Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj passes away

According to media reports, Pandit Birju Maharaj died of a heart attack at the age of 83.

Updated on Jan 17, 2022 06:47 PM IST  |  353.5K
Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj passes away
Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj passes away (pic credit: Swaransh Mishra FB)
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The nation woke up to the heartbreaking news of the sudden demise of Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj. He was 83. According to media reports, he died of a heart attack. As per a report published in NDTV, he was playing with his grandsons at his residence when he fell unconscious. While he was rushed to the hospital soon after, the hospital authorities reportedly declared him brought dead. The reports also suggested that Pandit Birju Maharaj has been on dialysis after he was diagnosed with kidney disease a few days ago.

The news has been confirmed by the family which has released a statement that reads as, “With profound grief and sorrow we inform the sad and untimely demise of our most beloved member of the family Pandit Birju Maharaj Ji. The noble soul left for his heavenly abode on 17th January 2022. Pray for the departed soul”. Talking about his demise, Pandit Birju Maharaj's grand daughter Ragini Maharaj told ANI, "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. He loved gadgets, always wanted to buy them at the earliest. He always said, if not a dancer, he'd have been a mechanic, his image in my mind will always be smiling". For the uninitiated, Pandit ji or Maharaj ji, as he was fondly referred as by his disciples, was one of the best known Kathak dancers in India. In fact, he was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers which includes his uncles Shambhu Maharaj, Lachhu Maharaj and his father Acchan Maharaj.

While Pandit Birju Maharaj’s unfortunate demise has sent a wave of grief across the nation, fans and celebs are taking to social media to pay their condolence. Adnan Sami took to micro blogging site Twitter and wrote, “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”.

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