October 17, 2021

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Pandit Birju Maharaj

Pandit Birju Maharaj

Pandit Birju Maharaj: Quick Info

Place of Start: Lucknow, India

Start Title: Brijmohan Mishra

Occupation: Classical dancer, composer, classical singer

Youngsters: Deepak Maharaj, Jaikishan Maharaj, Mamta Maharaj

Father: Acchan Maharaj

Mom: Ammaji Maharaj

Awards: Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Kalidas Samman, Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Choreography, Filmfare Award


Birju Maharaj is a number one exponent and torch-bearer of Kathak dance type. He’s the one son and disciple of Shri Achhan Maharaj and a well-known face of Indian Kathak dance everywhere in the world. He has carried out in a number of international locations. He is an excellent singer with a robust grip over, Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan and Ghazals. He gave his first efficiency on the age of seven. Pandit Birju Maharaj isn’t solely a Kathak dancer but additionally a delicate poet and fascinating orator.

His fixed try to take Kathak to an entire new degree fructified when he managed to make folks pay attention to this dance type, not solely in India however within the western international locations as properly. Launched to Kathak at a really younger age, Birju went on to grasp the nuances of arguably probably the most troublesome classical dances of India. Recognized for his facial expressions and nimble ft actions, Pandit Birju Maharaj is taken into account because the epitome of Kathak by many.


Birju Maharaj was born into the home of famend Kathak proponent, Jagannath Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana. Birju’s father, popularly referred to as Achhan Maharaj, spent a lot of his time instructing younger Birju, the basics of Kathak. He additionally accompanied his father to the locations the place he was invited to exhibit his expertise. Consequently, Birju began studying the dance at a really younger age. His uncles, Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj, additionally guided him in studying Kathak. In 1947, a catastrophic occasion struck Birju when he misplaced his father. After the unlucky demise of Achhan Maharaj, the household moved to Bombay, the place Birju continued studying the nuances of Kathak from his uncles. On the age of 13, he was invited to Delhi to show at Sangeet Bharati.

Making Delhi his House

Birju Maharaj has spent the final a number of many years of his life in Delhi. However for a younger boy, shifting to Delhi from Lucknow was fairly intimidating as talked about by him in certainly one of his interviews. In actual fact, he has mentioned that he would usually get misplaced within the streets of Delhi till he made Regal Cinema his common landmark. Younger Birju would first journey to Regal Cinema after which discover his method again dwelling or to his institute. However now, Delhi is just about dwelling for him, as he likes to spend a lot of his time at his dwelling in Lutyens’ Delhi.

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Life as a Trainer

Birju Maharaj began his profession as a instructor when he was simply 13 years previous. After a profitable stint at Sangeet Bharati, the place he started his profession, he went on to show on the well-known Bharatiya Kala Kendra. Quickly, he was introduced with the chance to go a workforce of academics on the Kathak Kendra, a unit of Sangeet Natak Akademi. After serving because the Head of School on the Kathak Kendra for a few years, he retired in 1998 on the age of 60.

Dwelling his Dream

Beginning his personal dance college was all the time a dream and ambition of Birju Maharaj. This was realized quickly after his retirement, when he began Kalashram. In Kalashram, the scholars are educated within the area of Kathak, and different related disciplines like vocal and instrumental music, yoga, portray, Sanskrit, dramatics, stagecraft and so on. Pandit Birju Maharaj is a agency believer {that a} dancer should have sufficient information of music. Additionally, since it is necessary for a Kathak dancer to have management over his breath, she or he will profit immensely from training


The school rooms, apply halls and amphitheatre of Kalashram replicate a shade of rural set-up amidst the busy and fast-moving city way of life. The pure environment, with quite a few bushes and ponds are extraordinarily inspiring and brings everybody throughout the institute nearer to the easy, unassuming but wealthy heritage of the nation.

The target of the institute is to provide extremely proficient college students who wouldn’t solely show worthy of the coaching they obtain, however would additionally lead a modest, humble and disciplined way of life.

