King empire

Birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: Remembering the Maratha Warrior King

A statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Pune | Photo credit: iStock Images

Highlights

  • Every year, “Shiv Jayanti” is celebrated with great fervor in Maharashtra and other parts of the country to mark the anniversary of the birth of the Maratha King on February 19.
  • On his 392nd birthday today, here are some interesting facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Mumbai: Born to Jijabai and Shahji Bhonsle on February 19, 1630 at Shivneri Durg of Pune, Shivaji Raje Bhosle or Shivaji, is considered the greatest warrior king of the Maratha Empire. Every year, “Shiv Jayanti” is celebrated with great fervor in Maharashtra and other parts of the country to mark the birth anniversary of the Maratha King on February 19. On his 392nd birthday today, here are some interesting facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

A war strategist

Shivaji Maharaj was a war strategist par excellence. He understood early on the importance of the strength of the army. His father left him an army of 2,000 men, which he converted to 10,000 soldiers. Be it the battle of Pratapgad, the battle of Surat or the battle of Sinhagad, Shivaji, despite his limited resources, recorded victories. His military preparation and war skills were unmatched. He used knowledge of the local terrain and lured enemies into difficult hills.

A noble king

Shivaji worked for the needy and the poor and established great civil rule in his region. He encouraged the poor to join his army, offering them the opportunity to climb the social ladder.

Religious but secular

Shivaji respected all religions. He never attacked any religious place. He welcomed all religions without compromising his own Hindu religious beliefs. Many of his trusted warriors were Muslims. Shivaji was against forced religious conversions. He planned the marriage of his daughter Sakhubai to Mahadji, the son of Bajaajirao Naik Nimbalkar, who was converted to Islam by Aurangazeb. During the ceremony, he encouraged Bajaajirao to return to Hinduism.

Father of the Indian Navy

Shivaji was probably the first king in the region to understand the role of the naval fleet in protecting his homeland from foreign invasions. He even built naval forts at Jaigarh, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and many other places on the coast to protect the Konkan region.

Chhatrapati of Raigad

The founder of the Maratha Empire was officially crowned Chhatrapati of Raigad on June 6, 1674. Chhatrapati Maharaj suffered from high fever for several days and breathed his last on April 3, 1680.

The Warrior King’s legacy continues to grow stronger even in the 21st century. Happy Shiv Jayanti!