Born Vadivelu 10 October 1960 (age 51) Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India Other names Vaigai Puyal, Vadivel Occupation Film actor, playback singer, comedian Years active 1991–present Spouse Saroja
Vadivelu (Tamil: வடிவேலு), often referred to as Vadivel, is a Tamil film actor, comedian and playback singer. Since the 1990s, he has acted mainly as a comedian in Tamil films. During his career, Vadivelu has won several Filmfare Awards and Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. He is renowned for his slapstick comedies.
Born in the city of Madurai, Vadivelu is popularly known as Vaigai Puyal, meaning "the storm from the Vaigai River" (which flows through Madurai), for his high sense of humor. Before his film career, he was working in a small shop where glass frames for photos and paintings were made. He was struggling with his monthly income of just a few hundred rupees. His fortune improved when his film career took off. By 1994, he owned a Tata Sierra (which was then considered a luxury).
Starting as a sidekick to the famed Goundamani-Senthil comedy duo, Vadivelu rose to prominence after his role in Kadhalan (1994), although his debut movie was En Rasavin Manasiley (1991), directed by Kasthoori Raja. Some of his most famous movies are Bharathi Kannamma, Vetri Kodi Kattu, Winner and Chandramukhi. The actor played the lead in the blockbuster Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi where he played a dual role of twin brothers. His next movie in a lead role was Indiralogathil Na Azhagappan, which was however a big failure. Acting style Vadivelu's roles involve heavy use of slapstick and puns, which has led him to be typecast. His comedy sequences typically end with him getting soundly thrashed and a closing one-liner from him bemoaning his situation or antagonists. Some of his famous lines are "Aaha oru guruppa thaaanya alayaraangaya" (roughly translates to "These people seem to roam around in groups to pick on him"), "vanduttangayya, vandutanngya" (in Tamil this announces the arrival of his soon-to-be tormentors) and "aavana nee?!" (are you him?!). His popularity could be ascribed to the general audience being able to identify with him thanks to his rustic looks, accent and body language. This is unlike other actors, especially heroes, who are generally perceived as ideals, adored but not seen as the guy or girl next door. He has worked in over 350 films.
Dispute with Vijayakanth
On 21 September 2008, Vadivelu's residence in the Saligramam neighbourhood in Chennai was pelted with stones by a gang, leaving several windows and furniture smashed and damaged. The actor had taken refuge in a room in his home and was safe. Vadivelu is said to have suspected Vijayakanth because of a recent controversy that broke out between the two. Vadivelu had filed a case against Vijayakanth for assault and the final court hearing took place on 22 September 2008. The attack may have occurred to prevent Vadivelu from attending the hearing. Vadivelu filed another case against Vijayakanth for attempted murder and investigations are taking place. Vadivelu has mentioned his keen interest in competing against Vijayakanth in the next assembly elections and "teaching him a lesson." In response, actor Vijayakanth told a press meet on September 22 that Vadivelu's allegations are based on hearsay. Dispute with Singamuthu In 2010, Vadivelu held a press conference, accusing fellow comedian and actor Singamuthu for forgery and financial cheating. Vadivelu, who was previously friends with Singamuthu, purchased land from him but later came to learn that the documents were void. This resulted in the former taking legal action on the latter. 2011 state election in Tamil Nadu See also: Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election, 2011 During the legislative assembly elections that took place in Tamil Nadu during April 2011, Vadivelu vehemently campaigned for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance. During his public speeches, he predominantly condemned politician and actor Vijayakanth, whose party, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), allied with the opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), headed by J. Jayalalitha. His allegations of Vijayakanth included him being a "drunkard". In a campaign speech in Tiruvarur, Vadivelu stated that "(his) only aim is to sweep out Vijayakanth’s whole team and to campaign vigorously for DMK’s victory". Vadivelu was criticized as being biased, only supporting a DMK-led victory for personal gains and not once mentioning anything against the official opposition, the AIADMK, or its leader. In a turn of events, the election was eventually successful for the AIADMK alliance while Vijayakanth was victorious by a significant margin in his own constituency. Vadivelu and Team disappears after the election.
