Thursday, February 8, 2018

What happened to the Maharaj Shivaji’s Swords

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the great warrior of 17th century, born in India. He started his mission to form a Hindu kingdom (hindavi swarajya) in his early childhood, at the age of fifteen. In his life he captured & built about 350 hill forts & coastal forts. He also formed a strong navy to protect costal region of western India. Today he is called as the father of Indian navy.

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He brought revolution in traditional Maratha weapons. This development was the only thing, which took Marathas to the victory

Shivaji Maharaj did not use just a single sword during his career. He had 3 swords namely- 1) Bhawani 2) Tulja 3) Jagdamba.

Let’s hear out the story of each sword.

1. BHAWANI

The year was 1659. A port named Banda near the Konkan coast had a Portuguese ship stuck on it due to shallow waters. A resident of that region and a soldier of Shivaji Maharaj by the name Ambaji Sawant raided that Portuguese ship and found in it an impeccable, stone studded European sword.

During that period Shivaji Maharaj was on a tour of the Konkan region. He visited the Saptakoteshwar temple in the region and there Ambaji’s son Krushnaji Sawant met Shivaji Maharaj. Overwhelmed by the presence of such a great leader and the king of kings, Krushnaji gifted the sword acquired by his father to Shivaji Maharaj on 7th March, 1659. Shivaji Maharaj, seeing the sword was certainly impressed and loved it immediately. He asked Krushnaji for its price, as a king was not supposed to accept free presents from his people. Krushnaji denied taking the money, but as Shivaji Maharaj insisted, he accepted 300 hun (as of today, 1 hun~ Rs. 2,40,000). Later Shivaji Maharaj named this sword as Bhawani.

Bhawani sword’s today’s minimum market price would be 300 hun i.e Rs. 7.2 crores.

It’s today’s location is unknown.

2. TULJA

The year was 1662. Shivaji Maharaj’s father Shahajiraje was on a tour of the Pune region. Citing the immense progress his son had been able to achieve as a Maratha king, he decided to gift him a sword. This sword was gifted to Shivaji Maharaj by Shahajiraje at Jejuri. This sword was named as Tulja.

It’s today’s location is unknown.

3. JAGDAMBA

Being impressed by the light weighing, swift, long and straight sword of Bhawani, Shivaji Maharaj decided to enable his soldiers with the same types of swords. So, he placed an international tender and asked the British, Dutch, Portuguese, French and the other European powers to accept the order. Almost every European power was well acquainted with the greatness of Shivaji Maharaj as a leader and saw in him a threat to their colonial ambitions. Hence, they denied to accept the order. But there was one European nation located in between France and Portugal, then not very strong economically as compared to its neighbours accepted the order. It was Spain.

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The head of Spain accepted the order and thousands of European blades started to embark for India. Being overwhelmed by the vastness of the order and for trusting such a small country in the presence of strong European powers, the head of Spain gifted a brilliant, stone studded, exemplary and a stainless sword to Shivaji Maharaj. This was the Jagdamba sword.

In 1875, the British tactfully got hold of this sword from a descendent of Shivaji Maharaj and took it to England.

It’s today’s location is Royal Museum, London.