Along with family members, her disciples and several music lovers are expected to gather at the Manikarnika Ghat on the banks of the Ganga where she will be cremated.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who paid floral tributes at a portrait of Girija Devi at the circuit house, asked district authorities to conduct her last rites with full state honours.
Yogi Adityanath also announced that the 'Sanskritik Sankul', which is Varanasi's cultural centre, will be named after the Padma Shri awardee. The chief minister said she had helped elevate the profile of Thumri in her lifetime.
Gifted with a resonating magical voice that captivated listeners of Hindustani classical music for generations, Girija Devi earned the title of 'Thumri Queen'.
Born on May 8, 1929, Ms Devi spent her childhood in Varanasi, where she said she considered herself "more as a boy, than a girl". At the age of five, she began her journey in music, taking classes under her first guru - vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra.
Her father, Ramdeo Rai, encouraged her to learn various activities like swimming, horse riding and stick fighting, although she never took an interest in studying. At a tender age, she learnt Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar, Tarana, Indian folk music and Bhajan. With Varanasi being a hub of both Hindu and Muslim classical singers, the elements from both traditions enriched her repertoire and increased her knowledge.
Her first visit to Kolkata came in 1952. Two and a half decades later, it would become her home as she immediately fell in love with the city due to its "deep love for music and culture". Over the years she was widely feted, both at home and abroad. A regular performer on AIR and Doordarshan, she also has numerous audio cassettes and CDs to her name.
Girija Devi has been awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Even at a ripe old age, singing was her life force. "If I can eat, walk, talk, then why should not I sing?" she had remarked sometime before her 80th birthday.
She was 88 years old when she died.
With inputs from IANS
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