Shivaji Festival

Shivaji FestivalShivaji Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj, the great ruler of Maratha, known as the creator of Maratha nation. On February 19th, his birthday is celebrated on the grand scale in Maharashtra. Shivaji parents Shahaji Bhonsole and Jijabai named him as Shivaji as the remembrance of Goddess Shivai. Shivaji was instrumental in uniting Maratha chiefs of Konkan, Mayal and Desh regions. His civil administration and military were of great importance. Shivaji was very successful in carving out a kingdom through defeating the alien powers. To honor the Maharaj, this festival is celebrated on a large scale every year.

The main highlight of Shivaji Jayanti is the colorful procession with the dancers who plays a traditional musical instrument known as lezims. Huge number of people attend this festival with great passion and wear clothes similar to Shivaji and his associates. Several programs will be performed which remembers the achievements of Shivaji. He is not only a hero for Maharashtra people but also for India. He was a good leader and founded the Hindu kingdom in the Deccan by fighting against the Moghuls. Shivaji inspired and united common man in order to fight against Moghul ruler Aurangzeb through inculcating nationality in them. Shivaji grew into a military leader with the help of trainers and commanders such as Baji Pasalkar and Gomaji Naik. Young Shivaji was enthusiastic, motivated and energetic.

In earlier days, Shivaji was successful in inspiring the local youths in order to follow idealistic pursuits. Shivaji attacked and captured Fort of Bijapur at the age of seventeen. In the year 1647, he took the control of Raigad and Kondana forts. Adilshah arrested his father Shahji by deceitful means and sent armies against him and his brother Sambaji. In order to suppress the control of Bijapur kingdom, Afzal Khan was mainly sent to his kingdom to kill him. But, Shivaji’s cunning tricks successfully bashed Afzal Khan. In the year 1659, the armies of Bijapur routed in the battle of Pratapgarh and Shivaji became a hero of Marathas.

With the leadership of Shivaji, the Marathas pushed back the sultanate kingdom and Mughals from his homeland. Shivaji felt that finance is needed in order to take care of an army and planned to loot the City of Surat. Then, the Mughal emperor sent Jai Singh in order to defeat Shivaji. Later, Shivaji thought it was clever to accept emperor’s sovereignty. In Agra, Shivaji was house arrested and with his intelligence, escaped from Agra. Gradually, Shivaji rebuilt his empire and it took nearly six  months to recover his lost ground. He extended his empire towards Tamilnadu and Karnataka.

To regain his forts Kondana, he mainly appointed Tanaji Malusare, the most trusted general. The battle between the Mughals and the Marathas called as Maratha war of independence and successfully regained the fort control. Shivaji’s glory is presented in several poems, movies and scriptures. He inspired most of the leaders of his time. The achievements of Shivaji are portrayed in several events organized during Shivaji Jayanti. The skits are carried on the streets which describes different stories about the war. The festival ends at Kranti Chowk that has a bronze statue of Shivaji Maharaj.       

 

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