Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the sudden death of Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj.
In his tweet, Modi acknowledged Pandit Birju Maharaj's remarkable contribution to the Indian dance form. "Extremely saddened after learning about the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj, who gave Indian art a special recognition across the globe. It's an irreparable loss to the entire art world. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans. Om Shanti," he tweeted.

Maharaj-ji, as he was popularly known, died surrounded by his family on Monday after suffering breathlessness. He was 83.
Reportedly, the Kathak exponent had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under treatment for the past one month.

Apart from being a renowned Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj was also a well-known classical singer and had lent his voice to several films.
For his remarkable contribution, the government of India had honoured him with the country's second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, in 1986.