Main article: Vadivelu filmography
1990s No. Year Film Role Co-stars Director Notes 2 1991 En Rasavin Manasile Rajkiran, Meena, Goundamani, Senthil Kasthuri Raja 3 1991 Chinna Gounder Vijayakanth, Suganya, Goundamani, senthil, Manorama R. V. Udayakumar 4 1995 Ellame En Rasathan Rajkiran, Sangeetha Kasthuri Raja 5 1991 Varavu Ethana Selavu Pathana Peter Nassar, Radhika, Goundamani, senthil, kovai sarala, jaishankar V. Sekar 6 1992 Ilavarasan R. Sarathkumar, Suganya, Goundamani senthilnathan 7 1992 Singaravelan Karuvad Cockroach Thalaian Kamal Haasan, Kushboo, Goundamani, jaishankar, manorama, mano, nizhalgal ravi, vijaykumar R. V. Udayakumar 8 1992 Thevar Magan Eseki Kamal Haasan, Sivaji Ganesan, Gauthami, Revathi, naasar Bharathan 9 1993 Aranmanai Kili Rajkiran, Ahana, Manorama Rajkiran 10 1992 Kaathirukka Neramillai Karthik, Kushboo kulothongan 11 1992 Kizhakku Cheemayile Napolean, Radhika, vijaykumar, vignesh Bharathiraja 12 1992 Neelakuyil Sathyan, Miss Kumari, Prema, P. Bhaskaran, Master Vipin 13 1992 Maharasan Kamal Haasan, Goundamani, Senthil 14 1993 Killadi Mappillai Pandiarajan J. Prasad 15 1993 Kovil Kalai Vadivelu Vijayakanth, Kanaga, Goundamani, Senthil Gangai Amaran 16 1993 Ponnumani Karthik, Soundarya, Goundamani, Senthil, Manorama, Sivakumar R. V. Udayakumar 17 1993 Maravan Prabhu, Kushboo manojkumar 18 1993 En Pondatti Nilava Napolean, Kushboo, Senthil 19 1993 Rojavai Killaathe Arjun, Kushboo, Goundamani, senthil Suresh Krishna 20 1993 Gokulam Jayaram, Bhanupriya, Chinni Jayanth Vikraman 21 1994 Kadhalan Kaliaperumal Prabhu Deva, Nagma S. Shankar 22 1994 Rajakumaran "Veecharuva" Veerasaamy Prabhu, Meena, Nadiya R. V. Udayakumar 23 1994 Ilaignar Ani Radha Ravi, Sonia K S Selvaraj 24 1994 Pavithra Ajithkumar Subhash 25 1994 Maniratthinam 26 1994 Sevatha Ponnu 27 1994 Sindhunathipoo 28 1994 Pandiyanin Rajiyathil 29 1994 Karuthamma Raja, Rajashree, Maheshwari Bharathiraja 30 1994 Watchman Vadivelu 31 1994 Atha Maga Rathiname 32 1994 Pongalo Pongal 33 1994 Raja Paandi 34 1994 Adharmam 35 1995 Rajavin Parvaiyile Arivazhagan 36 1995 Kizhakkumalai 37 1995 Pasumpon 38 1995 Chellakkannu 39 1995 Chinnamani 40 1995 Muthukkaalai 41 1995 Udhavum Karangal 42 1995 Priyam 43 1995 Vasantha Vaasal 44 1995 Naan Petra Magane 45 1995 Valli 46 1995 Kaalam Maari Pochu Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian 47 1995 Cheran Chozhan Pandian 48 1995 Chandralekha Sundaram 49 1995 Aasai 50 1995 Raasaiyya 51 1995 Muthu Valayapathy 52 1995 Nandavana Theru 53 1995 Aanazhagan marudhamalai 54 1995 Thaaikulame Thaaikulame Tamilpitthan 55 1995 Kadhal Desam 56 1995 Thamizhselvan 57 1995 Subhash 58 1995 Sakthi 59 1995 Minor Mappillai 'Kuppathotti' Govindasaamy 60 1995 My India 61 1995 Periya Manushan 62 1995 Namma Ooru Rasa 63 1995 Sundara Purushan 64 1996 Mr. Romeo Vavvaal 65 1996 Paanchaalankurichi 66 1996 Love Birds 67 1996 Paasamulla Paandiyare 68 1997 Thadayam 69 1997 Ellame En Pondattithan 70 1997 Ganga Gouri 71 1997 Adimai Sangili 72 1997 Adrasakka Adrasakka 73 1997 Kadhali 74 1997 Raasi 75 1997 Mappilai Kounder 76 1997 Ponnu Vilayira Bhoomi 77 1997 Maya 78 1997 Porkkaalam 