkrishnan in 1948. A Marathi film was made in 1952. “Chakradhari” was a Hindi film of 1954. “Bhakta Kumhara”-a Kannada film featuring the famous Dr. Raaj Kumar was made in 1974 and a Telugu film “Chakradhari”, directed by V.Madhusudan Rao featuring A.Nageshwar Rao was made in 1977.

During the Bhakti Movement period of India, many reformist saints lived in Maharashtra. Tthere were thinking progressive thinking saints not only from Bramhins,like Dnyaneshwar and Ramdas,but there were saints from practically every strata of the society and every profession. Saints from Schedule castes and untouchables had a large following in Maharashtra. These saints were from all professions, like Savta (Gardener),Narhari(Goldsmith) Tukaram (Baniya),Gora (Potter), Namdeo (Tailor), Sena (Barber)Visoba (Gope) etc.

There were many women saints also like Janabai, Muktabai,Bahinabai etc. All these saints helped bridge the gaps between the affluent high castes and poor low castes in Maharashtra in that period. It was necessary for people to unite to fight the invaders. These saints contributed to literature too by writing Bhajans in the form of Ovees, Abhangs, Shlokas, Gaaruds and simple songs.

Sant Gora kumbhar was popular amongst Vaarkaris (regular pilgrims to Pandharpur). He lived in the same period as Dnyaneshwar and Namdev.
The authentic birth date of Gora Kumbhar is not known. Generally,it is believed to be between 1236 to 1317.

Though the authentic date of birth of Goroba is not known, still he is traditionally known to have lived in a village named Satyapuri alias Ter. In some places this village has also been mentioned as Terdhoki. No detailed history of his parents and the childhood of Goroba is available; but he was known to be a pious and religious minded man. He no doubt attended to his business of manufacturing earthen pots from mud; but even while attending to his work physically his mind would all the time be meditating his favourite god Vithoba or Pandurang. He would also be chanting the name of God when his hands would be busy in work.

Goroba was married to Santi. Soon after, his wife gave birth to a son and her joy knew no bounds; but the philosophically minded Goroba, who had little interest in worldly life, was not much perturbed by this event. His concentration on god continued as before. In the absence of any elderly person in the house, once when his wife Santi had to go for fetching water, she left the child to the care of Goroba, who was very busy in his usual work. Goroba was working in the ditch. He was pounding and mixing the earth in the ditch with his feet for preparing the mud. The child, that was kept nearby by Santi, crept slowly and fell into the ditch. Goroba, who was as usual busy in chanting the name of god, was almost in a trance and he never noticed the child and trampled it to death under his feet!

On her return Santi started looking about for the child here and there, but when she could not find the child anywhere she peeped into the ditch and finding the mud fully red with blood, understood what had happened and started crying unconsolably. In her sad bereavement she started putting all the blame of the loss of her child on Vithoba, in whose ‘bhajan’ Goroba was spending most of his time. As Goroba had strong faith in god Vithoba, he got angry at the words of his wife and ran at her to thrash her. Seeing the wrath of Goroba Santi got frightened and requested on Vithoba’s oath not to touch her.

To revert of Goroba’s life, we see that there was nothing more holy to Goroba than the name of God Vithoba. He therefore accepted the word of his wife regarding the oath and threw away the stick in his hand and again got fully engrossed in the bhajan of Vithoba, forgetting totally the incident about his son. Santi, who was a devoted Hindu wife, got reconciled after some days and one night when Goroba was lying down, she went near him, to rub his legs. On seeing his wife near him, Goroba reminded her about her own oath not to touch her and did not allow her to touch him.

Santi went to her father for help. She told her father about the incident that took place on that day and the adverse effect that her oath had on her husband. She suggested to her father that rather than seeing the end of the family in this way, her younger sister Kami may be given to Goroba in marriage so that the family will have a successor. This suggestion was accepted by Santi’s father and he accordingly approached his son-in-law and requested him to accept Rami, his second daughter, as his wife. Goroba agreed to the proposal and the marriage took place. After the marriage was over the father-in-law requested to treat both his daughters alike Goroba acceded to his father-in-law’s request and started behaving towards his younger wife also in the same way as he was behaving towards the elder one.

The sisters then scratched their heads for a long time to find some way out of the difficult situation in which they were thrown by destiny; but ultimately they hit out a plan and carried it out on the same night. When Goroba was asleep that night, they went and slept on either of his sides and held his hands. Goroba very soon woke up and found that the oath of Vithoba has been broken and that his hands are instrumental in doing this.

