SAUNDHĀ SIṄGH, famous as Kavī (kavi= poet) Saundhā, was born around 1750 at the village of Kāle, in Amritsar district of the Punjab. He studied Hindi, Rekhtā and Persian, as also music, under Gur Sahāi Kundrā of Thaṭṭi Nagar, near Chūṇīāṅ, 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 pothīs. Among his poetical works are Gur Ustati, also known as Das Gur Kathā which contains the lives of the Gurūs; Ustati Srī Amritsar Jī Kī, lauding the glory of Harimandar, the Golden Temple of modern day, which was demolished in 1762 by the Afghān invader Ahmad Shāh Durrānī Ustati Gurū Gobind Siṅgh Jī Kī eulogizing the valour of the Khālsā Gurpraṇālī, a versified calendar relating to events from the lives of the Gurūs; Kathā Shahāñchī Kī, an account written in 1807 of the attack of Shahāñchī Khān, the Afghān commander under the Durrānī's son, Shāh Zamān, on the Sikhs at Rām Nagar (Gujrāt) in 1797; Bābā Buḍḍhā Baṅsavalī, a geneaological account of Bābā Buḍḍhā's family; and Sākhīāṅ Giān Updesh, a guide for the instruction of Sikh chiefs. Among his other works may be mentioned Rāmāyaṇa Bārāmāhā and Rāmgīt (incomplete), adaptations in verse of portions of the Rāmāyaṇa, Jhagṛā Jaṭṭī te Khatrāṇī, 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 Saundhā Siṅgh's works are still in manuscript form, with considerable textual variations : only three of them (Gurpraṇālī, Ustati Srī Amritsar Jī Kī and Jhagṛā Jaṭṭī te Khatrāṇī) are available in print.


  1. Dharam Siṅgh, Kavī Saundhā : lk Alochanātamak Adhyan. Amritsar, 1981
  2. Raṇdhīr Siṅgh, Gurpranālīāṅ. Amritsar, 1977

Dharam Siṅgh