79 1997 Vivasaayi Magan Dharman 80 1997 Bharathi Kannamma Eenamuthu 81 1997 Raasi 82 1997 Ratchagan 83 1998 Iniyavale 84 1998 Poonthottam 85 1998 Ponmaanai Thedi 86 1998 Jolly 87 1998 Kaadhala Kaadhala singaram 88 1998 Velai 89 1998 Thalaimurai 90 1998 Rathna 91 1998 Kannathal Soonaa Paanaa 92 1999 Rajasthan 93 1999 Thodarum Peon Mani 94 1999 Poovellam Kettuppar 95 1999 Sangamam 96 1999 Anandha Poongatre 97 1999 Nilave Mugam Kaattu 98 1999 Thirupathi Ezhumalai Venkatesa 99 1999 Pudhumai Pithan super suruli 100 1999 Monisha En Monalisa 101 1999 En Swasa Kaatre 102 1999 Housefull 103 1999 Viraluketha Veekam 104 1999 Kummipaattu 105 1999 Mudhalvan Palavesham 106 1999 Manaivikku Mariyadhai 107 1999 Nee Endhan Vaanam 108 1999 Nesam Pudhusu 109 1999 Kodiesvaran Shelved 2000's No. Year Film Role Co-stars Director Notes 1 2000 Chinna Chinna Kaanile 2 2000 Unnaruge Naan Irunthal 3 2000 Kakkai Siraginile 4 2000 Vallarasu guest role in a song 5 2000 Vannathamizh Paattu 6 2000 Iraniyan 7 2000 Kandha Kadamba Kathirvela 8 2000 Koodi Vaazhnthal Kodi Nanmai Boxer Krishnan 9 2000 Paattali Vadivukarasi @ Vadivelu 10 2000 Magalirkkaaga Bhoopathy 11 2000 Vetri Kodi Kattu Sudalai Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian 12 2001 Friends surya,Vijay Nesamani 13 2001 Asathal Venugopal 14 2001 Middle Class Madhavan Kuzhandhaivelu 15 2001 Engalukkum Kaalam Varum Vellaiyan 16 2001 Ninaikaatha Naalillai Aanaa Oonaa Townmani 17 2001 Manadhai Thirudivittai Steve Waugh 18 2001 Mitta Miraasu 19 2001 Maayi Mokkaisaami 20 2001 Maayan 21 2001 Vadugupatti Maappillai 22 2001 Sonnal Thaan Kathala Roja's brother-in-Law 23 2001 Shakalaka Baby 24 2001 Rajakaali Amman 25 2001 Style 26 2001 En Purushan Kuzhandhai Maathiri 27 2001 Manuneethi 28 2001 Lootie Velappa 29 2001 Thavasi Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian 30 2001 Nageswari 31 2001 Kannukku Kannaga 32 2001 Sri Bannari Amman 33 2001 Love Marriage 34 2002 Ilasu Pudhusu Rousu 35 2002 En Mana Vaanil 36 2002 Kamarasu 37 2002 Kaarmegam 38 2002 Raja Sappai 39 2002 Thamizh Murthy 40 2002 Shree Raja Rajeshwari 41 2002 Arasu Pichumani 42 2002 Raajiyam 43 2002 Namma Veettu Kalyaanam 44 2002 Super Aunty 45 2002 Idhayame 46 2002 Sundhara Travels Azhagaa 47 2002 Ottran Maadasaamy 48 2002 Shree Maaruvesham Maarimuthu 49 2002 Bhagavathi Vibration/Vadivelu 300th film 50 2002 Naina Aavudaiyappan 51 2003 Diwaan Velu 52 2003 Eeranilam 53 2003 Anbu 54 2003 Vaseegara Kattabomman 55 2003 Punnagai Poove Aarumugam 56 2003 Aalukkoru Aasai Pazhani 57 2003 Winner Kaipulla Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil 58 2003 Kadhal Kirukkan Kalyaanasundaram 59 2003 Gambheeram Oomathurai P.C 60 2003 Thatti Thavudhu Manasu Vaigaivel 61 2003 Kadhal Dot Com 62 2003 Kounder Veettu Maappillai 63 2003 Inidhu Inidhu Kadhal Inidhu 64 2004 Manasthan Pachaikkili 65 2004 Engal Anna Mayilu 66 2004 Kovil Bullet Paandi 67 2004 Oru Murai Sollividu 68 2004 Nee Mattum 69 2004 Arul Thangam 70 2004 Aai Pazhani 71 2004 Jananam 72 2004 Kathale Jayam 73 2004 Jore Thirupathi 74 2004 Giri Veerabhaagu 75 2004 Jai Surya 76 2004 Madurey Pandu 77 2005 Mazhai