He was a staunch devotee of Vithoba and was not therefore able to tolerate this disorderly behaviour of his hands. In order therefore to punish his hands he hit them on a sharp instrument and chopped off both his hands. He was passing his days in that condition in perfect contentment. After a few days came Ashadhi Ekadashi. This is a unique day for all the devotees of Pandurang belonging to the Warkari sect. Hence like a true Warkari, Goroba started forPandharpur and reached that place on the Ekadashi day. He took with him both his wives. No sooner they reached Pandharpur, they took a bath in the sacred Chandrabhaga river and according to the custom paid a visit to the Pundaleek’s temple. Thereafter they came to Vithoba’s temple and bowed down to him from the main gate thereof.

While they were thus busy in paying homage to Pandurang they heared a song and at once recognised the voice of SaintNamdeo. Yes. It was the voice of Namdeo. He was doing Keertan at the place known as ‘Garudpar’ near the temple. When an illustrious saint like Namdeo was doing the Keertan, the audience too was of an equally high rank. Most of the saints of that time inclusive of Dnyanadeo Nivrittinath and others were listening to the Keertan attentively. At certain stage of the Keertan, it is a practise of the Haridas (i. e. the person doing the Keertan) to request the audience to perform bhajan and keep the rhythm by clapping. Similarly while the Keertan was in progress Namdeo requested his audience to sing Bhajan and clap. Goroba, like a true devotee, forgot that his hands were chopped off and moved the stumps of his hands emotionally because of the usual habit and lo! what a surprise ? Both his hands grew as before and he was able to sing the bhajan with the rhythm of clapping his hands. When this miracle was seen by the gathering, they were all overwhelmed with joy and they all gave a loud applause. They all were convinced of the true devotion of Goroba on God Pandurang.

Looking at this miracle, Santi repented for blaming god Pandurang on the former occasion when she was sorrow-stricken. She then prayed Pandurang, begged his pardon and requested him to give her child back to her and what a wonder! The child rushed towards Santi, creeping as usual and laughing gaily. Santi hurried to meet the child, lifted it, embraced it and kissed it with emotion. This union of mother and the child was an occasion of joy for everybody and the whole atmosphere became gay. On this happy occasion, Rukmini the wife of Pandurang, reminded Goroba of the oath of his wife and said that the oath was now over and that he should accept both his wives and live happily with them.

Film Chakradhari-54 was made by Navkala Niketan.It was produced by Ramesh Vyas and the MD was Avinash Vyas. The film was directed by “The king of Mythologicals” Raman B Desai. The cast of the film was Nirupa Roy,Shahu modak,trilok Kapoor,Yashodhara Katju,Rooplaxmi,Jeevan etc etc.
Shahu Modak was a regular actor in many Religious films.He did Krishna’s role in over 30 films. he was born in a Christian family of Ahmednagar(Maha.),in 1918. He made his debut with a bilingual film from Prabhat-‘Shyamsundar’-32,as a child artist. Shanta Apte also was a child artist debuting in this film. In the next year itself he did a Hero’s role in another bilingual-“Awara shehzada”-33 ( out ghatkecha Raja in Marathi). With this film,he entered the Film History books for doing the First double role in a Talkie film ever. he was a Prince-Rajkumar and a Pauper-Bholaram in this film. The director of this film was Master Vithal,who himself was the First Hero to do a Double role in a silent film ‘ Prisoner of Love”,in 1927.

Shahu became famous when he did the Havaldar Ganapat’s role in the landmark movie of Prabhat-Aadmi-39 (Maanus in Marathi). From 1932 to 1986 he acted in about 110 films His last film too was a mythological-Krishnaleela-86,in which he did Krishna’s role last time at the age of 68 years. Shahu Modak died on 11-5-1993.There are 2 interesting things about Shahu Modak. One,he was a very accurate Astrologer. he had ,it is said,predicted his own date of death. Secondly,like Manhar Desai (Malcolm Alfredo Desai),he too was a Christian and both did Hindu Gods’ roles in Mythological films.

Besides Shahu Modak,there were 2 more Astrologers in the film industry. One was MD Datta Korgaonkar ( Annasaheb) or K.Datta. many MDs and other film people used to consult him. It is said that he had almost every film person’s horoscope with him. The second Astrologer was Ashok kumar,who was also a Homeopath and a poultry farmer. he had made a prediction about kishore kumar that he will never be a successful singer !
Another actress of interest who was in this film was Yashodhara Katju,the niece of Pt.Jawaharlal Nehru. She was the first from a kashmiri pandit family to enter films. She was born in Lahore 0n 15-4-1928,but was educated in Lucknow as her family shifted here. She joined national Studios on 15-8-1941,doing heroine and side Heroine roles. later she specialised in comedy roles with Bhagwan,yaqub and others. finally she did character roles. She acted in about 80 films till 1973.

