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Dapu Khan and Group

By July 20, 2018August 3rd, 2018Rajasthan

Living Legend of Kamaicha


Sitting atop the Jaisalmer Fort and amongst the last of artists to carry forward the legacy of an instrument as old as time, Dapu Khan ji has been entertaining people from around the world for thirty years.

As one visits him in his native village and wonders what keeps Dapu ji travel a hundred and fifty miles daily, then walk all the way up to the Queen’s Palace, he steps in with a polite voice, “This Khamaicha here! There are very few people left who play this; some of them in Pakistan and a bunch of us here in India. If we stop playing the world will be denied of a wonderful sound.”

Khamaicha is the oldest instrument in the recorded history of Rajasthani folk culture and is regarded as the favourite instrument of Hindu Gods. And sitting all day at the portals of the rampart yet living Fort of Jaisalmer, one may mistake Dapu ji from his humble appearance; but he has played at the White House amongst other prestigious venues and in this journey his biggest support has been his nephews Kailash and Jassu, and his son Ridhu who join him on the stage to create magic.

Born to a family of the ancient Miraasi tribe, Dapu Khan’s family history goes back to a time when Gandharv Kanyas (maidens) used to dance in the courts of Hindu God Indra and as much as the group takes pride in their cultural heritage, the young members of the group Ridhu, Jassu and Kailash are enthusiastic about their Folk and are working towards keeping the light shining and pass on the legacy to the coming generations.

While Dapu ji’s fragile hands set the mood for the group’s performances, young Jassu dons the Dholak and Khartaal to provide a rhythm. In his ten years of playing he has travelled all over India, much like his brother Ridhu who composes his own songs to give a modern touch to this age-old art. Time made them realize formal education will not be of much help, being from the small village in the conflict-ridden land near India-Pakistan LOC and they took no time in joining Dapu Ji in following their family tradition of performing Folk music to entertain people. They’re both still training under Dapu ji, even as they have been performing for more than a decade.

Kailash completes the group with harmonium and vocals and wittingly recalls how he found his freedom when his teacher asked him to perform on the occasion of Independence Day celebrations in his school. Search for work and a source of earning lead him to Pune and eventually Mumbai, but fortune lead him back to his roots in the form of a neglected harmonium in a furniture shop he used to work in.

As the group recalls their times playing together, a smile breaks on their face and they admit the fact that there have been more struggles than laurels. At the same time, they are content with what they have achieved, and the respect they get from people across India and abroad has motivated fellow villagers to send their children to Dapu Khan ji to learn these timeless melodies.


  • Abhishek says:

    Hello sir
    I’m really impress by your song.Mumal.but, I’m not able to understand the meaning of this song.please send me Hindi and English translation of this song.
    I like your voice and way of singing. Whenever I hear it seems like..kuch adhura H jo abhi tak pura nhi hua.. Much to hai jo piche chhut gya..adhurepan ka ehshah hota H.

  • Anoop singh parmar says:

    Really you are superstar Mr. Daapu Khan

  • ASHOK OJHA says:


  • koushal says:

    Really Dhpu Khan Ji you are super star in Rajasthan.
    I’m really impress by your song.Mumal

  • Jatinder Saini says:

    Dapu ji is a Darwesh soul and a true legendary folk singer, there is some attraction in his soulful voice, I have heard Mumal & Mahindra song several times since hear for the first time in last week and become a fan of Dapu ji, if possible please share lyrics in Hindi or English. Also please make more good quality videos and share on you tube or any other social media so more people can get chance to know him and hear this legendary voice.

  • Rahul says:

    Hello, I hail from Rajasthan too from my maternal side. The music of Rajasthan has always intrigued me. I would like to invite your group to Delhi. Kindly let me know as to how do I go about it.

  • Arpit says:

    In the song Mumal by drishyam, Dapu Khan ji has really injected soul to the music.
    Though I did not even understand the meaning of song but I played in loop to only listen his voice.
    I wish I could get privilege to hear him in person.
    Wishing him a long and healthy life.

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