Legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj passes away at 83 in Delhi

Birju Maharaj, a world-renowned Kathak dancer, passed away late on Sunday. A heart attack has been reported as the death cause of the 83-year-old artist. According to reports, Birju Maharaj was playing with his grandson late on Sunday, when he had a heart attack followed by unconsciousness. After this, his relatives took him to a hospital in Saket, Delhi, where he was declared brought dead. He had recovered from a kidney problem a few days back and was currently on dialysis. With the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, the Indian art world has lost a unique artist of its own.

Birju Maharaj, popularly known as Panditji or Maharajji, is considered one of the top Kathak dancers of the country. For decades he has been the head of the art world. He belongs to the Maharaja family of Kathak dancers. His uncles Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj were also Kathak dancers. Apart from this, his father and guru Achchan Maharaj was also a big artist of Hindustani classical music. Birju Maharaj will always be remembered for giving a social message through Kathak dance. Many big personalities of the art world have condoled his death.

Birju Maharaj choreographed dance for films like Devdas, Dedh Ishqiya, Umrao Jaan, and Baji Rao Mastani. He composed music for Satyajit Ray’s film ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’. Later, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1983 and also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Kalidas Samman. The Banaras Hindu University and Khairagarh University conferred honorary doctorates on Birju Maharaj.