Choultry is a resting place for visitors where rooms and food are provided by a charitable institution for nominal rates. Some were guest-houses where accommodation is free of charge. Choulties were famous in Colonial India. It was an Hindu-Caravanserai or a Colonnade. It was a typical ancient Indian type of hotel.

Etymological origins

Peculiar word of origin in South India and of doubtful etymology; In Malayalam -chaawati, In Telugu and Tamil chaawadi, [tsavadi, chau, Skt. chatur, 'four,' vata, 'road, a place where four roads meet]. In West India the form used is chowry or chowree (Dakhan. chaori). A hall, a shed, or a simple loggia, used by travellers as a resting-place, and also intended for the transaction of public business. In the old Madras Archives there is frequent mention of the "Justices of the Choultry." A building of this kind seems to have formed the early Court-house. Widely considered as an Anglo-Indian word which was Corrupted form of Telugu word Chaawadi.

Other usages

  • In South India, especially in Kannada a choultry means a Hindu wedding hall.
  • According to Seringapatam 1799 terminology, a choultry may be rest-house, court-house, shed, inn or caravanserai; also a pillared hall or colonnade of a temple.
  • Choultries are also known as Satram/Chatram, Dharmasala, choltry etc.

See also

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