crafting the tabla

I was looking for a place in Lahore where Piano could be found and purchased from and came across this wonderful article by Saqib Razaq about tabla here.


The tabla is arguably the most popular percussion instrument in South Asia and used in accompaniment to both classical and light forms of music. The instrument consists of two drums commonly known as the dayaan and bayaan, each employing a different playing technique. One of the major reasons for the popularity of the tabla is its distinct tonal quality, which is mainly derived from the complex manner in which the instrument is constructed. Located 80 kilometres from the cultural capital of the Punjab, in Lahore, Dhonkal had a reputation for being the centre point for purchasing high quality tablas.

Tabla players would travel long distances and pay handsome amounts to get their tabla made by the likes of Natthu Khan, Mian Imam Din, Bassay Khan and Baba Nabba. Following partition, many of the Dhonkal based craftsmen shifted to the major cities of Pakistan, the majority of which are now settled in the Heera Mandi vicinity of Lahore. Even today, the clan proudly displays the name of their village on the signboards of their small and cramped shops for symbolising the high standards of craftsmanship.

The origin of tabla making in Dhonkal dates back almost 250 years. The Dhonkal tabla makers maintain that the craft has been within their family for almost seven generations, beginning from Mian Baana, a resident of Dhonkal, who was gifted the profession by his spiritual guru or

1 Comment so far

  1. Hyder (unregistered) on December 11th, 2005 @ 3:07 pm

    Please tell me where can i get voilen in lahore… please tell me the place from where i can purchase it

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