Jayam Ravi, Shriya Saran 78 2005 Antha Naal Gnabagam 79 2005 February 14 80 2005 Daas 81 2005 Pambarakannale Kadalamuthu 82 2005 ABCD 83 2005 Kundakka Mandakka Chellappa 84 2005 Karka Kasadara Ondippuli 85 2005 Katrullavarai Watchman venkatesh 86 2005 Ayya Kaarasingam A.C 87 2005 Chandramukhi Murugesan Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil 88 2005 Sachein Ayyaasaamy 89 2005 Majaa Pulipaandi Vikram, Asin 90 2005 Aanai 91 2005 Chanakya Subramani 92 2005 Vetrivel Sakthivel Dhandapaani 93 2005 6.'2 Mr. White 94 2005 Aayutham Thangapandi 95 2005 Englishkaran 'Theeppori' Thirumugam 96 2005 Mannin Mainthan 97 2005 Aaru Sundi Modharam (Sumo) 98 2005 London Vedimuthu 99 2006 Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi Pulikesi/Ukraputhran Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian 100 2006 Nenjil Jil Jil 101 2006 Thalaimagan Erimalai 102 2006 Desiyaparavai 103 2006 Thimiru 'Warden' Vallaran 104 2006 Kovai Brothers Ekaadasi 105 2006 Thambi 106 2006 Sillunu Oru Kadhal Vellachaamy 107 2006 Em Magan Karupatti 108 2006 Kusthi aandipatti velu 109 2006 Thalai Nagaram Naai Sekar 110 2006 Pasakiligal Supporting 111 2006 Rendu Kirikalam 112 2006 Vathiyar Ayyanaar 113 2007 Arya 'Snake' Babu 114 2007 Maa Madurai Thangavelu 115 2007 Vel Kuzhandhaisaami (Kurangusaami) 116 2007 Vyabari 'Digil' Paandi 117 2007 Thottal Poo Malarum Kabaaleeswaran (Kabaali Khan) 118 2007 Manikanda Madhayaanai 119 2007 Muruga 'Courier' Gopu 120 2007 Karuppasamy Kuthagaitharar 'Padithurai' Paandi 121 2007 Thavam keeripulla 122 2007 Seena Thaana 001 Cheenichaamy 123 2007 Piragu Samarasam 124 2007 Marudhamalai 'Encounter' Ekaambharam Vijay Award for Best Comedian 125 2007 Pokkiri Body Sooda (Sunky Monkey) Vijay, Asin Prabhu Deva Role of "Kungfu Master" 126 2008 Kee. Mu Maadasaamy 127 2008 Kannum Kannum Udamban 128 2008 Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan Indran/Yama Dharmarajan/Na.Azhagappan 129 2008 Muniyandi Vilangial Moonramandu 'Maniyaati Saamiyaar' Sorimuthu Ayyanaar 130 2008 Pachai Nirame 131 2008 Theekuchi Kuravan 132 2008 Kathavarayan 'Kanduvetti' Karuppu Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian 133 2008 Kuselan 'Saloon' Shanmugam 134 2008 Seval 'Thapaal' Thangavelu 135 2008 Ellam Avan Seyal Vandu Murugan 136 2009 Villu Maadaswamy 137 2009 Vedigundu Murugesan 'Alert' Arumugam 138 2009 Azhagar Malai Kaththamuthu 139 2009 Kanthaswamy 'Thengakadai' Thennappan 140 2009 Peranmai Soosai 141 2009 Aadhavan Banerjee Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Comedian 490th film 142 2009 Jaganmohini 2010's No. Year Film Role Co-stars Director Notes 1 2010 Kacheri Arambam deepavali Jeeva, Poonam Bajwa Thiraivaanan 2 2010 Sura Umbrella Vijay, Tamanna S. P. Rajkumar 3 2010 Thillalangadi Jackson Jayam Ravi, Tamanna M. Raja 4 2010 Nagaram style paandi Sundar C., Anuya Sundar C 5 2011 Kaavalan Ammavaasai Vijay, Asin Siddique 6 2011 Ilaignan Isaac P. Vijay Suresh Krishna 7 2011 Thoonga Nagaram Vimal, Anjali Gaurav Guest appearance Also narrator 8 2011 Lucky Jokers guest role Ajmal Ameer, Suraj Venjaramood, Jagathy Sreekumar Sunil Malayalam film 9 2011 Mambattiyan Prashanth, Meera Jasmine Thiagarajan 10 2012 Marupadiyum Oru Kadhal Suman, Saiju Kurup Vasu Baskar 11 2012 Imsai Arasan 2'' Chimbudevan Discography