Another name from the cast attracted my attention and that is actress Roop laxmi. She was a small time actress,but Guru Dutt shot one full song in Mr. and Mrs.55,on her- Ab to jee hone laga.. Guru Dutt had this style of filming songs on less known or unknown actors.

The story of the film Chakradhari-1954 is-
Chakradhari is all about Gora, a potter who lives with wife Tulasi and child Hari in Ther-dhoki, a village near Pandharpur in Maharashtra. Gora’sreligious pre-occupation disturbs his calling. He does not care for moneyand such mundane things. Consequently he and his wife argue over them constantly.

Venkat, Gora’s affluent elder brother, marries a young woman Sona. She hates Gora and his family and plans to ruin them. One day, Gora while mixing clay and water goes into devotional ecstasy and fails to notice his son Hari coming towards him to play in the mound of clay. Unconsciously Gora kills his son by stamping him.

Heartbroken, Tulasi threatens to break the idol of Panduranga, her husband worships, and Gora picks up his axe to kill her. She tells him not to touch her for the rest of her life and Gora takes such a vow.

Tulasi gets her sister Shantha married to her husband so that a child will be born to bring joy to the grief-filled home. Tulasi’s father makes Gora promise him that he would treat Tulasi and Shantha alike. Much to the shock of the sisters, Gora refuses to touch Shantha too!

One night the sisters try to seduce Gora while he is asleep. Shocked on waking up, the pious potter cuts his hands off for breaking his vow!

Panduranga and his consort Rukmini visit Gora in disguise and work as hisdomestic servants. Their divine presence restores happiness. Hari comes back to life. Sona is punished for her misdeeds. Gora gets back his hands and the family lives happily thereafter singing the praise of Panduranga.

Let us now enjoy a duet from this movie. It is sung by Hemant Kumar and Asha Bhonsle. Pradeep is the lyricist. Music is composed by Avinash Vyas.

Song-Chal re chal mere chaak chal re chal(Chakradhaari)(1954) Singers-Hemant Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Lyrics-Pradeep, MD-Avinash Vyas


chal re chal re
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal
ho o o
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal

main na jaaun chaar dhaam
na jaaun ayodhya kaashi
jahaan bicha doon apna aasan
wahin mera avinaashi
yahin pe meri mathura nagri ee ee
yahin pe meri mathura nagri
yahin pe jamuna jal
chal re chal re
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal

karwat bhar mein bhi samundar
nadiya ghata suhaani
karwat bhar mein bhi samundar
nadiya ghata suhaani
ye albeli sundar dharti
ye tambu aasmaani
ye tambu aasmaani
pyaare pyaare chaand sitaare suraj ??
duniya bhar mein nazar aa raha
duniya bhar mein nazar aa raha
mere prabhu ka bal
chal re chal re
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal

sabhi ko khaane padte jag mein
kadwe meethe phal
kadwe meeithe phal
hansne ke bhi din aate hain
rone ke bhi pal
rone ke bhi pal

kise pataa hai zindagaani mein ae
kise pataa hai zindagani mein
kya hoga re kal
hoooo kya hoga re kal
chal re chal re
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal
chal re chal mere chaak
chal re chal


7 Responses to "Chal re chal mere chaak chal re chal"

Sir, first of all wishing you a Very Very Happy Birthday today…!!!
thanks for this informative post. we must hv read about Sant Gora Kumbhar in school time, but i do not remember his story in detail. With this post got to know more in details about him. thanks!
and i am waiting for your ‘trishatak’ on the blog and i think we will hv it today itself..:)

Avinash ji,
Thank you very much for your good wishes.


Many many happy returns of the day to you.

Thanks,nahm ji.

Many happy returns of the day and many many happy posts during the years to come.
I think this was the marathon post; the longest ever. Phew. Great job done. Thanks for the effort and time.
There was Bolo Hey Chakradhari-1972; Chakradhar-2012

Nitin ji,

Thanks for your wishes and appreciation.
Earlier we had the series
Debut/First film songs with 14 songs
The Vibrant 40s with 15 songs and
Vintage kishore With a whopping 21 songs.
The Bhajan Mala ends today( 10-6-2014) with 12 songs.



Thanks for the engrossing write-up on minstrel of god. Simply mind-boggling.
The song by Hemant Kumar and Asha Bhosle also made good listening. Avinash Vyas was well known for his compositions in religious and mythological films.
Arunji once again let me convey my belated best wishes on your birthday and seek your blessings
Thanks once again

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