SAUNDHA SINGH, famous as Kavi (kavi= poet) Saundha, was born around 1750 at the village of Kale, in Amritsar district of the Punjab. He studied Hindi, Rekhta and Persian, as also music, under Gur Sahai Kundra of Thatti Nagar, near Chunian, in Lahore district. He launched upon his literary career rather late in life. His output was however substantial and, according to his own testimony, it amounted to five granths and numerous pothis.
Among his poetical works are Gur Ustati, also known as Das Gur Katha which contains the lives of the Gurus ; Ustati Sri Amritsar JI Ki, lauding the glory of Harimandar, the Golden Temple of modern day, which was demolished in 1762 by the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Durrani ; Ustati Guru Gobind Singh J1KI, eulogizing the valour of the Khalsa ; Gurpranali, a versified calendar relating to events from the lives of the Gurus ; Katha Shahanchi Ki, an account written in 1807 of the attack of Shahanchi Khan, the Afghan commander under the Durrani`s son, Shah Zaman, on the Sikhs at Ram Nagar (Gujrat) in 1797 ; Baba Buddha Bansavali, a geneaological account of Baba Buddha`s family; and Sakhian Gian Updesh, a guide for the instruction of Sikh chiefs.Among his other works may be mentioned Ramayana Baramaha and Ramgit (incomplete), adaptations in verse of portions of the Ramayana, Jhagra Jatti te Khatram, verse in folk style commenting on the habits and attitudes of the different castes. It became so popular that the famous British folklorist Sir Richard Temple obtained the text from a singer, transliterated it into Roman and had an English translation of it published in Panjab Notes and Queries. Most of Saundha Singh`s works are still in manuscript form, with considerable textual variations : only three of them (Gurpranali, Ustati Sri AmritsarJi KI and Jhagra Jatti te KhatranT) are available in print,
1. Dharam Singh, Kavi Saundha: Ik Alochanatamak Adhyan. Amritsar, 1981
2. Randhir Singh, Gurpranah`ari. Amritsar, 1977