This is a list of songs sung by Vadivelu. No Song Film Music director 1 "Ettanaa Irundaa" Ellaame En Raasaathaan Ilayaraaja 2 "Thaaney Naaney" Sakthi R. Anand 3 "Santhanamalligaiyil" Rajakaali Amman S. A. Rajkumar 4 "Freeyaavudu" Aaru Devi Sri Prasad 5 "Sirippu Varuthu Sirippu Varuthu Chithappa" Vetri Kodi Kattu Deva 6 "Orunnu Onnu" Aei Srikanth Deva 7 "Oonam Oonam" Porkaalam Deva 8 "Vandhuta Vandhuta Vandhutaya" Kundakka Mandakka Bharathwaj 9 "Kadhal Panna" Kovil Harris Jayaraj 10 "Ammanikki Adangi" Rajavin Parvaiyile Ilayaraaja 11 "Poda Poda Punnakku" En Raasavin Manasile Ilayaraaja 12 "Ponnumani Ponnumani Poraale" Poonthottam Ilayaraaja 13 "Vaadi Potta Pulla Veliye" Kaalam Maari Pochu Deva 14 "Paalu Paalu Nepaalu" Thaaikulame Thaaikulame Deva 15 "Therkathi Maappillai" Magalirkkaaga Indhiyan 16 "Aayiram Jannal Vidu" Vel Yuvan Shankar Raja 17 "Vaada Mappiley" Villu Devi Sri Prasad 18 "Aadivaa Paadivaa Imsai Arasan 23m Pulikesi sabesh-murali 19 "Alavudin Alama" Chanakya Srikanth Deva 20 "Alwa Kodukiraan" Manaivikku Mariyadhai Deva 21 "Katunna Avalai Kattuvenda" Jaisurya Deva 22 "Luck Luck" Thadayam Deva 23 "Mathanaa Mathivathana" Maayan Deva 24 "Thaayaaramma" Seval G. V. Prakash Kumar 25 "Unnai Naan" Kadhal Kirukkan Deva 26 "Oothikadaa Machaan" Nesam Pudhusu bobby 27 "Vikkalu" Bhagavathi Deva 28 "Ek Do Teenudaa Annan" Koodi Vaazhnthaal Kodi Nanmai Deva 29 "Vanthanam Vanthanam" Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan sabesh-murali 30 "Madurakaara Vivek" Lootty Deva 31 "Naalu Adi Aaru" En Purushan Kuzhanthai Maathiri s. a. rajkumar
Kanhopatra sings to Vithoba Born 15th century, exact date unknown Mangalvedhe, Maharashtra, India Died 15th century, exact date unknown Pandharpur, Maharashtra Titles/honours Sant (संत) in Marathi, meaning "Saint" Philosophy Varkari Literary works Abhanga devotional poetry
Kanhopatra (Marathi: कान्होपात्रा) or Kanhupatra (कान्हूपात्रा) was a 15th century Marathi saint-poetess, venerated by the Varkari sect of Hinduism. Little is known about Kanhopatra. According to most traditional accounts, Kanhopatra was a courtesan and dancing-girl. These accounts typically concentrate on her death when she chose to surrender to the Hindu god Vithoba—the patron god of the Varkaris—rather than becoming a concubine of the Badshah (king) of Bidar. She died in the central shrine of Vithoba in Pandharpur. She is the only person whose samadhi (mausoleum) is within the precincts of the temple. Kanhopatra wrote Marathi abhanga poetry telling of her devotion to Vithoba and her struggle to balance her piety with her profession. In her poetry, she implores Vithoba to be her saviour and release her from the clutches of her profession. About thirty of her abhangas have survived, and continue to be sung today. She is the only female Varkari saint to have attained sainthood based solely on her devotion, without the support of any guru, male Varkari saint, or parampara (tradition or lineage).
