Formally crowned as the Chhatrapati of Raigad in 1674, the warrior-king breathed his last on 3 April, 1680
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Pic/iStock
The great warrior-king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj needs no introduction. Born in 1630, Shivaji Maharaj remains one of the most inspirational figures in Indian history. Be it his quest for a Maratha empire, his military strategies or his daring escapes, the warrior-king continues to serve as a model for people centuries after his demise.
Formally crowned as the Chhatrapati of Raigad in 1674, the warrior-king breathed his last on 3 April, 1680. This year will mark the 343rd death anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Shivaji Maharaj is not only revered in Maharashtra, but also equally respected across India for his progressive thinking, rich cultural legacy and efforts to free India from foreign invaders to realise his dream of Swarajya.
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On his death anniversary, here are few interesting facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:
- Shivaji was born in Junnar (Shivneri Fort) which is 100 km east of Mumbai.
- Shivaji Maharaj was named after Goddess Shivaai. His mother Jijabai was a deeply religious woman and had prayed to the goddess for a son.
- Shivaji was known for his secular reign and had a sizeable number of Muslims employed in his army. His main aim was to overthrow Mughal rule and create a Maratha empire in the region.
- When he was only 16-years-old, Shivaji captured his first fort "Torna" (Tornagad) or "Prachandagad". This marked his first big step towards building a Maratha empire.
- India's first-ever navy in the modern era was built by Shivaji to protect the coast of Maharashtra. The Maratha Navy guarded the Jaigad, Sindhudurg, Vijaydurg and other forts along the coast of Maharashtra.
- Unlike many other rulers that India has seen, the Maratha warrior king never allowed anyone to dishonour women. Perpetrators of crimes against women, during his rule, were punished strictly. Also, women of captured territories were not harmed.
- Shivaji's father handed over to him an army of 2,000 soldiers. Shivaji increased its strength to 10,000 soldiers.