The founder of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in the Bhonsle Maratha clan to Shahaji and Jijabai on February 19, 1630, in present-day Maharashtra. His father was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates. Shivaji was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad on 6 June, 1674 for the first time and on September 24, 1674, for the second time.
SHIVAJI CORONATION: HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE
- The event proved to be a milestone in Maratha history as it also marked the beginning of Hindavi Swarajya in India.
- It was on this day when Shivaji was given the title of ‘Shakakarta’ which means ‘founder of an era’ in English and ‘Chhatrapati’ (paramount sovereign).
- He also took the title of Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith) during his coronation ceremony.
- It is also significant to know that on this day, Shivaji was given the title of ‘Shakakarta’ which means ‘founder of an era’ in English and ‘Chhatrapati’ (paramount sovereign).
- He also got the title of Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith) during his coronation ceremony in Raigad, a district currently in the Konkan division.
SHIVAJI CORONATION: CELEBRATIONS
- Every year the day is celebrated in Maharashtra, especially in Raigad where people organise a coronation ceremony for Shivaji at Raigad Fort.
- They wish each other a happy coronation day, and offer wreaths to the statue of Shivaji. However, due to Covid-19 pandemic, celebrations are expected to be curtailed due to the social distancing norms.
HERE ARE SOME FACTS ABOUT THE WARRIOR KING:
- Shivaji was born in the Bhonsle Maratha clan to Shahaji and Jijabai on February 19, 1630, in present-day Maharashtra. His father was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates.
- As per several beliefs and accounts, Shivaji was named after Lord Shiva. However, scholars suggest that it was Shivai, a local diety after whom he was named.
- Shivaji was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad in 1674.
- He was a skilled commander and valiant warrior. He was extremely skilled at guerrilla-style warfare and planned stealthy war operations. He was often referred to as the ‘mountain rat’ for his art of stealthy warfare.
- Although, he was a keen learner with deep knowledge of religious texts including Ramayana and Mahabharata, he didn’t have any formal schooling.
- He is also known for reviving the Hindu political and courtly traditions. He promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit language in administrative processes instead of the widely used language Persian.
- He set up the council of eight ministers or Ashta Pradhan Mandal, an administrative and advisory council that advised Shivaji on various political and administrative matters.
- He was the first indigenous ruler of medieval India to build his own naval force and led his first full-fledged naval expedition in 1665.
- He was a secular king and had many Muslims in his army and office such as Ibrahim Khan and Daulat Khan who were prominent in the navy and Siddi Ibrahim the chief of artillery.
- He was a great champion of woman’s rights and had passed rules that forbade dishonour of women. Any crime against women was severely punished. His soldiers and officers were strictly forbidden from womanising and never allowed the taking of women captives.
- Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery in 1680 and passed away on 3rd April at the age of 52.