Kanhopatra's history is known through stories passed down over centuries, making it hard to separate fact and fiction. Most accounts agree about her birth to Shama the courtesan and her death in the Vithoba temple when the Badshah of Bidar sought her. However, the characters of Sadashiva Malagujar (her alleged father) and Hausa the maid do not appear in all accounts. Early life Kanhopatra was a daughter of a rich prostitute and courtesan named Shama or Shyama, who lived in the town of Mangalvedhe, near Pandharpur, the site of Vithoba's chief temple. Apart from Kanhopatra, Mangalwedhe is also the birthplace of the Varkari saints Chokhamela and Damaji. Shama was uncertain about the identity of Kanhopatra's father, but suspected that it was the town's head-man Sadashiva Malagujar. Kanhopatra spent her childhood in the palatial house of her mother, served by several maids, but because of her mother's profession, Kanhopatra's social status was demeaningly low. Kanhopatra was trained in dance and song from early childhood so that she could join her mother's profession. She became a talented dancer and singer. Her beauty was compared to the apsara (heavenly nymph) Menaka. Shama suggested that Kanhopatra should visit the Badshah (Muslim king), who will adore her beauty and gift her money and jewelry, but Kanhopatra flatly refused. Traditional tales narrate that Shama wanted Kanhopatra to marry, but Kanhopatra longed to marry a man who was more beautiful than her. Scholar Tara Bhavalkar states that Kanhopatra's marriage was forbidden, as it was not socially acceptable for a daughter of a courtesan to marry. Most accounts declare that Kanhopatra was forced into the courtesan's life, though she detested it, while some say that Kanhopatra firmly declined to become a courtesan. Some authors believe that she may have also worked as a prostitute. Path to devotion Sadashiva Malagujar, Kanhopatra's supposed father, heard of Kanhopatra's beauty and wished to see her dance, but Kanhopatra refused. Accordingly Sadashiva started to harass Kanhopatra and Shama. Shama tried to convince him that he was the father of Kanhopatra and thus should spare them, but Sadashiva did not believe her. As he continued his harassment, Shama's wealth slowly depleted. Eventually, Shama apologised to Sadashiva and offered to present Kanhopatra to him. Kanhopatra, however, fled to Pandharpur disguised as a maid, with the help of her aged maid Hausa. In some legends, Hausa—described as a Varkari—is credited for Kanhopatra's journey to devotion. Other accounts credit the Varkari pilgrims who passed Kanhopatra's house on their way to the temple of Vithoba in Pandharpur. According to one story, for example, she asked a passing Varkari about Vithoba. The Varkari said that Vithoba is "generous, wise, beautiful and perfect", his glory is beyond description and his beauty surpasses that of Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty. Kanhopatra further asked if Vithoba would accept her as a devotee. The Varkari assured her that Vithoba would accept her as he accepted the maid Kubja,[n 1] the sinful king Ajamila and the so-called "untouchable" saint Chokhamela. This assurance strengthened her resolve to go to Pandharpur. In versions of the legend where Sadashiva does not appear, Kanhopatra immediately leaves for Pandharpur—singing the praises of Vithoba—with the Varkari pilgrims or coaxes her mother to accompany her to Pandharpur. When Kanhopatra first saw the Vithoba image of Pandharpur, she sang in an abhanga that her spiritual merit was fulfilled and she was blessed to have seen Vithoba's feet. She had found the unparalleled beauty she sought in her groom in Vithoba. She "wedded" herself to the god and settled in Pandharpur. She withdrew from society. Kanhopatra moved into a hut in Pandharpur with Hausa and lived an ascetic's life. She sang and danced at the Vithoba temple, and cleaned it twice a day. She gained the respect of the people, who believed her to be a poor farmer's daughter maddened by the love of Vithoba. In this period, Kanhopatra composed ovi-metered abhanga poems dedicated to Vithoba. Death During this same time, however, Sadashiva—who felt insulted by Kanhopatra's refusal—sought the help of the Badshah (king) of Bidar. Hearing tales of Kanhopatra's beauty, the Badshah ordered her to be his concubine. When she refused, the king sent his men to get her by force. Kanhopatra took refuge in the Vithoba temple. The soldiers of the king besieged the temple and threatened to destroy it if Kanhopatra was not handed over to them. Kanhopatra requested a last meeting with Vithoba before being taken.
