New Delhi: Pandit Ravi Shankar was a global ambassador of India's cultural heritage and a national treasure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here on Wednesday while condoling the death of the sitar maestro in a San Diego hospital.

"An era has passed away with Pandit Ravishankar. The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a message on micro-blogging site Twitter.

"A national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage," it added.

Pandit Ravi Shankar, one of India's best known musicians, died in San Diego Tuesday. He was 92.

Mourning the death, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said India has lost a distinguished son.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said, "With the death of Panditji, an era in classical music has come to an end. He was truly a multi-faceted personality. Through his passion for music, he linked generations together and taught the world the role and relevance of music in our lives.
"Through the strings of his sitar he presented to the world, the richness of Indian classical tradition in music. His innovations gave us a perfect blend of jugalbandi of different musical traditions, he said.

Indian ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said on Twitter Ravi Shankar was the world's best known exponent of Indian music. "His last concert was particularly poignant. Anoushka and he played together in perfect unison."

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered her condolences to the family members of Panditji and said the sitar maestro's deep-rooted bond with the state would always be treasured.
"His passing away will create an irreparable void in music and performing arts. His deep-rooted bond with Bengal will be treasured forever in our hearts," she said, adding that the Bharat Ratna awardee had taken Indian classical music to a position of "rare aura" in the world.


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