Sunday, 11 February 2018

Shivjayanti 2018

The Dawn of Maharashtra

Shivaji Maharaj was born to Jijabai and Shahaji Bhonsale on February 19, 1627 in Junnar, Pune. Jijabai named him “Shivaji” because she was a staunch follower of Lord Shiva and saw in him all the characteristics of a great leader. He was one of the most influential leaders, patriot, and ruler of Maharashtra, loved by the masses immensely.

Shivaji Maharaj’s birth anniversary is fondly celebrated as “Shivjayanti,” which is one of the most memorable events celebrated in Maharashtra. The government of Maharashtra has declared it as a state holiday. This year, people will be celebrating 388th Birth Anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj with great zeal and enthusiasm.

Coronation of Shivaji

The coronation of Shivaji took place in 1674 at Raigad fort after which he was bestowed with a title of “Chhatrapati.”  The contribution of Shivaji Maharaj in establishing and expanding Maratha Empire is humongous. There have hardly been a couple of rulers after him whose contributions to Maharashtra can be placed on the same scale as of him. He spread his kingdom till Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. In his endeavour for a free state, many of his loyal general supported him. Though Shivaji Maharaj passed away in 1680, his deeds and passion for the welfare and freedom of his people, including administration, and military tactics still inspire this generation.

Two different dates of Shivjayanti

There are two groups of scholars who have different opinions on Shivaji’s birth date. According to one group, the exact birth date is February 19 and as per another, it is April 6. But Maharashtra government has officially declared February 19, 1630 as “Shivaji Jayanti.” The difference in dates is due to the Julian calendar, which was used in ancient days, and the Gregorian calendar, which the world is using currently.

That’s why one group of followers celebrates his birth anniversary on February 19 and another on March 1.  There was also a difference of opinion on birth year among historians as well -1627 and 1630. To settle the matter, Maharashtra government established a committee in 1968 under the leadership of M. N. Dixit and included members who were scholars in their own domains - G. H. Khare, Babasaheb Purandare, N. R. Phatak, Datto Vaman Potdar, and B. C. Bendre.

The committee drew a similarity between Hindu almanac and English calendar by following Falgun Vadya Tritiya and decided on February 19 as the exact birth date. This was also the date that Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak claimed during the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhan Mandal in 1916.

To confirm the date, the committee even checked the entire Vedic timekeeping calendar as well as Vikram Samvat 1686, the historical Hindu calendar, started by King Vikramaditya. A conclusion was then drawn that as per Gregorian calendar, the birth date of Shivaji Maharaj is March 1, 1630 and February 19, 1630 as per Julian calendar. Even after converting another proposed birth date, which was April 16, 1627 on Gregorian calendar into Hindu date, February 19, appeared the closest match. The final date was arrived by taking the help of Drik Panchang and converting 19 February 1630 of Julain calendar into Hindu lunar calendar.

For this Shivjayanti 

Download Free Shivaji Maharaj Powada

Friday, 19 January 2018

Essay on Jijabai

Essay on Rajmata Jijabai

Jijabai or Rajmata Jijabai, as she was fondly called, was an influential figure in the medieval period of Indian history. She was born on January 12, 1598 in Sindkhed, Maharashtra in a family of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri. Her mother was Malasa Bai, and father, Lakhoji Jadhavrao, who was a Hindu chieftain and a general in Nizam Shah's army stationed in Ahmednagar.

Married Life

She was married at an early age to Shahajiraje Bhosale, a Maratha chieftain at the court of Nizam Shah. Soon after her marriage, she shifted to Pune with her husband when he was handed over the jagir of Pune and Supa by Nizam Shah.

During those days, Pune used to be a barren land full of jungles and wild animals. Despite this, she encouraged her people to settle down and start cultivation. She started her stint in Pune by renovating the Kasaba Ganapati temple. She didn't long for her pre-marriage life, which was full of luxuries and instead accepted Pune as her new home.

