Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his home in Delhi in the early hours of Monday after suffering a heart attack, according to news agency PTI. He was 83.
A recipient of the India’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, he was born Brij Mohan Nath Mishra on February 4, 1937, in a well-known family of Kathak dancers. The news comes just days after his nephew and disciple Pt Munna Shukla passed away following a brief illness at 78.
President Ram Nath Kovind called the demise of the Kathak dancer, “the end of an era,” adding that his passing away, “leaves a deep void in the Indian music and cultural space”.
Pandit Birju Maharaj donned several hats during his lifetime. While he was best known as a Kathak dancer, he was an equally prolific singer, poet and painter.