The chief gate of Vithoba temple, Pandharpur, where Kanhopatra is buried By all accounts, Kanhopatra then died at the feet of the Vithoba image, but the circumstances were unclear. According to popular tradition, Kanhopatra merged with the image of Vithoba in a form of marriage—something that Kanhopatra longed for. Other theories suggest that she killed herself, or that she was killed for her rebelliousness. Most accounts say that Kanhopatra's body was laid at feet of Vithoba and then buried near the southern part of the temple, in accordance with her last wishes. In some accounts, the nearby Bhima river (Chandrabhaga) flooded, inundating the temple and killing the army that sought Kanhopatra. The next day, her body was found near a rock. According to all versions of the legend, a tarati tree—which is worshipped by pilgrims in her remembrance—arose on the spot where Kanhopatra was buried.[n 2] Kanhopatra is the only person whose samadhi (mausoleum) is in the precincts of the Vithoba temple.[n 3] Dating Several historians have attempted to establish the dates of Kanhopatra's life and death. One estimate places her life circa 1428 CE by relating her to a Bahamani king of Bidar who is often associated with the Kanhopatra story—although in most accounts, that king is never explicitly named. Pawar estimates that she died in 1480. Others suggest dates of 1448, 1468 or 1470, or simply say that she lived in the 15th century—or in rare instances, the 13th or 16th century. According to Zelliot, she was a contemporary of saint-poets Chokhamela (14th century) and Namadeva (c.1270-c.1350). Literary works and teachings
Kanhopatra's patron deity: Vithoba, the Pandharpur image at whose feet, Kanhopatra died. Kanhopatra is believed to have composed many abhangas, but most were not in written form: only thirty of her abhangas or ovis survive today. Twenty-three verses of her poems are included in the anthology of Varkari saints called Sakal sant-gatha. Most of these verses are autobiographical, with an element of pathos. Her style is described as unadorned by poetic devices, easy to understand, and with a simplicity of expression. According to Deshpande, Kanhopatra's poetry reflects the "awakening of the downtrodden" and the rise of female creative expression, ignited by the sense of gender equality enforced by the Varkari tradition. Kanhopatra's abhangas frequently portray her struggle between her profession and her devotion to Vithoba, the patron deity of the Varkaris. She presents herself as a woman deeply devoted to Vithoba, and pleads for him to save her from the unbearable bondage of her profession. Kanhopatra speaks of her humiliation and her banishment from society owing to her profession and social stature. She expresses disgust for the society which adored her as an object of beauty rather than as a human being, and abhorred her for profession. She describes how she has been the object of lustful thoughts. She worries that she was beyond the "scope of God's love". In Nako Devaraya Anta Aata—believed to be the last abhanga of her life—unable to bear the thought of separation from her Lord, Kanhopatra begs Vithoba to end her misery. In the abhanga Patita tu pavanahe, she acknowledges her Lord as the saviour of the fallen and asks him to save her as well: O Narayana, you call yourself savior of the fallen... My caste is impure I lack loving faith my nature and actions are vile. Fallen Kanhopatra offers herself to your feet, a challenge to your claims of mercy. Kanhopatra refers to Vithoba by names such as Narayana (a name of Vishnu, who is identified with Vithoba), Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu, identified with Vithoba), Sripati ("husband of goddess Sri," an epithet of Vishnu) and Manmatha (a name of Kamadeva, the god of love, used by Vaishnava saints to describe Vishnu). She refers to Krishna-Vithoba as the "champion of the low", and as a mother.