New Delhi: Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his home in Delhi late Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 83. Birju Maharaj was from Lucknow’s Kalka-Bindadin Gharana. He is survived by three daughters, two sons and five grandchildren.
A recipient Padma Vibhushan, he was fondly called Panditji or Maharajji by his disciples and legions of followers.
“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 said. Birju Maharaj was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj.