The Sikh Encyclopedia The Sikh Encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Sikhism

Arts & Heritage

Search Now!


(0 votes)

DHADI, one who sings vars or ballads to the accompaniment of a musical instrument called dhad, a drumlet held in the palm of one hand and played with the fingers of the other. A concomitant of dhad is the sarangi, a stringed instrument. Dhadis, patronized by chiefs and princes, eulogized the deeds of valour of the members of the families they served or of popular folk heroes. In the Dasam Granth (Charitra 405), their origin is traced back to the mythological combat between Mahakal and Suasvirya, the first ancestor of the dhadis being born of the sweat of the former.

Although the institution of dhadf dates back to time immorial and Guru Nanak (1469-1539) has recorded himself in the Guru Granth Sahib as a dhadi singing praises of the Supreme Lord, yet history mentions Bakhshu (d. 1535) who was patronized first by Raja Man Singh Tomar (1486-1516) of Gwalior and after his death by the kings of Kalinjar and Gujrat, as the first dhadi.He is also credited with the invention of a new raga which he named Bahadur Tori after the name of Sultan Bahadur of Gujrat, who was his patron during the last years of his life. In the Sikh tradition, dhadis have flourished since the days of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) who engaged some leading exponents of the art to recite heroic balladry at Sikh assemblies.

The two names recorded in old chronicles are those of Abdullah and Nattha, of the village of Sursingh, in present day Amritsar district. Among the leading dhadis of the time of Guru Gobind Singh are mentioned Mir Chhabila Mushki and Natth Mall. Dhadis have continued to be popular and at larger Sikh divans, especially honouring the memory of heroes and martyrs, they are listened to avidly as they render in ringing folk tunes their deeds of gallantry and sacrifice. Natth Mall, who also composed a var entitled Amar Nama, originally in Persian and later translated into Punjabi by Dr Ganda Singh, is said to have been in the train of Guru Gobind Singh at the time of his journey to the South.

References :

1. Ganda Singh, trans., Nath Mall`s Amar Nama. Amritsar, 1953

More in this category: « CHAUNKI or Chauki, DHUNI »


Leave a comment

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

All About Sikhs

AllAboutSikhs is a comprehensive web site on sikhism, sikh history and philosophy, customs and rituals,sikh way of life, social and religious movements, art and architecture, sikh scriptures,sikh gurudwaras. Based on the belief in One God, the Sikh religion recognizes the equality of all human beings, and is marked by rejection of idolatry, ritualism, caste and asceticism. This website serves to heighten the awareness of Sikhism and hopefully can be of some use to seekers of knowledge.


Search Gurbani

SearchGurbani brings to you a unique and comprehensive approach to explore and experience the word of God. It has the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Amrit Kirtan Gutka, Bhai Gurdaas Vaaran, Sri Dasam Granth Sahib and Kabit Bhai Gurdas. You can explore these scriptures page by page, by chapter index or search for a keyword. The Reference section includes Mahankosh, Guru Granth Kosh,and exegesis like Faridkot Teeka, Guru Granth Darpan and lot more.


World Gurudwaras

World Gurudwaras will strive to be most comprehensive directory of Historical Gurudwaras and Non Historical Gurudwaras around the world.The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.



Get Latest Updates