Shivaji Maharaj was the greatest ruler of Maharashtra. Shivaji Bhonsle was known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, ‘Shivba’ ,‘Shiva’ in Maharashtra and his birthday is celebrated among Maharashtrians in huge scale.
He is considered as the greatest warrior of all time and was the Founder of Maratha Empire in India and due to his supreme capabilities, he was given the highest title as Chhatrapati. Chhatrapati is an Indian royal title equivalent to Emperor.
Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in Pune district on 19 Feb. 1630. Shivaji’s father Shahaji Bhonsle was a Maratha general, his mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhujirao Jadhav of Sindkhed. They named there son as Shivaji as his mother prayed goddess Shivai, so he was named after this local deity.
Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. This religious environment helped Shivaji to study the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Throughout his life, he was deeply interested in religious teachings, and regularly sought the company of Hindu and Sufi saints.
Shivaji was a fearless military leader who successfully at the age of 15 seized the Torna Fort, of Bijapur kingdom. He also acquired the control over the fort of Kondana and later kingdom of Javali. He fought various battles like Battle of Pratapgarh, Battle of Kolhapur, Siege of Panhala and Battle of Pavan Khind. Shivaji also fought with the Mughal he launched the attack on Shaista Khan enraging the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb.
Shivaji had acquired extensive lands and wealth through his campaigns and Shivaji was crowned king of the Marathas in a lavish ceremony at Raigad on 6 June 1674. The state as Shivaji founded it was a Maratha kingdom, the Marathas were dominant across the northern and central regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Shivaji died in 1680, leaving behind a state always at odds with the Mughals. Shivaji demonstrated great skill in creating his military organization, which lasted until the demise of the Maratha empire.
Kindness to all religions
He was kind towards people of all religions and supported their religious beliefs. This is very extraordinary fact as all his opposing thrones were of other religion and they were harassing Hindus. He still persisted that all religions are good. He fought for freedom of the nation from the conquerors like Mughals. Marathas are the one who ended tyrant Mughal empire.
The birth anniversary of Shivaji the great Maratha warrior is being celebrated in whole Maharashtra every year. There are various cultural programmes organized with traditional fervor in all part of the state. Locals carry out processions and poojas to mark his birthday and decorate his idols with garlands.