Legendary Kathak Dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj Passes Away Aged 83

Legendary Kathak Dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj Passes Away Aged 83

Legendary Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away late on Sunday at his residence aged 83 after suffering from a cardiac arrest.

One of India's best-known artists, he was fondly known as Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his disciples and followers. He was also the recipient of the country's second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan.

He was reportedly playing with his grandsons at his residence right before collapsing and becoming unconscious. He was declared dead after being rushed to the hospital.

Earlier, he had been diagnosed with a kidney disease a few days ago and was under dialysis.

He was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj.

Maharaj was also a great drummer with the ability to play nearly all drums with ease and precision. He was especially fond of playing the Tabla and Naal.

He could also sing Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, and Ghazal.

Singer Adnan Sami tweeted on his demise, "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".

"India has lost a jewel," tweeted filmmaker Ashoke Pandit.

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