Bhai Harbans Singh

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Bhai Harbans Singh

Bhai Harbans Singh Ji (Jagadhri Wale) (1 March 1940 - 13 May 2011) was a famous Sikh ragi based in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. He was born on 1 March 1940 near a town called Jhang, which is now in Pakistan. After partition, Bhai sahib came to India and started reciting Gurbani kirtan. In later life, he was based in Ludhiana and has been based here for nearly 40 years ago.

Bhai sahib and partners are a famous ragi jatha who are well known to most Sikhs globally. Bhai sahib has been performing kirtan from a very young age. He is an exceptional vocalist, an outstanding katha (discourse) performer and able harmonium player. Bhai Harbans Singh has been performing kirtan and katha for many decades and he has with his jatha and as a member of the Atamras jatha enlightened Guru-ki-sangat in India and many other parts of the world. He has produced many hundreds of cassette tapes, CDs and videos of Kirtan and Katha.

Mellow kirtan; simple explanations

He and his jatha play a mix of both classical raga and modern raga based tunes as a three-some where Bhai sahib is the lead vocalist with support from his jatha members on harmonium and tabla. There style is slow and mellow and very conducive to Gurbani kirtan and they have a huge following throughout the world and especially in India, UK, Australia, and USA. Bhai sahib is one of very few Ragis who can performs a high standard of kirtan as well as engage in very riveting Katha. He was reknowned for explaining the meaning of Gurbani in simple everyday terms.

On a joint visit a group of renowned Ragis took part in an Atamras kirtan events where they performed as a large group with various other famous ragi groups from India including Bhai Harjinder Singh, his younger brother's jatha Bhai Maninder Singh both of Sri Nagar, Sant Anoop Singh (Una Wala) and others.

Bhai sahib passed away on May 13, 2011 after a prolonged illness at the DMC hospital in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. Bhai Harbans Singh was aged 71 and is survived by three daughters and a son. Family sources said his cremation would take place on Monday, May 16 when his son would come back from US.


Melodious singer of Gurbani Tribune News

Bhai Harbans Singh Jagadhari Wale had carved a niche among the raagis as a person who explained the shabads using simple idioms. His bhog ceremony, which took place in Ludhiana on Sunday, was attended by people from all walks of life, including SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh.

He died on May 13 after a prolonged illness at the age of 71. He is survived by three daughters and a son. The industrial town of Ludhiana had been his home for the last three-and-a-half decades. Earlier, he lived in Jagadhri (Haryana) where he had migrated to after Partition.

A person who reached out to wide audiences using the then-new medium of audio cassette tapes, Bhai Harbans Singh’s rendering of Gurbani spread to many hearts. He will long be remembered for his melodious voice and success in the endeavour to make the words of the Gurus reach the masses.

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