Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2024: Interesting facts

In the rich tapestry of Indian history, which has seen many legendary figures, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is known as a figure of unparalleled courage and equal amounts of wisdom.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s sacrifices and courageous victories, particularly against the Mughals, make him stand  in the halls of history as a timeless legend.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s monumental achievements both as a warrior and a king are unmatched in both Indian and world history.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, also known as Shivaji or Shivaji Raje Bhosale, was born on 19 February 1630 in Pune’s Shivneri Durg to Jijabai and Shahaji Bhosale. This is why we celebrate the day as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti. 2024 would mark the 394th anniversary of the Maratha King.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s reign saw him display his prowess on the battlefield, an able and just governance, and the first instance of true nation building in the Maratha empire

Also, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj managed to do this when he was only 15.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was more than a warrior and statesman, he had a visionary spirit.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ‘s dreams extended beyond borders as he envisioned a vast and harmonious nation with equality for all its citizens.

The Maratha warriors under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj broke the brutal clutches of the Mughal empire and crippling its power in the Deccan, while fighting against the oppressive rules and tactics of  Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Interesting facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a warrior since childhood

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s mother Jijamata greatly influenced the young Shivaji Raje, teaching him the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Gita from his childhood.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj learned the art of swordsmanship, capturing and conquering forts, and war practice under the leadership of the military general Dadoji Kondev.

The young Shivaji Raje started his fight against the Mughal invasion at the age of 15!

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the Father Of Guerrilla Warfare

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered the father of guerrilla warfare (ganimi kawa), which means having an awareness of the geography of enemy territory and guerrilla tactics like raiding, ambushing, and surprise.

The guerrilla warfare technique is still used by armies worldwide.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj believed in ‘Hindavi Swaraj,’ a call for self-governance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj dreamt of a democratic governance system and coined the slogan ‘Hindavi Swaraj,’self-governance for the people of the land of Hindustan.

This dream and the oath taken by the Maratha King for Swaraj later influenced freedom fighters like Gandhi and Tilak during India’s freedom struggle.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was inspired by the teachings of Samarth Ramdas

Guru Samarth Ramdas was a mentor and shaped Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s life, by guiding him in life’s important decisions made only after consulting his revered mentor.

Swami Ramdas gave a direction and spiritual vision to all of the life decisions of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This explains to us the importance of having a ‘guru’ behind every successful man.

Goddess Tulja Bhavani gave the Sacred Sword to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

People in Osmanabad and the surrounding regions of Maharashtra worship Goddess Tulja Bhavani. It is part of folklore that Goddess Bhavani had appeared before Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and handed him the mighty sword by herself.

One can visit The British Museum, London, and witness ‘The Bhavani’ sword!

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj protected the honour of women

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was an ally of women. He was totally against women’s harassment and violence during raids, regardless of their caste or religion.

Under the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, women from captured territories were never taken as prisoners of war. People who tried to harass women were punished severely.

Jijabai taught Shivaji the right ethics and principles of respecting women and treating them with utmost regard. That was the main reason why women felt safe during the rule of Shivaji Maharaj.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is known as ‘The Father of Indian Navy’

In its early stages, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj recognized the significance of a formidable naval force. He was one of the first leaders who constructed a powerful navy to deter foreign invaders such as the Dutch, Portuguese, and British, as well as pirates in the Indian ocean region.

Shivaji Maharaj built naval forts namely  Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg, and numerous other locations, and he commissioned four distinct types of warships, including Manjuhas, Pal, Gurabs, and Gallibats.

Therefore, he is rightly considered the ‘father of the Indian Navy.’

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a secular king who respected all religions

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established a reputation for his liberal and tolerant religious policies. Despite being a Hindu, he granted Muslims the freedom to practice their religion and provided them with financial support for their religious activities.

Within his own army and navy, there were many Muslim soldiers too, as the Maharaj believed in humanity and not the background of the person.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj converted an army of 2,000 men into 10,000 skillful soldiers

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj inherited 2,000 soldiers from his father Shahaji Raje and expanded them to 10,000, recognizing the significance of a formidable army.

He perfected warfare strategies that he learned from childhood and operated with an intelligence unit, similar to the intelligence wings in modern armed forces that aided in devising tactics, including guerrilla warfare.

Central Administration during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

A visionary leader of 17th-century India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj pioneered a realm of progressive governance. As the architect of numerous forts and an advocate for progressive policies, he left an indelible mark on India’s history, honored as an enduring symbol of enlightened rule.

When Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established the Maratha Empire in western India, carving an empire out of the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur with his determination and great administrative skills, it was his governance with the help of a disciplined military and a well-established administrative setup, that made him stand out as an efficient and progressive administrator.

Apart from his unconventional military tactics, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj laid the groundwork for a solid administrative system.

Under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Maratha Empire extended from Maharashtra to present-day Tamil Nadu. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj divided his dominion into two sections: Mulk-i-qadim (ancient territory) and Swaraj (own kingdom).

There was another unspecified stretch of land that paid Chauth (one fourth tax) but was not subject to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s authority. To fortify the administration, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj abolished the ‘jagirdari‘ system ( a form of land tenancy) and began paying his officers in cash.

