New Delhi: Legendary Kathak dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Pandit Birju Maharaj has passed away in the wee hours of Monday after suffering a heart attack.
The 83-year-old doyen breathed his last in New Delhi.
Taking to Instagram, Pandit Birju Maharaj’s grandson Swaransh Mishra said, “With profound grief and sorrow we inform the sad and untimely demise of our most beloved member of the family, Pt. Birju Maharaj Ji. The noble soul left for his heavenly abode on 17th Jan 2022. Pray for the departed soul.. Grief-stricken: Maharaj family”
Singer Adnan Sami shared a picture and post on his Twitter with the caption, “Extremely saddened by the news about the passing away of Legendary Kathak Dancer- Pandit Birju Maharaj ji.
“We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of the performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius. May he rest in peace” along with folded hands and blaack heart emojis.
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit: “Sad to know about the demise of kathak legend & vocalist Padma Vibhushan Pandit #birjumaharaj ji after suffering a heart attack in Delhi. Its an end of an era. My heartfelt condolences to his family & near ones” along with folded hands emoji.
Pandit Birju Maharaj was born on February 4, 1938 in Lucknow. Initially his name was ‘Dukh Haran’, which was later changed to ‘Brijmohan’, a synonym of Krishna. Brijmohan Nath Misra was shortened to ‘Birju’, which remains the name he is fondly known by.
His father, Acchan Maharaj, recognised his talent and took him under his guidance. However, his father died soon leaving nine-year-old Birju under the guidance of Shambhu Maharaj. His uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj also taught him Kathak at an early age.
He was an exponent of Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Kathak.
The Government had honoured him with the country’s second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 1986. He received Sangeet Natak Academy Award at the age of 28.