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Odishatv Bureau

Eminnet classical singer from Odisha, Pandit Damodar Hota breathed his last on Sunday due to old age-related ailments, his family said.

The renowned Hindustani vocalist was 88.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, many other noted personalities and fans condoled death of the famous vocalist. 

Odisha government has announced that his mortal remains will be cremated with full state honours on Tuesday.

"Pandit Hota's contribution to Indian classical music will be remembered for posterity, he said, extending condolences to the bereaved family.

Born on December 25, 1935 in Puri, Pandit Hota was trained in Odissi classical music by his father Gopinath Hota. He later received guidance in Odissi and Hindustani classical music from Guru Nrusinghanatha Khuntia, while Guru Kashinath Barika taught him to master tabla and mardala.

With scholarship from Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi, Hota also trained under Pandit Omkarnath Thakur and Pandit Balwantrai Bhatt.

Pandit Hota earned honours in Hindustani music from Banaras Hindu University, a PhD degree from the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal in Mumbai. His research on Odissi classical music in the 1960s was considered "ground-breaking" as it revealed the historical roots, distinct ragas, talas, and lakshyanas of the genre.

The Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi has honoured Pandit Hota with Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Award. He is credited to have mentored hundreds of classical music enthusiasts during his decades-long career.

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