He however provided land grants for schools and temples despite abolishing the jagirdari system.

  • The supreme sovereign of the Maratha administration was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and an eight-member team of ministers (ashtapradhan) was appointed to oversee the implementation of various policies.
  • These eight ministers reported directly to Shivaji and were given considerable authority in carrying out the King’s policies. These eight ministers were:
    • The Peshwa, or Prime Minister, who was in charge of general administration and represented the king when he was not present.
    • The Majumder, also known as the Auditor,  who was in charge of the kingdom’s financial health.
    • The Pandit Rao, or Chief Spiritual Head, who was in charge of overseeing the spiritual well-being of the kingdom, setting dates for religious ceremonies, and overseeing the king’s charitable programmes.
    • The Dabir, or Foreign Secretary, who was tasked with advising the king on foreign policy matters.
    • The Senapati, or Military General, who was in charge of overseeing all aspects of the military, including organization, recruitment, and training of soldiers. During the war, he also served as the king’s strategic advisor.
    • The Nyayadhish, or Chief Justice, who oversaw the formulation of law and its subsequent enforcement, civil, judicial, and military.
    • The Mantri, or Chronicler, who was in charge of keeping meticulous records of everything the king did on a daily basis.
    • The Sachiv, or Superintendent, who was in charge of royal correspondence.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s kingdom was divided into four provinces, each led by a Mamlatdar. The village was the smallest administrative unit, and the chief was titled Deshpande, who presided over the Village Panchayat.
  • In addition to Persian, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj encouraged the use of Marathi and Sanskrit in his court.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was religiously tolerant and strongly opposed caste discrimination during his reign

Revenue Administration in the time of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj abolished the jagirdari system in favour of the ryotwari system, which eliminated the need for middlemen between farmers and the state.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj strictly supervised the mirasdars, who had inherited inland rights.
  • The revenue system was based on Malik Amber’s kathi system, in which every piece of land was measured by Rod or Kathi.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj implemented the chauth and sardeshmukhi taxes.
  • Chauth was a quarter of the standard paid to Marathas as a deterrent against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forces raiding non-Maratha territory.
  • Sardeshmukhi was a 10% additional levy demanded from areas outside the kingdom.

Judicial Administration

  • Under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the judicial system was simple and founded on ancient Hindu rules.
  • The highest court was the king’s Hazar Majils.
  • The Panchayats handled disputes between various parties in the communities, and the village ‘Patel’ decided on criminal cases.

Military Administration

  • As mentioned earlier, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a military genius with a well-organized army. The regular army was made up of 30000 to 40000 cavalrymen who were supervised by havaildars. They were paid a set salary.
  • The Maratha cavalry was divided into two divisions:
    • bargirs,who were equipped and paid by the state, and
    • silahdars, who were maintained by the nobles.
  • The Mavli foot soldiers were crucial in the infantry, along with the navy
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj kept a strong military force, constructed several strategic forts to secure his borders, and established a strong naval presence along the Konkan and Goan coasts.
  • The forts were critical components of the Marathas’ military operations. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had approximately 240 forts  under his kingdom by the end of his reign.
  • As a precaution against treachery, each fort was placed under the command of three officers of equal rank.
  • Ordinary soldiers were paid in cash, but the chief and military commander were compensated with jagir grants (Saranjam or Mokasa).
  • Infantry (Mavali foot soldiers), Cavalry (Horse riders and equipment holders), and the Navy comprised the complete armed forces under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Are you still looking for more information about Shivaji Maharaj?

5 little known facts about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

  • Shivrajyabhishek Sohla i.e., the Coronation ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj completes 351 years in June 2024.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured his first fort, Torna Fort, in the present-day Pune district at the age of 16.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s name is derived from the name of ‘Goddess Shivai.’
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is known as ‘Jaanta Raja‘ meaning ‘the king who knows and understands.’
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was coronated as the ‘King of Marathas’ on 6th June 1674 after the battle of Sinhagad.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti Celebrations

On Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti, celebrated on February 19, various events and programs are organized across Maharashtra and other parts of the country to honour the memory of the great Maratha warrior king.

These include processions, cultural performances, tribute ceremonies, seminars, and exhibitions showcasing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s life and achievements.

People pay their respects by visiting  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forts, monuments, and statues, offering prayers, and participating in community feasts.

Schools, colleges, and educational institutions also organize special events to educate students about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s contributions to Indian history and culture


Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a capable general and a skilled politician who laid the groundwork for a powerful Maratha empire. He expanded the Maratha Empire’s influence all over India.

He established an efficient administrative system, established an authentic revenue system for income, and broadened the empire’s economic base through Chauth and Sardeshmukhi, a cash-based army, and so on, in essence laying the building blocks for modern administration.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a true creative genius militarily and a nation-builder as king, who unified the Marathas while fighting the Mughal empire.

He enjoys a special place in the hearts of Indians and the history of India as a fearless warrior and an astute administrator.

Do you want to read more interesting and inspiring tales about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj? ‘Shivcharitra‘ is the perfect book for you to explore important aspects of the Maratha king.

‘A true king knows how to win even when the battle is lost. A true king knows how to live even when his life is lost.’

A king like Shivaji will never again be born, but will always live on.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj ki Jai!



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