Khagen Mahanta was a singer and composer of folk and traditional music of Assam. Khagen Mahanta was a notable person in Assamese folk music and known as the "King of Bihu". His Bihu songs, Borgeet and other folk songs remain popular in Assam. The artist, along with his wife Archana Mahanta and son Angaraag Mahanta who is known as Papon, represent one of the most influential families in Assamese music. He died on 12 June 2014.
|Died||12 June 2014 (aged 71)|
|Occupation||Singer , Composer|
|Children||Angaraag Mahanta , Kingkini Mahanta|
Khagen Mahanta was born to Harendra Nath Mahanta and Laxmipriya Deviin in Nagaon, Assam. He showed his musical talent from his childhood. At the age of fifteen he started performing in concerts in Shillong, where he was well received.
In 1958, he gained attention from Delhi Doordarshan (television) Center, which had just been established, and was given the opportunity to perform. His program was a great success.
During the "language movement" in 1960, Khagen Mahanta got actively involved in it under the leadership of personalities like Bishnuprasad Rabha, Hemanga Biswas, and Jugal Das. He was a member of the group "Harmony" and promoted human values[vague] with his melodious voice and compositions. In 1961, his first gramophone recorded song was broadcast from Guwahati All India radio center. He also participated in the "World Peace" festival in Calcutta. He was recognized as A grade artist in All India Radio[by whom?] and contributed in almost all genres of Assamese music like Lokageet, Okoni Geet, musicals, and dramas.
He was married to Archana Mahanta, also an Assamese folk singer. They performed together on many occasions, popularising Assamese folk music and earning a name as the most popular duet singers. Their son Angaraag Mahanta is also a singer like his parents and is popular in the genre of modern Assamese music; he lived in Mumbai. He has two grandchildren, Puhor and Parijaat. He also has a daughter, Kingkini Mahanta.
Khagen Mahanta died a sudden death at his own residence in Guwahati on the afternoon of 12 June 2014. The end came at 3:40 pm, sending shockwaves across the state. Mahanta is survived by his wife Archana Mahanta (who died in 2020) and son Angaraag Mahanta. State government declared a half holiday across the state on 13 June 2014.
Some of his awards/ recognitions are listed below:
- 1988 - Film Craft Award
- 1992 - Sangeet Natak Academy
- 1994 - Shrimoy Award
- 1999 - Sangeetacharya
- Staff Reporter (13 June 2014). "Legendary Assamese Singer Khagen Mahanta dies at 72". Times of Assam. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Khagen Mahanta is no more". The Telegraph. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Kashyap, Samudra Gupta (13 June 2014). "Khagen Mahanta, 'King of Bihu', dies". The Indian Express. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Other Forms of Music, Dance and Theatre Archived 14 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine