Home Dehradun Sohan Lal: A Dhol maestro par excellence

Sohan Lal: A Dhol maestro par excellence

By Our Staff Reporter 
Dehradun, 1 Dec: Dhol and Damaun have been an integral part of every ritual, ceremony and festivity in the hills of Uttarakhand. Sohan Lal, aged 55 years, a Dhol Maestro from Uttarakhand was born in a family of drummers in Pujargaun village in Tehri district. Traditionally played in almost every function in the hills of Uttarakhand, Dhol and Damau (traditional drums of Uttarakhand), are traditional instruments and playing them is a folk art form which has been passed down from one generation to the other but is now a dying art as most Dhol and Damau players are giving up the art as it does not bring requisite money or status with it. However, Sohan Lal who learnt the art of playing the dhol or drum from his father Granthi Das, has not only kept the folk art alive, but has also taught it to many disciples. Sohan Lal is recognised as the top exponent of this art, He is known to be a master of 18 beats of Naubaat, 12 beats of wedding and all the beats used in Pandava, Goril, Bagdwal, Disha Dhankudi, Naagraja, and Aachchahri dances. Currently he is a visiting faculty at the Centre for Folk performing art and Culture of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University. Having taught Dhol to Prof Andrew Alter of Macquarie University, Australia and Prof Stefan Alter of Cincinnati University, United State amongst many others. He has also been nominated as the Visiting Faculty of Cincinnati University, United States. He remains beacon of hope for the sound of the drum to beat out a rhythm in the hills and valleys of Uttarakhand, for generations to come.