The word Chambhar/ Charamkar stands for one who creates Leather products like Shoes, Chappals, Purses, Wallets, belts, Moats from Chamda (Leather).The chambhars of Maharashtra are the people dealing with the leather trade in the state.
Ramnarayan Rawat posits that the association of the Chamar community with a traditional occupation of tanning was constructed, and that the Chamars were instead historically agriculturists.
Chambhars are descendants of Harali a devotee of Lord his service and devotion Lord Shiva given him the duty of worshipping him till his life ceases. Shiva. Harali was instructed by Lord Shiva to serve him by creating leather articles for him like his Padukas
Chamars who have adopted the weaving profession and abandoned tanning and leathercraft, identify themselves as Julaha Chamar; R. K. Pruthi suggests this is in the hope that they might in future be considered as Julaha by other communities. They believe that leatherwork is "degrading" when compared to weaving.
Chambhars are descendants of Harali a devotee of Lord Shiva. Harali was instructed by Lord Shiva to serve him by creating leather articles for him like his Padukas. Pleased with his service and devotion Lord Shiva bestowed him the duty of worshipping him till his life ceases.
Long ago in the country known as Citrartha, Apasaras (heavenly dancers) used to come to play One day a heavenly apsara know as Manjughosha came to that place where the sage Shuka was residing. she tried to attract him while singing and dancing, Somehow, she pleased the muni. Then the glorious Shuka, hearing this auspicious prayer asked her to request a benediction. Manjughosha humbly said: ”O lord, you are the protector of those who came to your shelter, please become my husband”.The sage accepted her and a son Muni who performed austerity very strictly up-to 12 years. He married the daughter of Svarnadeva, the god of gold. They gave birth to a daughter named Kinnari. She was very young and beautiful. She performed austerity to please Lord Shiva, and as a benediction lord Shiva instructed her to a sober sage Makaranda. The Chambhar community is descendants of a Sage and a daughter of an Apasara.
Whether Chambhar community belongs to Aryan origin or not is still a mystry to be resolved. Chamars/Chambhars across India can never be compared as they differ a lot in their culture, rituals and habits.
Chambhars in Maharashtra have their own identity and can never be compared to similar caste in North and South India. They were a culturally strong people who feel pride to be called as Hindus. They are majorly Shiva-its and hence worship Lord Shiva. There is no house without a Shiv-ling in their pooja-ghar. Those who are Lingayats tie the sacred Lingam around their neck.
The men in the community are fair and handsome. The women too are extremly beautiful better than Brahmin women. Due to their physcial beauty they share a distinct identity from other castes like Mahars, dhors. They share surnames very similiar to Marathas like Bhosale, Survyavanshis, Shindes, Pawars, Chavas, Gadikar, Mane, Gaikwad, Kanade. They often because of their looks are mistaken to be 96K Marathas, as they are comparatively economically well to do and educated. It includes creating shoes and other useful articles from leather. They are one among the Bara Balutedar In Marathi.
They are a economically well to do caste compared to other above backward castes. They have flourishing leather business in villages and cities. After the reservation policy came into existence they were the first to reap the benefits of it by educating their children. So In today's scenario they have generations of Eoctors, Engineers, Architects, Military and Government Officers. Many of their current generations are in US, UK, Gulf and Australia. Since their surnames and physical beauty matches with those of North Indian’s they can never be figured out or rather they are happy to camouflage their identity.
They have always opposed Buddhism and Christianity. They have great respect for Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the Hindu warrior and king of the Maratha empire. Many have deserted the Congress and entered Shiv Sena in Mumbai, Pune and other areas.
Their physical beauty matches to those of North Indian's. Most of them share surnames same as that of Maratha Eg. Shinde, Malvade, Mahajan,Bhosale, Kanade, Kale, Wankhede, Potdar, Patole, Satpute, Pachpute, Lokhande, Bhoite, Bhalerao, Surya vanshi. So it can be predicted that racially many families of them can be Maratha who must be outcast due to their profession of leather work. Caste system was formed later when people enrolled themselves into certain modes of labor. But considering their culture, physical beauty factor like Maratha, CKP, Ahirs they justify to be an Indo Aryan race.
Also many of their community easily get married and accepted in higher castes. In fact one can observe a huge trend of inter-caste marriages with other communities like Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Marvadis in cities and metro areas. The rate of this is so high that many families have lost their originality due to such marriages.