[n 4] Kanhopatra also asserts the importance of repeating the names of God and reveals how chanting His names has helped her. She says that even Death would fear God's name, which purified the sinner king Ajamila - who ascended to heaven when he coincendentally called to God at his death bed, the "robber" Valmiki - who was transformed into a great sage by utterance of God's name - and even the prostitute Pingala. Kanhopatra says, she wears the garland of His names. She hoped that her chanting would ultimately lead her to salvation. Kanhopatra also extols the deeds of Dnyaneshwar—the first great saint of the Varkaris—and his siblings. Kanhopatra's abhangas also show her concern for her body, her sense of vulnerability and her will to "remain untouched in the midst of turbulence". She compares herself to food being devoured by wild animals - an expression never used by male saints: If you call yourself the Lord of the fallen, why do O Lord not lift me up? When I say I am yours alone, who is to blame but yourself if I am taken by another man. When a jackal takes the share of the lion, it is the great, who is put to shame. Kanhopatra says, I offer my body at your feet, protect it, at least for your title. According to Ranade, this abhanga was composed by Kanhopatra when invited by the Bidar king. Kanhopatra advises against seeking mere sexual pleasure; she speaks of the evils of sexual attraction, citing mythological characters who suffered the consequences of sexual temptation: the demon-king Ravana, the demon Bhasmasura, the god-king of heaven Indra and the moon-god Chandra.
Legacy and remembrance
Script of the drama Sant Kanhopatra, depicting Bal Gandharva (left) as Kanhopatra Kanhopatra is formally included in the list of Sants, meaning saints in Marathi in the text Bhaktavijaya. Mahipati (1715–1790), a traditional biographer of Marathi saints, devotes an entire chapter to her in his Bhaktavijaya extolling her devotion to Vithoba. In his Bhaktalilamrita Mahipati refers to Kanhopatra as one of the saints who sit surrounding Krishna (identified with Vithoba in Maharashtra). Kanhopatra is cited by the Vakari saint-poets as "an example of the real downtrodden and deserving people persons that are saved by the merciful God". In one of his abhangas, the Varkari saint and poet Tukaram (1577 - c.1650) uses the example of Kanhopatra to illustrate that caste is irrelevant when compared with devotion and merit. Her death and her surrender to Vithoba is regarded as a "great legacy of self respect combined with spiritualism." Kanhopatra is considered unique since she is the only prominent woman in Maharashtra who rose to fame without a traditional family backing. She was born in a household where devotion was unthinkable. She is the only woman Varkari saint, who is not associated with any male Varkari saint,[n 6] who has no guru, nor any parampara (tradition or lineage). She is credited to have attained sainthood exclusively on the basis of her intense devotion to Vithoba, a devotion reflected in her abhangas. Kanhopatra's life has been recounted in a 1937 Marathi film Kanhopatra written and directed by Bhalji Pendharkar. She was also the subject of the popular 1931 Marathi drama named Sant Kanhopatra, in which Bal Gandharva played the lead. Kanhopatra's abhangas Aga Vaikunthichya Raya and Patita tu pavanahe; and Nako Devaraya Anta Aata are used in that drama and in the 1963 Marathi film Sadhi Manase respectively.
Kanhopatra's abhangas are still sung in concerts and on radio, and by Varkaris on their annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur. The tree that rose at her burial spot in the Pandharpur temple is worshipped as her samadhi by devotees even today. A small shrine is also dedicated to her in her home town Mangalvedhe.