The word dhadi or dhadhi means ‘one who sings ballads while playing the dhad, a musical instrument’. Nothing certain is known about the origin of the Dhadi parampara. Usually this tradition is linked to the family and court bards of ancient Punjab and Rajputana. Sohan Singh Seetal, a famous Sikh writer and poet who himself wrote many vaaran, prasang and taranĂ© based upon Sikh history, tells us in his autobiography that as warrior tribes from Rajasthan moved northwards into the Punjab, their panegyrists or family historians, called bhats followed them. According to Rattan Singh Jaggi, the dhadis were supposed to be a branch (up-samparda) of the bhat or kharak-singers, specialising in the performance of herioc ballads.


Kavishari was started/invented by the 10th Sikh Guru, “Guru Gobind Singh Sahib”.[1] There was a need of a particular singing style or genre that can gave energy to the war-fighters. So the Kavishari was mostly sung about Bravery, known as Veer Ras, one of the nine Ras’ (English: “flavour”/”subgenre”) of the genre.

There are nine accepted Ras as (subgenres) of kavishari, out of which the most commonly known four are:

  • Veer Ras (Heroic)
  • Shant Ras (Soulful or peaceful)
  • Vairag Ras (Mystic)
  • Haas Ras (Comic)

It was the Veer Ras that is most commonly sung today and specially for the need of which the genre was created.