What is Shivaji Jayanti?
Shivaji Jayanti or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti is a festival and public holiday commemorating the great king who established the Maratha Realm. Maratha Culture and the Indian state of Maharashtra have many heroic stories, and Shivaji Maharaj is one of them. Indians all over the nation celebrate Shiv Jayanti to honor his brave deeds.
On February 19th, 2023, the nation will celebrate the birth anniversary of this Maratha warrior and monarch.
Sivaji Jayanti - All Quick Overview
- Date: 19th February, annually
- Category: Cultural
- Where It’s Marked? India
- Why It’s Marked? To celebrate and honor the birth and life of the greatest Maharastra emperor.
History of Shivaji Jayanti
With a great deal of enthusiasm and pride, Maharashtrians observe this day. They remember how Shivaji Maharaj rebuilt the Maratha realm from scratch. People tell the tales of his greatness which include:
- His dispute with Mughal emperor Aurangzeb,
- He killed the general of the Bijapur Sultanate, Afzal khan
- He escaped from the prison in a fruit basket.
1. Tale of a great leader
Shivaji Bhosale was famous for many reasons during his time. His mother named him after the Goddess Shivaji. And soon, he became both furious and kind to his enemies and pupils during his realm, just like the Goddess.
His mother desired a son because the Maratha empire was suffering from many issues and was deteriorating daily. While growing up, Shivaji honed his skills in every form of arts, from administration to war.
He was unbeatable with his unique combat skills and courage. And at the same time, he learned how to save his kingdom and people like a true king.
At a very early age, Chhatrapati Shivaji was crowned, and since then, he has kept challenging the Mughal rule and Deccan Sultans. When the Muslim emperors held the most power, Shivaji found his Maratha Kingdom little by little and withheld the long-lost glory.
With his sharp intelligence and battle skills, he was the first to introduce the Guerrilla technique in fighting and defeated many attacks mounted on his kingdom.
Due to his courage and political skills, Aurangzeb was unable to make him surrender.
Another outstanding achievement of Shivaji that is memorable to all is his attempt to use Marathi and Sanskrit in court and administration instead of Persian. His rebellion against the other Muslim states showed that Maharashtra was a kingdom of its own rules, culture, and languages without anyone's interruption or control.
2. Celebration of the festival
Historians have written hundreds of books about Shivaji, But it wasn’t until 1870 that the festival was celebrated. After archeologists discovered the Shivaji Maharaj Tomb, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule decided to commemorate the life and birth of the great king of Maharastra.
However, after that popularizing the festival became more critical. And freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak decided to take the responsibility to popularise the festival throughout the nation.
The main event is held in Pune, but all Indian bow their heads on this day, honoring the great king of all times.
How To Celebrate Shivaji Jayanti?
The celebration of Shiv Jayanti is a fantastic festival held in the state of Maharastra. From the night before to the evening of the day of Shivaji Jayanti, people festively observe this day with different colorful events. Here is a glimpse of the events.
1. Midnight Ceremony
The night before the Jayanti, people gather around the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Panhala fort to pay their respect with flowers and candles.
The youth group lit the “Shiv Jyoti" flambeau, carrying the whole city during the procession.
2. Morning Ceremony
The city's main route is filled with bright morning and evening processions. Several Mandals organize 19 colorful parades and rallies. And the public figures deliver their speech recalling the stories and greatness of Shivaji Maharaj during the festival.
Children are dressed in costumes similar to Shivaji o commemorate the brave little prince or Bal Shivaji in the rallies.
3. Evening Ceremony
The nights of Shivaji Jayanti are as bright as the day of the celebration. LED lights and screens cover the whole fort and light it up to set the festival mood. The colorful procession includes a loud sound system, drums, slogans, and dancing in traditional attire. Youth ride horses wearing clothing like him as his army, and with the drums, it feels like the realm is awake again for the monarch. City areas, for example, Rajarampuri, Kasba Bawda, Mangalwar Peth, Raviwar Peth, Budhwar Peth, and Shukrawar Peth, are covered with rallies from Mandals and Talims.
Countries that Observe Shivaji Jayanti
Indians, mainly in Maharastra. The main cities in the state- Sevagram, Daulatabad, Khandala, Alibag, Shivneri, Nanded, and Karjat observe the festival.
