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Chhatrapati Shivaji Coronation Day Anniversary

Published: 14th Jun, 2021

The Maharashtrian community in India is celebrating 'Shivrajyabhisek' (June 6), a day when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was crowned as king of Maratha Swaraj in 1974. The event proved to be the watershed moment in Maratha history as it also marked the beginning of Hindavi Swarajya in India.


The Maharashtrian community in India is celebrating 'Shivrajyabhisek' (June 6), a day when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was crowned as king of Maratha Swaraj in 1974. The event proved to be the watershed moment in Maratha history as it also marked the beginning of Hindavi Swarajya in India.


  • The day is celebrated widely in Maharashtra, especially in Raigad where locals organise a coronation ceremony for Shivaji at Raigad Fort.
  • This year's Shivrajyabhishek Ceremony will be graced by the presence of a rare coin 'Hoan' that is part of the antiques of Shivaji Maharaj's era.


Early life of Shivaji

  • The founder of the Maratha Empire, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in the Bhonsle Maratha clan to Shahaji and Jijabai on February 19, 1630, in the hill-fort of Shivneri which towers over the town of Junnar in the northern part of Pune district.
  • On account of his military prowess and ambitious spirit, Chhatrapati Shivaji's father, Raje Shahaji Bhosle, became an important chief whose services were coveted by the Nizamshahs, the Adilshahs of Bijapur and the Mughals alike.
  • In his early days Chhatrapati Shivaji set upon himself the task of first establishing a firm control over all parts of his father's jagir. For this, it was necessary to secure possession of the hill-forts within the jagir.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji first secured possession of Torna fort from its Bijapuri commandant through some stratagem.
  • The ground fort of Chakan guarding the road to Pune from the north was secured by winning over the loyalty of its commandant while the hill-fort of Kondana (better known as Sinhagad) near Pune was secured by diplomatic moves.

Coronation at Raigad fort

  • It was Vishweshwar alias Gaga Bhatta, one of the most venerable priests of his time, who urged Chhatrapati Shivaji to crown himself ceremonially
  • Raigad, the impregnable fort in Kolaba district on the Konkan coast had already been chosen by Chhatrapati Shivaji to be his capital because it was nearly equidistant from Pune, Satara and Bombay, and hence it was ideally situated for directing military as well as maritime
  • Shivaji was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad on 6 June, 1674 for the first time and on September 24, 1674, for the second time.

Why this event is historically significant?

  • It is significant to know that on this day, Shivaji was given the title of 'Shakakarta'. He also took the title of Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith).
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji started a new era (Rajyabhisheka Shaka) from the day of his coronation and struck new coins (Shivrai hans) in his own name.
  • The institution of the council of eight ministers (Ashtapradhan) with different portfolios but acting under the supreme monarch was formalised.
  • The coronation announced to the world that the political creation of Chhatrapati Shivaji was validated as the work of a sovereign, that he was no longer a jagirdar's son or a Mughal mansabdar in revolt.

Rule of Shivaji

  • In Chhatrapati Shivaji's State, political power rested in the highest executive, the crowned prince though he appointed Ashta Pradhan (council of eight) to assist him.
  • In Chhatrapati Shivaji's Council, no minister possessed overriding authority. This was left in the hands of the sovereign himself.

Designation/Title of Ashta Pradhan

Pantpradhan / Peshwa (Prime Minister)

Sar-i-Naubat / Senapati (Commander-in-Chief)

Amatya / Mazumdar (Finance Minister)

Sumant / Dabir - (Foreign Minister)

Shurunavis/Sacheev (Secretary)

Nyayadhish (Chief Justice)

Waqia-Navis (Interior Minister)

Panditrao (High priest)

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji had two hundred and eighty forts in his occupation. The hill-fort, with the territory commanded by it, was the unit of Chhatrapati Shivaji's civil government.
  • Coming down from the hill-forts to the plains, the country was divided into Mahals and Prants.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji did not continue the old Mughal system of leaving the revenue management solely in the hands of the village Patils or Kulkarnis, it was carried on directly by the Subhedars or Mahalkaris for the Subha or the Mahal while every group of two or three villages was managed by a Kamavisdar who made the direct collection of the revenue.
  • His reign brought peace and order to his country, assured the protection of women's honour and the religion of all sects without distinction, extended the royal patronage to the truly pious men of all creeds, and presented equal opportunities to all his subjects by opening the public service to the talented irrespective of caste or creed.

Shivaji’s warfare strategy

Chhatrapati Shivaji adopted the Guerrilla war strategy. The Guerrilla strategy aims at avoiding pitched battles. It strives to change the balance of military force by tactful operations. It knows no distinction between the offensive and defensive. Its strategy is always offensive. The descriptive label attached to such war was Ghanimi Kava

Shivaji’s Naval Power

  • The marine forts of Chhatrapati Shivaji were mainly of two types. The first one was the island fort in which the stronghold was surrounded by sea on all sides.
  • The other type was known as the coastal fort or the headland fort which was constructed along the sea-shore where the entrance would be from the land side and the rear part of the fort would face towards the sea.
  • Shivaji also laid the foundation of the ship building industry of the Marathas after he captured Konkan in 1650s. Kalyan was made a naval base and  dockyards were built accordingly.

Hindavi Swaraj

  • Hindavi Swarajya (Self-rule of Indian people) is a term for socio-political movements seeking to remove foreign rule from India. 
  • The term was first used in a 1645 letter by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • The term Swarajya was later adopted by Bal Gangadhar Tilak during freedom struggle.


Chhatrapati Shivaji's great achievement was to instill among his fellow countrymen a spirit of self-reliance and independence. The resolute passion of independence he kindled among the people, is the most precious legacy of his Swarajya to modern India.


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