Shivaji Jayanti is the birth anniversary of great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj was born on February 19, 1630, in Shivneri Fort.
Facts you should know about Shivaji on his Jayanti:
- He was a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji’s father Shahaji Bhonsle was the chief of the Bijapur kingdom. Shivaji was extremely devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. He carefully studied the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Dadoji Konddeo has been credited with overseeing education and training of young Shivaji. In the company of his Maval comrades, Shivaji wandered over the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range, hardening himself and acquiring first-hand knowledge of the land, which was to later prove applicable to his military endeavours.
- He married Saibai from the prominent Nimbalkar family in 1640. He was determined to upturn the Mughal empire at a young age due to the teachings of his mother Jijabai. He captured first fort ‘Torna’ (Tornagad) or “Prachandgad” when he just 16-years-old.
- Shivaji is known for his famous guerilla tactics. His father had left him 2,000 soldiers which he with his intelligence and great warfare strategies converted to 10,000 soldiers. He knew the importance of a good army.
- His combat with Afzal Khan is very popular. He defeated the veteran with a single strike when they had met in a hut where they were allowed to carry a single sword. But Shivaji knowing that Khan would attack him wore armour underneath his clothes, which stopped Afzal’s dagger.
- Shivaji also fought with the mughals, he attacked the army which was led by Shaista Khan under the mughal emperror- Aurangazeb. However, Shivaji lost many men against a well trained and disciplined Mughal army. Shivaji felt the need of finance to maintain an army and decided to loot the Mughal city of Surat. The Mughal emperor then sent Jai Singh to defeat Shivaji. After a few skirmishes, he thought it was wise to accept the emperor’s sovereignty. But then he was soon house arrested in Agra. With his intelligence, Shivaji successfully escaped from Agra and hid in his homeland and kept a low profile for some time.
- In order to regain one of his forts, Kondana, he appointed his most trusted general Tanaji Malusare. The battle that followed between the Marathas and the Mughals came to be known as the Maratha war of Independence where the Marathas were successful in regaining the control of the fort.
- Shivaji was formally crowned as a Chhatrapati in 1674 at Raigad fort and henceforth came to be known as Chhatrapati Shivaji. The brave warrior died in 1680 but is still known for his courage and intelligence. He laid the foundation of a Hindu empire which lasted for over two centuries.