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Renowned Kathak Dancer Padma Vibhushan Birju Maharaj Passes Away Due To Heart Attack

Kathak-Legend-Pandit-Birju-Maharaj-Passes-Away-At-Age-83

Highlights:

  • Birju Maharaj belonged to the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers.
  • He was also a remarkable singer, poet, and drummer in addition to dancing.
  • The Kathak legend was suffering from kidney ailment and was undergoing dialysis therapy.

Pandit Birju Maharaj, a Kathak maestro, died late Sunday at his residence in Delhi of a heart attack. He was 83 years old.

He was one of India’s most well-known performers and a recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. By his disciples and legions of followers, he was fondly known as Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji.

According to reports, Birju Maharaj was playing with his grandchildren late Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he passed out. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors declared him dead.

“He was under treatment for the past month. He had sudden breathlessness at around 12:15-12:30 am last night; we brought him to the hospital within 10 mins, but he passed away,” Ragini Maharaj, granddaughter of Pandit Birju Maharaj, informed ANI.

The Kathak maestro had a kidney ailment and was undergoing dialysis treatment.

Birju Maharaj was a member of the Kathak dancer Maharaj family, which included his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, as well as his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj.

According to his official website, the Kathak legend was a superb drummer who could play nearly any drum with ease and accuracy; he was particularly fond of playing the Tabla and Naal.

Birju Maharaj was equally a great singer, mastering Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, and Ghazal.

He was a superb storyteller, intertwining his performances with experiences from his life, which he narrated to fascinate the audience. He was also highly observant, and he usually had something to say about everyday events, keeping those around him entertained with realistic imitations and vivid descriptions.

“He was with us when this happened. He had his dinner and we were playing ‘antakshari’ because he loved old music. He was lying down… and suddenly his breathing became uneven. We think it was cardiac arrest as he was also a heart patient.

“This happened between 12.15 and 12.30 am. It must have been just a minute or so. We rushed to the hospital but unfortunately, we could not save him. He died before reaching the hospital,” Ragini Maharaj, Birju Maharaj’s granddaughter and a Kathak dancer herself, stated.

“Two of his disciples and his two granddaughters, my younger sister Yasyashashwini and me, were with him when this happened. He was laughing and smiling in his last moments,” she said.

As word of the Kathak maestro’s demise spread, condolences flooded in. He would have been 84 on February 4th.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described his death as an “irreparable loss” to the art world as a whole.

President Ram Nath Kovind dubbed the Kathak dancer’s death “the end of an era,” adding that his death “leaves a deep void in the Indian music and cultural space.”

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Vice President Venkaiah Naidu stated, “A living heritage of Indian culture has come to an end with the death of Pandit Birju Maharaj ji, the world famous guru of Kathak dance. My heartfelt condolences to his family, art fans and his disciples.”

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Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey is a content writer who has a keen interest in politics, fashion, and lifestyle. She is a post-graduate in Economics and loves to listen to classic old Hindi songs and travel to new places in her leisure time. Her writing is well researched, covering important aspects and core of the topic covering crucial points.
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