The birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is celebrated on February 19 as 'Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti' in Maharashtra and it is also considered a public holiday in the state. The people of Maharashtra celebrate the day with great pride and organize several cultural programs, processions to mark the day. This year, we will be celebrating his 392nd birth anniversary.
Who was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
One of the fiercest, bravest, and most progressive rulers of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the Maratha kingdom. Born on February 19, 1630, Shivaji was descended from a line of prominent nobles. The great warrior king was named after the native Goddess Shivai, who had granted his mother's wish for a son.
Shivaji's military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy. He is considered the greatest Maratha ruler who saw an opportunity in the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that became the start of the Maratha Empire. At the young age of 16, Shivaji seized the Torna fort and by the age of 17 had seized the Raigad and Kondana forts.
Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organizations. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions, court conventions and promoted the usage of the Marathi and Sanskrit languages, replacing Persian in court and administration.
History and significance of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti was started by Mahatma Phule. He identified the tomb of Shivaji Maharaj in Raigad. The day was first celebrated in Pune. The tradition of celebrating the Maratha king’s Jayanti was continued by renowned freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He was the one who highlighted the contributions of Shivaji among people.
How is Shivaji Jayanti celebrated?
Shivaji Jayanti is a state holiday in Maharashtra. It is observed with much pomp and splendour. The rich and diversified cultural history of Marathas is also celebrated on this day. Kids dress up as Shivaji to honor his legacy. Food and other sweets are also served and enjoyed with much enthusiasm.