Shambhu Maharaj

Shambhu Maharaj was the youngest of the three famous brothers, the other two being Achchan Maharaj and Luchchu Maharaj, all of whom were the sons of Kalika Prasad and nephews of Bindadin Maharaj. Shambhu received training in his early days from Bindadin and thereafter from his elder brother Achchan Maharaj. Besides concentrating on dancing Shambhu Mahaiaj also learnt classical Hindustani music, especially the Thumri-Anga, which he mastered under the guidance of Rahimuddin Khan, younger brother of the prominent exponent of Thumri of that time Moizuddin Khan. As he was proficient in both dancing and Thumri he could show his merit in Nritya and Nritta with great excellence, and hence occupied a unique position among the top notchers of dancing. He won numerous awards and titles, among them, Nirtya Samrat was bestowed upon him at the music conference at Dehra Dun, Abhinaya Chaktavarti at Madras and Padmashri by the Indian Government. He was also the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, award. True to the ideals of his Gharana, Shambhu Maharaj excelled in Bhava and revived to a great extent the use of Ashtapadis, and of certain Thumris and Bhajans and other Nritya pieces in Kathak. Among his innumerable disciples, a great number of them feature as prominent Kathak dance exponents of the present day. He endeavored hard to restore Kathak dance as the pure Natwari Nritya in its pristine glory and prestige. He was the Head of the Dance Department of Bharatiya Kala Kendra from 1955. He died suddenly of heart failure on 4th November 1970. Shambhu Maharaj was the father or four children, among whom two died in their childhood, leaving the other two alive viz , a son Krishna Mohan Nath, and a daughter Remeshwari.