Inspirational and an ideal mother

She gave birth to eight children, out of which all the six daughters died in infancy, and only two sons – Sambhaji and Shivaji survived. Sambhaji was the elder son, who would accompany his father on various expeditions. Shivaji, being the younger stayed with his mother.

She brought up Shivaji with good morals and instigated in him the desire of a free Hindu state or Swarajya from a very young age. Under her guidance and inspiration, Shivaji took the oath of Swarajya and became a leader of a small army at the age of 15.

An avenger, efficient administrator, and patriotic

She was the brain behind avenging the death her elder son, who was killed by Afzal Khan during a military expedition in Karnataka. She knew that the Afzal Khan would not stop until he has eliminated all the members of her family. And when Afzal Khan called Shivaji under the guise of meeting, she was aware that Shivaji would either be killed or imprisoned for a lifetime. She then advised Shivaji to go prepared and avenge the death of his brother by killing Afzal Khan. And History knows what happened during the meeting.

Jijamata was very much interested in the welfare of her kingdom. She used to take an active interest in every socio-political affairs and would give her decisions on major issues. She also inspired her father and husband to give up serving Mughals and establish an independent state. She just wanted to drive away the invaders from Maharashtra and build a Maratha empire. During those days, there was some misunderstanding between two the clans of Marathas – the Jadhavs and Bhosales. Her advice helped her father resolve the differences and unite both the clans. It was she who told her father that if Marathas unite and leave aside personal ego and greed, it would take no time to vanquish the invaders.

Shivaji Maharaj fulfilled her ambition of 'Swaraj.' Under her tutelage, he conquered many forts and established the Maratha empire. She passed away on June 17, 1674 barely a few days after the coronation of Shivaji

Friday, 22 December 2017

Shivaji Maharaj History: Shivrajyabhishek

Shivaji Maharaj was one of the greatest Maratha warriors who was instrumental in establishing the Maratha empire and starting the socio-politico movement by the name Hindavi Swarajya. He was known for his administration and disciplined military. But he was most famous for his military tactics or guerrilla warfare. Such was his skills that his strongest of enemies used to fear him. For they never knew when, how, and from where he would attack them. At the young age of 15, he conquered many regions around Pune under the rule of Bijapur Sultanate, with the help of his loyal soldiers of the Maval region.

After gaining control over Pune and Konkan regions, he decided to assume a title of the king and establish Hindu Sovereignty. That's what paved the way for his Rajyabhishek on June 6, 1674. The place selected for the ceremony was an open ground in a small village called Meghdambari in Raigad. It is estimated that there were 50,000 general people and 20,000 brahmins who attended the ceremony.

Shivrajyabhishek Sohla Description

The Rajyabhishek was done according to the Hindu shastras by Pandit Gaga Bhatt. He held a gold vessel containing sacred water from Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Ravi, Sindhu, Krishna, and Kaveri over Shivaji's head and chanted coronation mantras until the very last drop of water from the sacred vessel was completely emptied. Once the ablution was done, Shivaji Maharaj touched his mother Jijabai's feet and took her blessings. The main priest then put a sacred thread called jaanva over Shivaji's shoulder with the reciting of mantra.

After the rituals were over, Shivaji changed into the king's attire and proceeded to the throne. While he was heading, all the brahmins started chanting mantras. The crowd also shouted 'jai jai' ecstatically and musicians played music. To give the ceremony a royal touch, canon balls were also fired. Then, Pandit Bhatt headed towards the thrown with a royal umbrella decked with gold and pearls. He stood beside Shivaji Maharaj, held the umbrella over his head, and bestowed the title of Chatrapati (paramount sovereign), Kshatriya Kulavantas (head of Kshatriya), and Shakakarta (head and founder of an era), and Haindavi Dharmodhhaarak (one who uplifts the sanctity of Hinduism) to him and announced him the 'king'. This coronation was one of the best that India had ever seen in the history.

