Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis took part in various rituals to mark the 350th anniversary celebrations of Shivaji Maharaj's coronation at the Raigad fort
Pic/Eknath Shinde's team
Celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj began at the Raigad fort in Maharashtra on Friday morning in presence of state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
As per the Gregorian calendar, the Maratha warrior king was coronated on June 6, 1674, at the Raigad fort from where he had laid the foundation of "Hindavi Swaraj" or self-rule of Hindus.
As per the Hindu calendar, the anniversary of his coronation falls on June 2 this year.
Shinde and Fadnavis took part in various rituals to mark the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj at the Raigad fort. Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar performed 'jalabhishek' (ritual of offering water) on the idol of the 17th century king. The water was collected from rivers across Maharashtra.
A state police band paid obeisance to the founder of the Maratha empire by playing Maharashtra's state song 'Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha, Garja Maharashtra Majha'. Flower petals were showered on the statue of Shivaji Maharaj from a helicopter.
Descendents of the legendary Maratha warrior king were also present on the occasion.
The state government has organised week-long programmes to celebrate the coronation anniversary at the fort.
Both Shinde and Fadnavis greeted people of the state on the 350th anniversary of "Shivrajyaabhishek'.
Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, "Do join the year long series of grand celebrations of 350th Year of ShivRajyabhishek, the Coronation Ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra."
In a tweet posted on Thursday, CM Shinde said in order to propagate the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to each and every home, the government has organised various programmes till June 7.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde on Thursday formally announced the commencement of the 350-year celebrations of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
As per the official release, the Maharashtra CM stated that the Cultural Affairs Department has been entrusted with collecting and collating literature, relics, and other things from the era of the Maratha warrior from across the world in a bid to propagate his ideas and beliefs and preserve his legacy.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took decisions in the interest of the common people. The Cultural Affairs Department of Maharashtra has been tasked with the project and has been asked to collect and collate literature and relics and other objects from that era, from across the world, to revive his thoughts and preserve his legacy for generations to come," the release quoted CM Shinde as saying.
It added that various programs would be organised to mark 350 years of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Coronation Day celebrations by the state Cultural Affairs Department. The formal commencement of the anniversary happened at a function held at the Gateway of India and inaugurated by Chief Minister Shinde.
"The chief minister also inaugurated a Shivaji-era weapons exhibition during the function that was also attended by the state Minister for Forests, Cultural Affairs and Fisheries, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Sapna Mungantiwar, Director of Cultural Affairs Department Vibhishan Chavare, Director of Archeology Department Tejas Garge, Deputy Secretary Vilas Thorat, Srinivas Veerkar and Vineet Kuber," the release said.
It added that the celebrations were marked by the enactment of the Mahanatya: 'Janata Raja', which was presented live through an on-stage performance on the occasion. Chief Minister Shinde and Mungantiwar inspected the weapons display and were provided nuanced details and information related to the armaments from the Shiv Chhatrapati era.
A martial arts demonstration of the hand-to-hand combat skills used in the era gone by was also performed by the artists. The CM noted that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a very skilled organiser and administrator, the release said.
"This can be physically witnessed by visiting the forts built by Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj took care of the common people. 350 years have passed since his coronation day. Another grand function will be held at Raigad Fort on Friday, June 2. This is a moment of immense pride for Maharashtra," Shinde added.
According to the CMO release, Shinde also informed that various programs will be organised throughout the year to mark Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's coronation.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)