Legendary Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was 83. He was at his home in Delhi.
Brijmohan Mishra, fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his students and followers, he was one of India's best known artistes.
According to reports, Birju Maharaj, a recipient of the country's second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, 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.
Birju Maharaj has choreographed several songs in Bollywood including Kaahe Chhede Mohe for Devdas (2002) and Mohe Rang Do Laal in Bajirao Mastani (2015).
Birju Maharaj was from the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India. He was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers. His two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj are also patrons of the field. Birju Maharaj was also known for Hindustani classical music and as a vocalist.
Birju Maharaj was also a singer par excellence, having command over Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan and Ghazal.