Interesting Facts about Shivaji Jayanti
What can be a great occasion to gather knowledge about the Noble King Shivaji than his birth anniversary? So, here are some interesting facts you may not know at all.
- King Shivaji could win a war with limited resources and incredible strategies. With his exceptional skills, he acquired Kondan, Jawali, and Rajgarh forts by 1655.
- Regardless of the religion of the cities, he had captured, he was strict about respecting every woman. Rapists were severely punished during his realm.
- Many of his warriors were Muslim, and he believed in living in harmony with all religions.
- Shivaji was fierce on the battlefield, but if the emperor surrendered, he used to negotiate the terms to avoid bloodshed.
- He was the first emperor in India who understood the importance of having an army to protect the sea around his fort. He is often considered the father of the Indian navy. During his realm, he expanded from 2000 to 10,000 Maratha soldiers.
- Aurangzeb used to refer to him as Mountain Rat due to his sneaky Guerilla Attack style.
- According to the Tithi or Lunar calendar, Shiv Sena celebrates Shivaji’s birth anniversary.
- He won his first battle and captured Torna(Tornagad or Prachandagad only at age 16.
- He became an inspiration to the youth during the independence struggle of India.
Unique Shivaji Jayanti Celebration Ideas
Attending parades is one way to observe Shivaji Jayanti. However, why not you have your unique ideas to celebrate this day? Here are some ideas:
1. Watch movies about Shivaji
Bollywood, Tamil, and Marathi film industries have tried to portray the life story of Shivaji. Several movies are famous. You can watch Tanhaji, Sher Shivraj, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Bal Shivaji, Rajmata Jilju, Sher Shivaji, Faizand, Prabho Shivaji, or Hirkani.
2. Read books based on Shivaji
The book list about Shivaji is even more in numbers than the movies. Some of the good reads are:
- ‘Shivaji: His Life and Time’ by Gajanan Bhaskar Mehendale,
- ‘Shivaji and His Times’ by Jadunath Sarkar,
- ‘Shivaji: The Great Maratha” by Ranjit Desai,
- ‘Raja Shivchatrapati’ by Babasaheb Purandare (Marathi), and
- ‘Shivaji the Grand Rebel’ by Dennis Kincaid.
3. Visit his forts
Thirteen majestic forts of Chhatrapati are located all over India. Pack your bags, and you can visit at least some of them.
Raigad, Shivneri, Sindhudurg, Pratapgad, Panhala, Lohagad, Janjira, Vijaydurg
4. Take a museum tour
The museums that display around 50,000 artifacts are Mumbai, Aurangabad, and Satara. Most of them are used by the Maharaj or during his rule.
Shivaji Jayanti Quotes
Here are some inspirational quotes for you whenever you feel low in your life. He left life lessons for you: freedom, nationalism, courage, and life
"Freedom is a boon that everyone has the right to receive."
"Never bend your head. Always hold it high."
"Do not think of the enemy as weak, but do not also overestimate their strength."
"Even if there were a sword in the hands of everyone, it is willpower that establishes a government."
"When you are enthusiastic, the mountain also looks like a clay pile."
"Verily, Islam and Hinduism are terms of contrast. The true Divine Painter uses them for blending the colors and filling in the outlines. If it is a mosque, the call to prayer is chanted in remembrance of HIm. If it is a temple, the bells are rung, yearning for Him alone."
"No need to learn from your fault. We can learn a lot from others’ mistakes."
1. Why is Shiv Jayanti celebrated two times?
One is according to the Tithi or lunar cycle, and the other is according to the English calendar.
2. Who first started Shiv Jayanti?
Mahatma Phule first started celebrating Shiv Jayanti in 1870.
3. Where is the biggest Shiv Jayanti celebrated in India?
Kolhapur city in Maharastra observes the biggest Shiv Jayanti.
4. Is Shiv Jayanti a National Holiday?
No, the holiday is observed only in Maharashtra.
Shivaji Jayanti Observances
|2021||Friday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
|2022||Wednesday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
|2023||Sunday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
|2024||Monday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
|2025||Wednesday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
|2026||Thursday||19 February||Shivaji Jayanti|
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