MUMBAI: India's leading Kathak exponent and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Pt. Birju Maharaj passed away early Monday after suffering a heart attack.
A recipient of the country’s second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, he was born as Brij Mohan Nath Mishra on February 4, 1937, in a well-known Kathak dancing family.
The news comes just days after his nephew and disciple Pt Munna Shukla passed away following a brief illness at 78.
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.
His grandson Swaransh Mishra shared the news of his demise on social media and wrote, “Very sad to announce..Pt birju maharaj ji …my nana ji is no more. With profound grief and sorrow, we inform the sad and untimely demise of our most beloved member of the family Pt Birju Maharaj ji. The noble soul left for his heavenly abode on 17th January 2022.
Ragini Maharaj, granddaughter of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj pays homage.
Pandit ji was born on February 4, 1938, into the family of Kathak revivalist Ishwari Prasadji, Birju Maharaj was the son of Pt Achhan Maharaj. Initially his name was Dukh Haran, which was later changed to Brij Mohan Nath Mishra and shortened to ‘Birju’.