Mardala exponent Banamali Maharana passes away at 77

Bhubaneswar: Renowned percussionist Guru Banamali Maharana passed away due to old-age ailments here on Saturday. He was 77.

Guru Maharana was undergoing treatment at a private-run hospital here, where he breathed his last.

Born on May 16,1941 in Raghurajpur village of Puri district,Maharana played a key role to popularise mardala as a classical music instrument.

Maharana began his formal training of playing Mardala and Tabla at Annapurna Theatre in Puri.

Later, he accompanied to noted Odissi legend late Kelucharan Mahapatra and started playing Mardala in Odissi music and dance. He was also an accompanying percussionist for Odissi dancers like Sanjukta Panigrahi, Priyambada Hejmadi, Sonal Mansingh, Aruna Mohanty and Sujata Mohapatra.

Maharana also taught in Kala Vikas Kendra at Cuttack and subsequently, moved to the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya here as lecturer . He retired in 1999.

Maharana was conferred the prestigious Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1994, Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2004 and the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Sanman in 2016.

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