Legendary Kathak maestro, Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away early Monday morning after suffering a massive heart attack. He breathed his last in New Delhi’s Saket Hospital. The Padma Vibhushan awardee was receiving treatment over the past month. His grandson Swaransh Mishra shared the tragic news and said, “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.” 


Pandit Birju Maharaj was born on February 4th, 1938 and was the torchbearer of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana of the Lucknowi style of Kathak. He has represented India in various dance festivals in countries like Russia, USA, Japan, UK, UAE, France, Germany, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic among others. 


Pt Birju had given his immense contribution in the world of cinema as well. He has choreographed Satyajit Ray's 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi'; one featuring Amjad Khan as Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and another featuring Saswati Sen. The Kathak maestro has also choreographed Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit; once in the film ‘Dil To Pagal Hai' and again in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer’Devdas' (Kaahe chhed). He even choreographed a song in the Ameesha Patel starrer Gadar.