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An emotional farewell for Guru Kelucharan
Giridhar Gopal in Bhubaneswar | April 08, 2004 19:54 IST
Several hundred people today bid an emotional farewell to Odissi dance guru Kelucharan Mohapatra who died of cardiac arrest at his home at Bhimtangi in the capital Bhubaneswar yesterday.
A large number of admirers and disciples of the guru, including Sonal Mansingh and Kumkum Mohanty, arrived in the city on hearing the news.
A steady stream of visitors filed past Guruji's body at the Mohapatra residence last evening and this morning and paid their respects as strains of his recitals filled the air.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and some members of his council of ministers, leaders of opposition parties, film artistes, singers, dancers, and hundreds of grief-striken admirers of the 78 year-old guru visited his home.
Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat sent condolence messages to the family.
In the afternoon, his body was taken to his ancestral village Raghurajpur in Puri district for people there to see him one last time. From there it was taken to the Swarga Dwar [Gates of Heaven] at Puri and cremated this evening. His son Ratikanta lit the pyre.
A huge crowd gathered outside the funeral ground as well. Several people were wailing. Some fainted in grief. "An era has come to an end," leading Oriya film actor Bijay Mohanty said.
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