Birju Maharaj :  Legendary kathak dancer, dies at 83

Pandit Birju Maharaj, affectionately known as Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his disciples and legions of admirers, was one of India's most well-known artists.

A recipient of the country's second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan. Kathak legend died at his home in Delhi late Sunday after suffering a heart attack.

The Kathak exponent had been suffering from a kidney ailment and was under dialysis treatment

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.

According to his official website, the Kathak icon was also a fantastic drummer,  He was particularly fond of playing the Tabla and Naal.

Birju Maharaj was also a singer par excellence, having command over Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan and Ghazal

Birju Maharaj, according to sources, was playing with his grandsons late on Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he passed out.

Narendra Modi said his death is an "irreparable loss"  to the entire art world, Nirmala Sitharaman described the artiste as a "legend of performing arts".