Shivaji Jayanti or Chhatrapati Maharaj Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Maratha king Shivaji. Shiv Jayanti is celebrated on February 19 every year in his honour.
The creator and founder of the Maratha Empire, Shivaji was born in 1630 at Shivneri Fort near Pune. This year marks the 390th birth anniversary of the great Maratha.
Shivaji Jayanti is mainly observed in Maharashtra and is a public holiday in the state. The day is celebrated with much fanfare and people organise cultural programmes and processions in his honour.
History and significance of Shiv Jayanti
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti or Shiv Jayanti was started in 1870 by Mahatma Jyotirao Phule, who had discovered the tomb of Shivaji Maharaj on Raigad, from around 100 km from Pune. The celebrations were first held in Pune.
The tradition was later followed by noted freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak who popularised the image of Shivaji Maharaj by highlighting his contributions. Tilak helped bring together people during the Independence movement through Shiv Jayanti and stood up against British rule.
The day also sees the confluence of the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the Maratha community. People remember and praise Shivaji Maharaj’s bravery and intellect that he showcased while tackling his enemies.
Facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji
Shivaji Maharaj or Shivaji Bhosale is known for creating an advanced and well-structured civil administration system.
He carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that became the foundation stone of the Maratha Empire.
He was named after a regional Goddess Shivai. According to popular legend, his mother prayed to the goddess for a son and was blessed with him. Shivaji Maharaj was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati, or emperor of the Maratha Empire, in 1674. The coronation took place at the Raigad fort.
Shivaji promoted the use of Marathi and Sanskrit in court and administration, rather than using Persian which was the norm in those times.