The Maharashtra government is celebrating the birth anniversary of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on Monday (March 21). Shivaji is regarded as the greatest warrior king of the Maratha empire.
Though the official celebrations take place on February 19, according to the Gregorian calendar, the ruling Shiv Sena recognises Shivaji’s birthday as per the Hindu calendar – on the third (Tritiya) day of Falgun Vadya (month of Falgun). Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) too is celebrating the birth anniversary today.
During the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government, Shiv Sena leaders had written letters to then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding the celebrations be held according to Marathi traditions.
Chhatrapati Shivaji was born in 1630, in Pune’s Shivneri Durg. Founder of the Maratha kingdom, Chhatrapati Shivaji was natural leader and a great warrior.
Chhatrapati Shivaji had won several wars against the Mughals and carved out the Maratha empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned as the ‘Chhatrapati’ or emperor.
This is the 392nd birth anniversary of the great Maratha ruler.
10 things to know about Chhatrapati Shivaji:
- Shivaji was devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was a deeply religious and courageous woman
- He was interested in religious teachings and regularly sought the company of Hindu saints
- Contrary to popular belief, Shivaji was not named after Lord Shiva – he was named after a regional Goddess Shivai
- Chhatrapati Shivaji was called the ‘Mountain Rat’ and was widely known for his guerrilla warfare tactics
- Shivaji was known for engaging in both alliances and warfares with the Mughal rulers
- Shivaji’s forces expanded the Maratha empire, capturing and building great forts
- Shivaji was a pioneer in building a naval force and an extremely competent army
- When he was just 15, Shivaji persuaded Inayat Khan, the commander of Bijapuri to hand over the Torna Fort to him
- Shivaji’s encounter with Afzal Khan is well documented in history
- Shivaji encouraged Marathi and Sanskrit instead of Persian in his court and administration.