Shivaji Jayanti is the birthday of the greatest ruler Chatrapati Shivaji. Shivaji Bhonsle, popularly known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was an Indian warrior king of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Chatrapati Shivaji was born to Jijabai and Shahaji Bhonsle in the hill-fort of Shivneri. He was name after the local Goddess Shivai. Chatrapati Shivaji was the creator of the Maratha nation and was instrumental in uniting many Maratha chiefs. He was mainly influenced by Mahabharata, Ramayana and other holy books which his mother explained him. Shivaji gained a lot of knowledge from his father’s unsuccessful attempts to gain power and was inspired by his father's military tactics and peacetime diplomacy. He had great knowledge on Sanskrit and Hindu scriptures. Shivaji got training from Gomaji Naik and Baji Pasalkar and became a fearless leader. In his early days Shivaji was successful in inspiring local youths to follow his idealistic pursuits. Shivaji attacked and captured Torna Fort of Bijapur at the age of 17. By 1654, he took control of Kondana, Raigad Forts and the Western Ghats along the Konkan Coast. In order to destroy Shivaji’s rise to power, Adilshah arrested his father by fraudulent means and had armies sent against Shivaji and his brother Sambaji. Afzal Khan who was sent to destroy Shivaji was stabbed by him. In battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Bijapur’s armies, Shivaji became hero. Under Shivaji’s leadership, Mughals were pushed back. Shivaji was crowned as a Chhatrapati in 1674 at Raigad fort. He died in 1680.
Shivaji Jayanti is widely celebrated in Maharashtra on his birthday on 19th February. On the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti several parades are conducted and people dress up like Shivaji and his followers. The birthday is celebrated grandly and various programmes demonstrating his achievements are organized.