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For the related musical instrument, see Dhadd.
A Dhadi Jatha
A Dhadi Jatha (of four dhadis) performing

Dhadi (Punjabi: ਢਾਡੀ, Dhādi), also spelled as Dhadhi, is one who sings ballads using Dhadd[1][2][3] and also Sarangi,[4] the folk instruments of Punjab. According to Kahn Singh Nabha's Mahan Kosh the definition of dhadhi is, One who sings ballads of warriors playing Dhadd.[1][3] Dhadis are a distinct group/singers emerged in the time of Sikh gurus.[2][4][5][6]


The word Dhadi can be translated in English to be a minstrel or bard. The word is used several times in the Sikh religious text, Guru Granth Sahib, in the meaning of humbleness. In his compositions, Hazrat Baba Nanak called himself the Dhadhi of the God.[5][6] The word is also appeared in the writing of the third, fourth and fifth Guru and Bhagat Namdev.[5]


खालक कउ आदेसु ढाढी गावणा ॥ नानक जुगु जुगु एकु मंनि वसावणा ॥२१॥

Kẖālak ka▫o āḏes dẖādẖī gāvṇā. Nānak jug jug ek man vasāvṇā. ||21||


I humbly bow to the Creator Lord; I am a minstrel singing His Praises. Nanak enshrines the Lord within his mind. He is the One, throughout the ages.||21|| (Guru Nanak Dev; Page 148)


हउ ढाढी दरि गुण गावदा जे हरि प्रभ भावै ॥

Ha▫o dẖādẖī ḏar guṇ gāvḏā je har parabẖ bẖāvai.


I am a minstrel at His Door, singing His Glorious Praises, to please to my Lord God. (Guru Arjan Dev; Page 1097, Line 10)


As the word is used by the Sikh Gurus, it's clear that Dhadis has a history of hundred years.[5] The sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind fostered and promoted the Dhadi art and transformed the tradition from singing the praises of landlords or rulers to sing the praises of the true God.[5] Dhadis were mainly emerged in the time of the sixth Sikh master Guru Hargobind who established the Sikh high court, Akal Takhat, and established Dhadhis to sing the previously composed Gurbani from Guru Granth Sahib.[6][7] Later, the contemporary Dhadis repertoire had broadened to include heroic ballads known as Vaars.[5]

In that age only the lower caste people, i.e. Mirasis, used to sing as the profession was not considered to be noble or respectable for higher classes/castes. While Mirasis were Muslims, Dhadis were not confined to a particular religious affiliation.[6] Guru Hargobind Sahib fostered the Dhadis and refined their repertoire.[2][4][8] Along with singing Gurbani, their songs came to deal with the tales of heroism and valour and was used to entertain as well as to fill the army with warrior's spirit.[2][6] Two Dhadis of that age, Bhai Natha and Bhai Abdulla,[5][8][9] are still remembered with respect. Bhai Abdulla was a gifted poet and used to sang his own compositions in the Guru's court.[2][6]

Dhadi Jatha[edit]

Dhadi Jatha of Des Raj
A performance by a Dhadi Jatha

The word Dhadi Jatha (Punjabi: ਢਾਡੀ ਜੱਥਾ) is very closely associated with Dhadi and dhadd, the instrument. Jatha means 'a team' so Dhadi Jatha means a team of Dhadis which usually consists of three or four Dhadis; one Sarangi master/player, two dhadd players and one telling the story by a lecture.[5] The singers sing one by one or together like chorus according to the lyrics.

The Dhadis today are the integral part of Sikh and Punjabi music.[6] The tradition has broadened its repertoire, including religious compositions, heroic ballads, folklores, folk love stories, history, romance and other types of folk songs.[5][6] Normally, the Jathas are known by the leader's name; for example, Dhadi Jatha of Gurbakhsh Singh Albela.

Dhadi jatha==Notable Dhadis or Dhadi Jathas==

Here are some of the well known Dhadis or Dhadi Jathas.

  • Giani Sohan Singh Ji Sital
  • Shiromani Dhadi Daya Singh ji "Dilber"(Dhadi Kala De Baba Bohad)
  • Pal Singh Panchi
  • Kulwant Singh B.A.
  • Moola Singh Pakharpur
  • Gurdip Singh Sajan
  • Amar Singh Shaunki
  • Giani Nirmal Singh "NOOR"(Gold Medalist)
  • Charan Singh Alamgir
  • Tarsem Singh Moranwali
  • Gurmukh Singh Valtoha
  • Tarlochan Singh Bhamadi
  • Giani Kuljeet Singh Dilber
  • Giani Sant Singh Paras
  • Bibi Balwinder Kaur Khehra Dhadi Jatha
  • Gurbakhsh Singh Albela

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nabha, Kahn Singh (1930). Gur Shabad Ratnakar Mahan Kosh (first ed.). Amritsar: Bhai Chatar Singh, Jeewan Singh (later ed.). 
  2. ^ a b c d e Hardial Thuhi (2008). Punjabi Lok Dhadi Kala. Unistar Books Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788171424849. 
  3. ^ a b "‘Dhadhis’ add zing to poll campaign". News in English (Bassi Pathana). The Tribune. January 5, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Michael Nijhawan (2006). Dhadi Darbar. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 286. ISBN 9780195679670. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Importance of Dhadi tradition". www.esikhs.com. Retrieved 14 Mar 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "DHADHIS". www.sikh-heritage.co.uk. Retrieved 13 Mar 2012. 
  7. ^ "DHAD". www.chandrakantha.com. Retrieved 13 Mar 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Bhaura, Ashok (1991). Panjab De Dhadi. Original from the University of California. p. 80. 
  9. ^ "About Giani Sant Singh Paras". www.gianisantsinghparas.com. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 

Dhadi branch of the Mirasis are musicians, balladeers and panegyrists. Under the patronage of the sixth Sikh Guru Hargobind (1595 to 1644), the community prospered and converted in their entirety to Sikhism. Their name is derived from a dhad, which is a small drum, which they use. Other instruments used are the sarangi, the pakhwai (two ended drum) and daf (a tambourine). The Dhadi are associated with singing stanzas called karkha praising the soldiers of the Sikh guru’s armies as well as other hymns.[13] dhadi equated with bhats the dhadi clans 1 Tajnath 2pochala 3 rathnavat or rathna 4 dungroth 5 sehravat 6 rudha or rudi 7 Baji 8 sagrawat or sugunavat 9 Bhimla 10 Bhagrawt or banavath, bane bani 11 ramdas 12 dehavat or Devavat, Hindu cast dhadi is orginall bhat cast