Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his home in Delhi late Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 83.
According to reports, Birju Maharaj was playing with his grandsons late on Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he became unconscious. He was taken to hospital where he was declared 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, Birju Maharaj’s granddaughter, told ANI.
The Kathak exponent had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under dialysis treatment.
A recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, he was fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his disciples and legions of followers, and was one of India’s best known artistes.