The Saranda was the blessing of Guru Arjan Dev, who created the instrument in Goindwal, a city in northern India, in his teenage years.
Not only did he create it, he used it to sing “Dhurr Ki Bani,” the sacred Hymns of the Creator. He urged his followers to practice and share the singing of sacred shabads (hymns) with the Saranda to elevate the soul.
The Saranda has similar looking siblings including the Sirinda, Sarinda, Qechak, Gaychak, Nepali Sarangi, and many more. These instruments are still used in many countries/regions today such as: Pakistan, Sindh, Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Kabul, Kandahar and Iran. These instruments are used to play regional folk music.
It is important to note that the instruments used in these areas for folk music are not the same as the Sikh Saranda, which is used for singing Kirtan. The size, wood, structure and strings used for the other instruments are significantly different.
The Saranda used to sing the Shabad of the Guru is an amazing blessing. This Saranda is a bowed instrument with three main gut strings and around 30 sympathetic strings. As you can see in the picture, it has a big, hollow sound box, which creates a unique, soul-pleasing sound.