INDIA. Mumbai: Rich tributes were paid to the great Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on “Shivrajyabhishek”, the 347 th anniversary of his coronation, with the main ceremony at historic Raigad fort and the functions organized all over Maharashtra on Sunday.
The small processions were organized to mark the occasion in Pune, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli, Osmanabad, Akola and Nagpur, and other parts of the state. The people carried the bust of Shivaji Maharaj in the palanquin and offered floral tributes. A cleanliness drive was organized in Pune. In Solapur, a teenage girl – Pranoti Aavdumbar Gore, drew images of Shivaji and “Hindvi Swarajya” on her nails with color paint.
At Raigad Fort in the Konkan region, Shahaji Raje Chhatrapati hoisted a flag of “Swarajya” to mark the beginning of the celebration, while his father BJP MP Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati( a descendant of Shivaji Maharaj), offered an “Abhishek” (a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or an idol) of milk and gold coins, to the bust of Shivaji. They also performed pooja of Shivaji. This year’s coronation ceremony was graced by the presence of a rare coin ‘Hon’ which was part of the antiques of Shivaji Maharaj’s era.
The coronation ceremony is being organized by the Pachad Grampanchyayat under the guidance of the Maharashtra Government since 2007. A large number of people used to reach the Raigad Fort to participate in the celebration every year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no public function was held for the second consecutive year and the celebration was restricted to a limited number of people.
Shivaji Maharaj was crowned “Chhatrapati” of the independent Maratha kingdom on June 06, 1674. Shivaji had founded Hindavi Swarajya( self-rule of Hindu people, independence from foreign rule). The hill fort, located in Mahad in Raigad district, holds a major significance in the history of the Maratha empire founded by Shivaji. Many constructions and structures on Raigad were built by him when he made it his capital in 1674 upon being crowned the king of the Maratha kingdom.
On the occasion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray said the legendary warrior king instituted a welfare state and gave the topmost priority to his motherland. Paying homage to Chhatrapati Shivaji, he said this is a golden moment engraved on the heart of Maharashtra, and Shivaji’s courage and dedication will continue to inspire everyone.
Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, who is the President of the Raigad development Authority and Vice-President of the All India Shri Shivaji Memorial Society, said that the antique coin “Hona” itself exemplified the sovereignty and prosperity of Swarajya established by Shivaji Maharaj. It is not merely a currency, but a symbol of our collective pride, a true national treasure. On the ongoing controversial issue of reservation in job and education to the people of the Maratha community, he said that he would lead the agitation from June 16 onwards which will begin from the Raigad fort.