Birju Maharaj the Musician & Lyricist

Since music is an integral a part of any dance type, Birju Maharaj began studying music on the age of seven. He is an excellent singer with a robust grip over Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan and Ghazals – types of Indian music. He has additionally tried his hand at writing and written just a few poems. He has additionally written lyrics for a lot of ballet compositions.

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Movie Profession

Pandit Birju Maharaj can also be a famous movie persona. Within the film ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’, directed by the well-known Satyajit Ray, Birju Maharaj had composed two dance sequences for which he had lent his voice as properly. Within the 2002 movie ‘Devdas’, Birju had choreographed the music ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe.’ He has additionally labored as a choreographer in well-known films like ‘Dedh Ishqiya’, ‘Umrao Jaan’, and ‘Bajirao Mastani.’ In 2013, he went on to make his South Indian film debut when he choreographed the music ‘Unnai Kaanatha Naan’ for the Kamal Haasan starrer ‘Vishwaroopam.’


Birju Maharaj is a number one exponent and torch-bearer of the Kalka-Bindadin Gharana. Aside from his apparent contributions (that are immense), his effort to make Kathak a well known dance type everywhere in the world is outstanding. He has carried out in numerous international locations making folks everywhere in the world take a observe of this magnificent dance type. Because of his dance college ‘Kalashram’, his contribution in direction of Kathak will resonate all through the globe for many years to come back.


Pandit Birju Maharaj has gained a number of honors and awards together with the coveted Padma Vibhushan (1986). He has been awarded with the Kalidas Samman by the Authorities of Madhya Pradesh. He has additionally been honored with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Soviet Land Nehru Award and Sangam Kala Award amongst different awards. In 2002, he was honored with the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskaar. Pandit Birju Maharaj has additionally been conferred with honorary Doctorate levels from Khairagarh College and Banaras Hindu College.

In 2012, he bagged the Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Choreography for the film ‘Vishwaroopam.’ He additionally went on to win Tamil Nadu State Movie Award for Finest Choreographer for a similar film. In 2016, he bagged the Filmfare Award for Finest Choreography for the movie ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Birju Maharaj the Mystic

Being an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, mysticism comes naturally to Pandit Birju Maharaj. His curiosity in all issues non secular and the way in which he observes the dance of nature (whistling of wind, rumbling of clouds, swaying of bushes amongst different issues) makes him a pure mystic. He even believes that any dance type is deeply related with spiritualism and that one can understand God or the upper supply via dance.

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A Day with Birju Maharaj

Pandit Birju Maharaj believes that any dance type is a stability between one’s thoughts and soul. That is precisely why the dancer offers significance to practices like meditation and Yoga. Though Yoga helps him in enhancing his breath management, which in flip helps his dancing expertise, meditation, he says, helps him to be taught from his errors. This is the reason, he by no means fails to meditate (he says his morning rituals and bed-time prayers put him in a meditative state).

His each day life is crammed with occasions and performances as he travels extensively, nonetheless making an attempt his finest to unfold the information of Kathak everywhere in the world. In whichever a part of the world he’s, Birju Maharaj’s meals habits stay the identical. Greens, dal, rice and roti type his on a regular basis menu.

For a person with immense information, Birju Maharaj can shock you with the way in which he strives to know extra. Although many distinguished dancers take into account him to be their guru, Birju likes to imagine that he’s nonetheless a humble scholar of the dance type. He says that when one stops studying they have a tendency to excellent their respective artwork type which is nothing however an phantasm.

Private Life

Aside from his ardour for wonderful arts, Birju Maharaj has ardour for vehicles. He had as soon as talked about in certainly one of his interviews that he would have turn into a mechanic, had his dancing expertise been unnoticed. Even at this time, he’s a giant fan of devices. His favourite pastime is ripping aside devices like tv units and cellphones and rearranging them as they have been earlier than. The 79-year-old legend additionally likes to spend time watching Hollywood flicks. Amongst his favourite motion heroes, Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone get the highest most slots.

Birju Maharaj has 5 youngsters – two sons and three daughters. Amongst his 5 youngsters, Deepak Maharaj, Jai Kishan Maharaj and Mamta Maharaj are distinguished Kathak dancers. Birju Maharaj’s spouse handed away 15 years in the past.

Post source : culturalindia

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