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Choultry, or tschultri,[1] also Chottry, choultree or choltry, is an Indian word used to describe a resting place for visitors where rooms and food are provided by a charitable institution for nominal rates.

Some were guesthouses where accommodation was free of charge. Choultry is also known as a chatra, satram, chatram or dharmasala.

Etymological origins[edit]

Choultry is a peculiar word of origin in South India and of doubtful etymology; In Malayalam -chaawathi, 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 courthouse. It is widely considered to be an Anglo-Indian word which was a corrupted form of the Telugu word Chaawadi.

Other usages[edit]

Usage example 1: "Is the order of the Naidu required in order to procure gruel at the choultry?" [2]

Usage example 2: "A choultry is a building, generally open, of a construction similar to that described in the text, and is an usual appendage to Hindoo temples. Numbers of them are, however, to be found on the high roads in the Peninsula, totally unconnected with any religious edifices; being raised by the devout charity of opulent individuals for the general accommodation of travellers of every description without exception. A tank for the further refreshment of passengers is always dug near it."[3]

See also[edit]