Soon after his coronation, a procession was held through the streets of the capital city with Shivaji on the back of an elephant. The march was accompanied by his ministers, generals, and commoners. There was jubilation all over and people were proud of him since he took the bold step of Rajyabhishek without bothering about taking permission for the same from the Mughals. But the joy didn't last for long because of the demise of his mother on 18th June 1674. Since the demise of his mother just after his coronation was considered as a bad omen, all the priests decided to have the coronation ceremony again on 24th September 1674, which was performed according to Bengali School of Tantricism by Nischal Puri.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Essay on Shivaji Maharaj in English

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the great Maratha Empire and was one of the popular rulers who fought against the Mughal rule in India. Shivaji Raje Bhosle was born on 19th February 1630 to Shahaji Bhosle and Jijabai in the hill fort of Shivneri, Pune district. Right from his early childhood, Shivaji had witnessed the cruelties brought to his own people by the Mughal emperors, and dreamt of freeing the land from this Muslim rule. Shivaji’s mother Jijabai played an important role in instilling patriotic feelings in the heart of young Shivaji that molded him in becoming one of the successful rulers of all times.

Apart from being a great warrior, Shivaji has also been a great administrator, disciplinarian and a kind ruler for his people. Shivaji’s tales of bravery are narrated to children of all age groups and he is taken as a role model or a great source of inspiration for every child on the Maratha land.

Shivaji’s Childhood:

Jijabai had named Shivaji after the name of goddess “Shivai” to whom she had prayed for a healthy child. During the early years of Shivaji’s childhood, his father Shahaji moved to Karnataka with his second wife. Jijabai and her son were under the good care of one of their trusted Jagirdars, Dadoji Konddeo, who carefully organized and managed Shivaji’s academics or trainings.

On the other hand, Rajmata Jijabai was a very religious lady, and the same was well reflected on her son. Narrating stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata to Shivaji was something that she enjoyed the most. And that is what had kept Shivaji deeply rooted to his religious values all through his life. The fort of Shivneri has a beautiful monument of Jijabai with her young son so as to honor her contribution in raising a great warrior such as Shivaji.

Shivaji’s Struggle for Swaraj: 

The battle of Shivaji for “Hindavi Swaraj” started way back in the year 1645 when he was merely a 15 years old young lad. After his father’s demise, Shivaji took over the Maratha Empire, and his first battle with Afzal Khan in the year 1659, popularly known as Battle of Pratapgad was a significant step taken towards Swaraj.

Shivaji’s victory against the Afzal Khan forces was unexpected and rather a magical outcome that made him the most important figure of Maratha Folklore. On the other hand, Aurangazeb now considered Shivaji to be a great threat to the entire Mughal reign.

Thereafter, numerous battles took place between the Mughal Emperors and Shivaji. And despite all odds, Shivaji came up as a rising hero taking one step forward towards Swaraj. Shivaji would take over the fortresses from the defeated rulers and make good use of them for the benefit of his army and people. Chattrapati Shivaji was the proud ruler who had around 360 forts under his control that were well maintained and used for different purposes.

The Strong Naval Forces: 

Apart from being a great warrior, Shivaji was known for his strong foresight, discipline with which he trained his Army and fair treatment of all his people. Shivaji was one of the rarest rulers who took initiative in developing trades and market. For this purpose, he built strong naval forces across the lines of Konkan and Goa that not only helped in free trading but also protected the land from external forces of British, Portuguese and Arabs.

This was all about Shivaji and his contribution to free the motherland from the atrocities of Mughal rule. Our country is still in need of such brave sons who can protect her from all internal and external outrages. Therefore, every child needs know and learn more about this great warrior to become a responsible citizen of the country.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Sword of Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji was one of the most powerful and prominent rulers of the Maratha land, and much of his valor is equally shared amongst his swords. According to reports, Shivaji owned three main swords; namely, ‘Bhawani’, ‘Jagdamba’ and ‘Tulja’. Historical evidences show that ‘Bhawani’ was originated from Toledo, Spain, and there had been innumerable discussions and debates related to this theory of origination. However, Babasaheb Purandare, the renowned historians of those times confirmed that Spain had the top most quality of steel and it was more than likely that all Maratha swords were imported from there.

