Mumbai: Celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj began at the Raigad fort in Maharashtra on Friday in the presence of state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who said his government was following the Maratha warrior king's ideals and working for the welfare of farmers and women.
As per the Gregorian calendar, Shivaji Maharaj was coronated on June 6, 1674, at the Raigad fort from where he 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.
CM Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis took part in various rituals in the morning to mark the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj atop the Raigad fort, around 170 km from here.
Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar performed the 'jalabhishek' (offering water) ritual on the idol of the 17th century king. The water used for this 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.
Descendants 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'.
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."
महाराष्ट्राचे आराध्य दैवत छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज यांच्या 350 व्या शिवराज्याभिषेक वर्षानिमित्त अनेक भव्य कार्यक्रमांचे आयोजन करण्यात आले आहे !— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) June 2, 2023
जरूर सामिल व्हा ! #शिवराज्याभिषेक_पर्व #शिवराज्याभिषेक #shivrajyabhisheksohala #Shivrajyabhishek #ChhatrapatiShivajiMaharaj pic.twitter.com/kQuJJeX65X
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.
Speaking during the event at the Raigad fort, CM Shinde said that during the 11 months of its tenure, his government has followed the ideals of Shivaji Maharaj.
On the occasion, he also announced the formation of Pratapgarh Authority which will be headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Udayanraje Bhosale, who is the direct descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Shinde said preservation of the warrior king's forts was a priority of his government.
"My government is working for the welfare of farmers and women," he said.
Fadnavis said a national memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj should be set up in Delhi and the state government will follow up the demand with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He announced that the coastal road in Mumbai will be named after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.
A video message of PM Modi was screened during the event, where he called the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj a source of inspiration, and said the work done by him, his policies as well as the system of governance he put in place continue to be relevant even today as welfare of people was the basic principle of his administration.
In Nagpur, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat paid tributes to Shivaji Maharaj at his statue in the city to celebrate the occasion.