Alam Lohar (Urdu: محمد عالم لوہار, Punjabi: ਆਲਮ ਲੋਹਾਰ; 1928 – 3 July 1979) was a prominent Punjabi folk music from the Punjab region of Pakistan, formerly British India. He is credited with popularising the musical term Jugni.
Alam Lohar was born in 1928 in Achh, a village in Kharian Tehsil, Gujrat District of Punjab, British India. He was born into a family ofblacksmiths. As a child, Lohar read Sufiana Kalaam, a collection of Punjabi stories and poetry.
Alam Lohar developed a new style of singing the Punjabi Vaar, an epic or folk tale which made him popular when he toured villages and towns in the Punjab region. He is famous for his rendition of Waris Shah’s Heer along with other songs such as Sail-Ul-Malook. He recorded his first album at the age of 13 and has outsold all other singers in Pakistan at the time (Verified in records kept with HMV Pakistan 1979)
In his childhood he used to read sufiana kalaams, Punjabi stories and participate as a young child in local elderly gatherings expressing a vocal only art form in reading passages of great poets. From many of the gatherings out of the rural background rose a great singer that could influence his audience with elements of joy peace, happiness and sadness. Further he started going to festivals and gatherings on a regular basis and within these performances he rose to become one of the most listened to singers in South Asia during the 70s.
In the 1970s Alam Lohar started to tour different countries including United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, United States and Germany for the South Asian communities.
Alam Lohar died in a fatal accident near Sham ki Bhattian on 3 July 1979 when a heavy load truck collided with his vehicle when the truck failed to overtake His car. He was buried at the outskirts of Lalamusa in Pakistan.Upon the news of his death the president of Pakistan Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq honored Alam Lohar with Pakistan’s highest civil award for arts and theater the Pride of Performance in the same year.
Sign directing visitors to the burial place of Alam Lohar in LalaMusa, Punjab, Pakistan.
Alam Lohar’s death was unexpected, many singers in Pakistan and India including Lal Chand Yamla Jatt, Noor Jehan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan expressed sadness on the passing of Alam Lohar in a television broadcast on the 10th anniversary of Alam’s death. One of Alam Lohar’s Son Arif Lohar followed the tradition of his father and is also regarded as a famous folk singer in Pakistan. Throughout the period of 1930s and until his death in 1979 he has dominated folk singing in Pakistan and been a major singer in Punjabi and Sufi singing throughout the entire World. In many rural villages the local traditional people have called him ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ or ‘Heerah’ meaning diamond.
Some of Alam lohar’s songs have achieved critical acclaim and have contributed to the music and culture of the Punjab most notably Jugni, Bol Mitti De Baweya, Wajan Mariyan Bulaya, Saif-uk-mulook, Dil Wala Dukhra and Shahbaz Qualander (Dhamaal). Alam Lohar is regarded as one of Pakistan’s iconic performers who still remains popular in the region