Nick Evangelista, one of the famous authors and magazine publishers, describe ‘Bhawani’ as a Genoa Blade of four feet length. He also suggests that the sword had a very small grip, with spikes attached to the hilt that could thrust the opponents at one go. However, different paintings of Chattrapati Shivaji depict Bhawani as a patta held in his right hand and integrated within a gauntlet. Now, if these paintings are taken to be true, the presence of spikes as described by Nick needs to be falsified. It has to be noted that although swords were imported from Spain, they were crafted locally and till date stand unique and distinct. Bhawani is now believed to be in custody of Udayraje Bhosle of Satara, the direct descendent of Shivaji.

The second sword in line is the famous ‘Jagdamba’ that is assumed to be gifted to Edward VII, the Prince of Wales, during his visit to India.  Jagdamba is now in the Royal Collection Trust, London. As for ‘Tulja’ there are no traces of evidence or any description available to unveil the present custody of this sword.

Antique collectors in India and around the globe, are trying their best to find out some missing links related to these swords. The Toledo angle of Bhawani talwar, although accepted by most still remains debatable for few. Many are of the opinion that the Indian Government should ask for a detailed account of steel manufacturers of those times from the Spanish authorities that could aid in the markings of Bhawani.

Nevertheless, Maratha rule in India and the contribution towards Swaraj remains unmatched, unbeatable and beyond debates. Maratha swords similar to the rulers were powerful, distinct and unique. It is unfortunate that today we do not have much information and knowledge of these swords and with time they have faded away leaving little or no trace at all. Therefore, taking up necessary steps and effort to find out more about these swords would be a worthwhile investment. This was all about swords of Shivaji and anybody interested to share any information related to these is more than welcome. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Information About Panhala Fort

Panhala comes from the word ‘Panalla’, meaning the home of serpents. Located 20 kilometers northwest of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, the Panhala fort or Panhalgad was once one of the major trade centers of the state.

Built between the years 1978 - 1209 CE, the remains within the fort prove the rule of Raja Bhoj for a particular duration.  And it is perhaps because of this, that the famous colloquial quotations “Kahaan raja Bhoj or kahaan Gangu teli” is related to Panhalgad according to many history lovers. After being reigned by a number of rulers, Panhala was then taken over by Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1659.

Pavan Khind

Panhala Fort is famous for the battle of Pavan Khind. In the year 1960, Adil Shah II sent his army to blockade Panhalgad under the commandment of Siddi Jauhar. Shivaji’s army stood strong and fought back Adil Shah Forces for sometime; however, as the siege continued, the fort forces got exhausted, and Shivaji had no options apart from escaping from the area to gather and train enough army to fight back.

In this battle of Pavan Khind, Shivaji lost one third of his army and the fort was taken over by Adil Shah. It was only in the year 1673, that Shivaji recaptured the fort and housed 15,000 horses and 20,000 soldiers.  Over the years, Shivaji’s son Shambhaji had points of disagreement with his own father and fell out of favor with the king. Therefore, he was imprisoned in Panhalgad from where he managed to escape within a few years of time.

In and around Panhala Fort:

Panhala is one of the largest forts in Deccan. Standing 400m above the Sahyadris, Bijapuri style architecture featuring a peacock motif is very prominent in most of its structures. Some of the important fortifications of Panhala are discussed below:


One of the most popular destinations of this fort is the Ambarkhana centrally structured and built by the Marathas, as the administrative division and granary. It consisted of 3 sections known as Ganga, Yamuma and Saraswati Kothis, out of which Ganga was the largest with maximum storage capacity.

The Three important Darwaza:

Panhalgad has three important Darwazas, known as - Teen Darwaza, Char Darwaja and Wagh Darwaza. Teen Darwaza is a double gate and is the main entrance to the fort. Char was destroyed during the British siege and has no remains for historical study. Wagh Darwaza was the second entrance to  Panhalgad and has a beautiful Ganesh motif designed, that stands as a center of attraction for all tourists. Wagh had an interesting design that helped to elude invaders and then get them trapped inside.

