The Saranda is a unique bowed instrument which originated among the Sikhs. It was designed, created and played by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan.
He instructed his followers to practise and share the singing of sacred shabads (poetic compositions) with the instrument to elevate the soul to merge with the Creator.
The Saranda 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 they should not be confused with each other.