Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Current Affairs, Art & Culture

Why in News:

350th Coronation Anniversary Celebrated at Raigad.

Important Points:

  • The Government of India paid homage to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of Maharashtra celebrating the 350th Coronation anniversary of the Maratha warrior king.
  • Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy of courage and bravery continues to be a great source of inspiration, and his core principle was the welfare of the state and its people.

Coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: The coronation of Shivaji Maharaj took place on June 6, 1974, at Raigad fort on the 13th day (trayodashi) of the first fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha. The ceremony was conducted according to the shastras by Vishweshwar or Gaga Bhatta of Varanasi. The grand event commenced at dawn.

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the founder of the Maratha Empire in western India. Born on February 19, 1630, to Shahaji Bhosle and Jijabai in the fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in the Pune district.
  • His father, Shahaji, served the Bijapuri Sultanate as a general and owned a Jaigirdari near Pune. His mother, Jijabai, was the daughter of Sindkhed leader Lakhujirao Jadhav and a deeply religious woman.
  • Shivaji’s valor and administrative skills enabled him to establish an enclave from the declining Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur, which eventually laid the foundation for the Maratha Empire. He implemented a competent and progressive administration with the support of a disciplined military and a well-established administrative set-up.
  • Known for his innovative military tactics, Shivaji employed non-conventional methods, leveraging strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise to defeat more powerful enemies. His conflicts with the Bijapuri Sultanate and continuous victories brought him to the attention of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
  • Shivaji passed away at the age of 52 on April 3, 1680, at the Raigad Fort, after suffering from a bout of dysentery.

Administration under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: During his reign, Shivaji established a Maratha administration where the Chhatrapati held supreme authority, and a team of eight ministers was appointed to ensure the proper enforcement of various policies.

These eight ministers held significant power in executing the policies formulated by the King:

  1. The Peshwa or Prime Minister, who headed general administration and represented the king in his absence.
  2. The Majumder or the Auditor, responsible for maintaining the financial health of the kingdom.
  3. The PanditRao or Chief Spiritual Head, overseeing the spiritual well-being of the kingdom, setting dates for religious ceremonies, and supervising charitable programs undertaken by the king.
  4. The Dabir or Foreign Secretary, entrusted with advising the king on matters of foreign policies.
  5. The Senapati or Military General, in charge of overseeing all aspects of the military, including organization, recruitment, and training of soldiers, also serving as the king’s strategic advisor during wartime.
  6. The Nyayadhish or Chief Justice, responsible for formulating and enforcing laws, both civil and military.
  7. The Mantri or Chronicler, tasked with maintaining elaborate records of the king’s daily activities.
  8. The Sachiv or Superintendent, in charge of royal correspondence.

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