Kalvanticha Mahal:

Also known as Nayakini Sajja, meaning Courtesans Terrace Rooms, it was mostly used during the Bahmani Sultanate as Rang Mahal or court of the ladies.

Temples and Mausoleums: 

Panhalgad has different temples devoted to Shambhaji  II, Someshwar, along with Ambabai, and Mahakali. Out of these, Ambabai was the oldest where Shivaji made offerings after every expedition and major event. Next, Shambaji II temple is another masterpiece gaining much of tourist attention.

Mausoleums of Jijabai and Ramchandra Pant Amatya have been superbly crafted in memories of their struggle and contribution towards Maratha emprire.

This was all about Panhala fort and the untold history behind. The place is suitable to be visited at any part of the year and therefore remains crowded by history lovers all over the country. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Information About Purandar Fort

Purandar Fort is a huge hilltop built in the 13th Century AD. It stands as an epitome of Shivaji’s rising battle against Mughals and the Adil Shahi Bijapur Sultanate. This fort is also the proud birthplace of Shivaji’s eldest son Shambhaji, who later became the second Chattrapati of the clan.

Purandar spreads across the Western Ghats and is 4472 ft above the sea level. Being just at 50KM southeast of Pune, slightly ahead of Saswad village, the fort is a popular destination for all par gliders and trekkers around the city.
Golden History of the Purandar Fort:

In the year 1596, Maloji Bhosale was granted the fort by one of the Ahmednagar Sultanate rulers. At a very young age of mere 19 years, Shivaji took control of the fort, amongst many of his initial victories. However, just after a year, Shivaji lost the fort to Aurangazeb’s forces.

Murarbaji Deshpande, the Killedar, made every attempt to retain the fort. However, his efforts had gone in vain as he lost his life and Purandar was besieged by the Mughal forces.

Thereafter, Shivaji was made to sign a treaty with Aurangazeb which took away 23 forts owned by the Maratha Empire including the Purandar. Nevertheless, it took only 5 years for Shivaji to fight back the Aurangazeb rule and reestablish his control on all the fortresses. It is because of this reason that the fort is known for Shivaji’s rising battle against the Mughals.

Shivaji then spend a considerable part of his life in this fort. And it is here that the Chattrapati was blessed with his eldest son, Shambhaji.

Architectural Overview - Places to visit within the fort:

Over the years, Purandar fort has had a number of occupants and thus built in different stages by various rulers. However, despite the architectural variety, Purandar is definitely a highly defensive fort and was therefore chosen to be the detention camp by the British during the Second World War.

The fort has been constructed in two different and vivid parts. The lower part is known as the “Machi” while the upper part is known as the “Ballekilla.”

Structures within the Machi: 

As you enter the fort and go ahead towards the north of Machi, you will come across various cantonments and hospitals that had been built within the fort.

Moving ahead, you will come across various temples dedicated to lord Purandareshwar after whom the fort has been named. You will also find temples dedicated to Madhavrao Peshwa in this area.

The statue of Murarbaji Deshpade, who had sacrificed his life in an effort to save the fort from the Mughals grabs most of the tourist attention.

Structures within the Ballekilla: 

Taking a staircase from the machi, you reach the upper part of the fort known as Ballekilla. One of the most popular structures to witness in this area is the Dilli Darwaza or Delhi Gate. The temple of Lord Shiva, Kedareshwar temple is also a beautiful and soothing place within the fort.

The Koli Chabutra stands as a beautiful monument built to acknowledge the love and sacrifice made by the Koli community towards Swarajya, who were later mercilessly killed by Aurangazeb.

Purandar Fort is a beautiful and a must visit place for all history lovers. People who have visited the place are also of the opinion that the fort has an easy trek and can be the best, first time experience for all aspiring trekkers.