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Private funeral service for Pandit Ravi Shankar on Sunday

December 16, 2012 12:15 IST

The funeral service for legendary sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar will be held on Sunday near his home in Encinitas in San Diego, California.

Ravi Shankar passed away on December 11 near his home in Encinitas. He was 92.

His health had been fragile for several years. On Thursday, he had undergone a surgery to replace a heart valve at the Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he passed away.

According to a close family friend, several dignitaries have been invited for the memorial service, which will be held on December 20.

"The funeral service is strictly private. It is not for the public or the media," the family friend told

The memorial service will be held at Encinitas Temple of the Self-Realisation Fellowship located in Encinitas. The service is scheduled to be held at 10.30 am.

According to the family friend, Ravi Shankar's wife Sukanya was still in a state of shock. Panditji, as he was fondly known, had been hospitalised many times before, and he had made a quick recovery each time. His family members had expected the same when he was hospitalised this time

Meanwhile, a press note released on Friday by Ravi Shankar's family members said they are discussing the possibility of organising public concerts in New York and London to celebrate the maestro's music.

Ravi Shankar's daughter Anoushka Shankar stated on her Facebook page, "The Shankar family is extremely touched and grateful by the outpouring of support and kind wishes. Thank you all for the messages and memories you have shared with me since my Father passed away. They have made his image in my heart still more full, bright, and beautiful. He will live on in the music he gave us, and I feel him around me so strongly still."

Norah Jones, elder daughter of Ravi Shankar, posted videos of Ravi performing on her Facebook page. She stated, "He is 51 in the first clip and 92 in the second clip, and an inspiration in both. I love you and miss you Pops."

Sukanya Shankar, his wife of 23 years, stated, "He has always belonged to the public, whom he loved and cherished."

The family is also encouraging people to help carry on Shankar's mission of peace through music by donating either to the Ravi Shankar Foundation or to their favourite charity in Ravi's name this holiday season.

Ritu Jha