The great warrior-king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj needs no introduction. Born in 1630 to Jijabai and Shahaji Bhosale, Shivaji remains one of the most inspirational figures in Indian history. Be it his quest for a Maratha empire, his military strategies or his daring escapes, the warrior-king continues to serve as a model for people centuries after his demise.
According to the Roman calendar, Shivaji's birth anniversary falls on 19 February, but as per the Hindu Samvat Calendar, Shivaji Jayanti is on 21 March this year.
Ardent followers who celebrate this special day, will observe Chhatrapati Shivaji’s 392nd birth anniversary this year, according to Drikpanchang. According to the website, the Tritiya Tithi will begin at 10:06 am on 20 March and end at 08:20 am on 21 March.
On his Tithi-based Jayanti, here are few interesting facts about the great warrior-king:
- Shivaji was born in Junnar (Shivneri Fort) which is 100 km east of Mumbai. According to the Maharashtra government, the warrior-king's birth anniversary falls on 19 February.
- However, Shivaji's birth anniversary is also celebrated on the tithi-based date by the Shiv Sena and many other people in the state.
- Shivaji Maharaj was named after Goddess Shivaai. His mother Jijabai was a deeply religious woman and had prayed to the goddess for a son.
- Shivaji was known for his secular reign and had a sizeable number of Muslims employed in his army. His main aim was to overthrow Mughal rule and create a Maratha empire in the region.
- When he was only 16-years-old, Shivaji captured his first fort "Torna" (Tornagad) or "Prachandagad". This marked his first big step towards building a Maratha empire.
- Shivaji was skilled at guerilla warfare and his tactics for ambushing and defeating enemies remain legendary. According to a recent report in Deccan Herald, the Raigad Development Authority has acquired 88 acres of land to create a complex showcasing Shivaji's battlefield techniques.
- During India’s independence struggle, Bal Gangadhar Tilak invoked the heroism and achievements of Shivaji to encourage people to fight against the colonial rule.
- Shivaji promoted the use of regional languages like Marathi and Sanskrit in his court instead of Persian, which was the language at many imperial courts at that time.
- He is also known as the first ruler in medieval India to build his own naval force.
- Shivaji passed away on 3 April, 1680 at the age of 52