Eminent Assamese folk singer and Bihu Samrat Khagen Mahanta passed away today at his residence in Nigajipam in Guwahati. He was suffering from coronary and related ailments for the last year and passed away at 3:30 p.m.
He was 72 and is survived by his singer wife Archana Mahanta, son and popular singer Angarag ‘Papon’ Mahanta and daughter Kingkini Mahanta.
Khagen Mahanta was born to Harendra Nath Mahanta and Laxmipriya Deviin in Nagaon Assam on August 17, 1942. He showed his musical talent from his childhood and performed in concerts from the age of 15. He also got the opportunity of singing in Delhi Doordarshan in 1959, i.e., in inaugural year of the channel’s launch.
Khagen Mahanta along with his wife was well-known for popularising Bihu songs on stages across the state and outside. Ejar Phoola Dekhi Bejar Kiyo Koro, Ma Aami Xadiyaloi Jame, Kolore Patote Kauri Pore, Paaro Sorai Uri Gol Pale Nodir Paar, etc are some of his most popular numbers.
Besides Bihu songs, he was also famous for performing Borgeet, Lokageet and folk music of different communities of the region. An A grade artist of the All India Radio, Khagen Mahanta also actively participated in 1960’s “language movement”.
He was member of the group called “Harmony” and popularized human values with his melodious voice and compositions. Mahanta was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy award, Sangeetacharya, Film Craft Award and Shrimoyee award.