Saranda - The Blessing of the Soul
The Saranda is a unique instrument which originated among the Sikhs – designed, created and also played by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji. He instructed his followers to practise and share the singing of sacred shabads with these instruments to elevate the soul to merge with the Creator.
Guru Arjan blessed us with this bowed instrument, which has similar-looking siblings known as sirinda, sarinda, qechak, gaychak, Nepali sarangi and many more. These are still played for regional folk music in Pakistan from Sindh to Baluchistan, in Afghanistan from Kabul to Kandahar and in Iran. It is important to note that these folk instruments are NOT the same as the Sikh Saranda developed for singing Kirtan. The size and structure of the two types of instrument are significantly different, as well as the wood and strings used, and one should not be confused with the other.
Technical specification of Saranda:
- Wood: Indian tun (similar to red cedar)
- Strings: natural gut strings
- Skin: goat skin
- Bridge: traditionally made of ivory or bone, now it is more commonly made of rosewood.