Legendary Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj, who was known for carrying forward the legacy of Lucknow Gharana in the Indian dance form, breathed his last on January 17, 2022. The legendary artist, fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his disciples and legions of followers, Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his home in Delhi late Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 83. He was also conferred with Padma Vibhushan by the Indian government for his contribution to Indian art. His grandson Swaransh Mishra confirmed the news via a social media post.

Taking to his Instagram handle, Swaransh Mishra shared a black and white picture of Birju Maharaj and penned a note informing his sudden death. He wrote, "With profound grief and sorrow we inform the sad and untimely demise of our most beloved member of the family, Pt. Birju Maharaj Ji" in the note. "The noble soul left for his heavenly abode on 17th Jan 2022. Pray for the departed soul.. Grief-stricken: Maharaj family", he added.

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 Saket Hospital in Delhi where he was declared dead.

Pandit Birju Maharaj was diagnosed with kidney disease a few days ago and had been on dialysis.