Reminiscing ‘Ganashilpi’ Khagen Mahanta

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A well-known name in the history of Assamese music industry, Khagen Mahanta is being reminisced today on his 77th birth anniversary. Popularly known as the ‘Bihu Samrat’ was born on this day in 1942 in Nagaon.

Representing one of the most influential families in Assamese music, Khagen Mahanta showcased his talent from an early age of 15.

An active participant of the 1960 language movement in Assam under the guidance of Bishnuprasad Rabha, Hemanga Biswas and Jugal Das, Khagen Mahanta was a member of Harmony group, which popularised human values with music.

Mahanta’s first gramophone recorded song was aired in AIR’s Guwahati centre in 1961.

The ‘Bihu Samrat’ along with his wife Archana Mahanta, a folk singer and actor whom he married in 1973, were famous for popularising Bihu in and outside the state.

Few of his evergreen songs include Koi Jua Dakuwal, Khuj Kiyo Kabal, Ejar Phoola Dekhi, Tejore Kamalapati, O Rahimala, Barakhunar Botorot, O Phool Rmak, Chokla Tenati Akoloi etc.

Some of his awards/ recognitions are listed below:

1988 – Film Craft Award

1992 – Sangeet Natak Academy

1994 – Shrimoy Award

1999 – Sangeetacharya

The famous duo’s son Angarag ‘Papon’ Mahanta has also created his popularity with his voice and a complete genre of modern Assamese music.

However, on June 12, 2014 the ‘Ganashilpi’ left for his heavenly abode in the afternoon.

Today, on his birth anniversary, Assam chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal took to Twitter to write a few lines in his memory.

Sonowal is set to inaugurate the Ganashilpa Khagen Mahanta Udyan (Park) at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati this evening. The inauguration will be followed by a cultural event at Madhabdev International Auditorium in the same premises.

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