Shivaji Maharaj Sword: Unveiling the Legendary Weapon | 3 swords

Discover the history and significance of the Shivaji Maharaj Sword, a symbol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s valor and legacy. Explore its features, anecdotes, and its role in shaping history.

Introduction

When we delve into the pages of history, there are certain artifacts that stand out not just as objects, but as symbols of valor, legacy, and the spirit of a nation. One such remarkable artifact is the Shivaji Maharaj Sword. This sword, associated with the great Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, holds a special place in the hearts of millions and serves as a testament to his indomitable spirit and leadership. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover the rich history, features, anecdotes, and significance of the Shivaji Maharaj Sword.

Shivaji Maharaj Sword
Shivaji Maharaj Sword

Story Behind Shivaji Maharaj Sword

Before venturing in to the story behind Shivaji Maharaj Sword, we should understand the fact that Shivaji Maharaj did not use just one Sword. It is believed that, during The coronation of Shivaji Maharaj as the Chhatrapati in 1674, he had the swords named as – Jagdamba, Bhawani and Tulja. The count can be more as all the swords were not necessarily designed for the usage in battles, but to serve as a token of Courage and Valor shown by the king and his men in battles. Some of them were designed for ceremonies and as per traditions were specially designed only for worship during Dusshera Festival

Shivaji Maharaj Sword Name

  1. Jagdamba Talwaar
  2. Bhavani Talwaar
  3. Tulja Talwaar

Shivaji Maharaj Bhavani Talwar

Bhawani Talwar, a sword steeped in significance and adorned with a story of remarkable acquisition. The year was 1659, and a Portuguese vessel found itself stranded in the shallows of Banda, a port nestled along the Konkan coast. Ambaji Sawant, a resident of the region and a devoted soldier of Shivaji Maharaj, embarked on a daring raid of the ship. His audacious endeavor yielded an unexpected treasure—an exquisite European sword, adorned with precious stones.

As destiny would have it, Shivaji Maharaj was traversing the Konkan region during this very time. His path led him to the sacred Saptakoteshwar temple, where he encountered Ambaji’s son, Krushnaji Sawant. In the presence of the great leader and sovereign, Krushnaji was moved to offer the sword acquired by his father as a gift to Shivaji Maharaj on the auspicious day of March 7, 1659. The sword’s remarkable craftsmanship and presence captured Shivaji Maharaj’s admiration instantly.

However, as a true king of his people, he inquired about its cost, for he could not accept gifts without reciprocation. Despite Krushnaji’s initial refusal, Shivaji Maharaj insisted, and in the end, Krushnaji accepted a sum of 300 hun (equivalent to approximately Rs. 7.2 crores in today’s value).

With this acquisition, the Talwar came to be known as Shivaji Maharaj Bhavani Talwar—a name that would resonate through the ages with tales of courage and valor. Today, the Bhawani sword’s value is immeasurable, its historical significance rendering it a treasure beyond mere material worth.

Shivaji Maharaj Tulja Sword

The year was 1662, and a momentous event transpired in the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. During that time, his father, Shahaji Raje, embarked on a tour of the Pune region. Filled with pride and admiration for the remarkable progress and achievements of his son as a Maratha king, Shahaji Raje decided to honor him with a significant gift—a sword that would come to be known as the Tulja Sword.

This poignant gesture took place against the backdrop of the revered town of Jejuri, where Shahaji Raje bestowed the Tulja Sword upon Shivaji Maharaj. A symbol of paternal love, respect, and recognition of his son’s valor and leadership, the Tulja Sword encapsulated a bond that transcended mere materiality. Its name, derived from the revered goddess Tulja Bhavani, held deep significance, aligning Shivaji Maharaj’s strength with the divine grace that had guided his journey.

Shivaji Maharaj Jagdamba Sword

Entranced by the elegance and effectiveness of the Bhawani sword—known for its lightweight design, swift movement, and straight edge—Shivaji Maharaj envisioned arming his soldiers with such remarkable weapons. Thus, he set in motion an ambitious plan, sending forth an international tender that reached the ears of the British, Dutch, Portuguese, French, and other European powers.

As the echoes of Shivaji Maharaj’s prowess reached the far corners of Europe, the colonial powers perceived in him a threat to their ambitions. With collective hesitancy, they declined the order, apprehensive of aiding a leader who stood as an obstacle to their expansionist goals. Amidst this chorus of denial, one European nation emerged—an underdog situated between the formidable forces of France and Portugal. It was Spain, economically overshadowed by its neighbors, that stepped forward to embrace the challenge.

With the resolute determination of Spain’s leadership, thousands of European blades embarked on a journey to distant shores, destined for the Maratha kingdom. This audacious endeavor, rooted in mutual trust and strategic foresight, was a testament to the bonds forged across borders. In a display of gratitude and admiration, the head of Spain bestowed upon Shivaji Maharaj a sword that was nothing short of extraordinary—an exquisite embodiment of craftsmanship, adorned with precious stones, and radiating with the spirit of alliance.

Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London | The story

The legacy of the Jagdamba Sword shines brightly, adorned not only with its intrinsic value but also with the tales of its remarkable journey. This sword, embellished with diamonds and rubies, carries a story that spans continents and centuries.

In a gesture of diplomacy and respect, it found its way into the hands of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, during his visit to India in 1875-76, later ascending to the throne as King Edward VII. Shivaji IV gifted this sword to the Prince and the Prince gave a sword as a return gift which is showcased in Kolhapur in the New palace Museum.

As historian Indrajit Sawant eloquently recounts in his book ‘Shodh Bhavani Talwaricha,’ (roughly translated as ‘Search for Bhavani Sword’) this ceremonial weapon found its resting place in London, under the guardianship of the British Royal Family. A tale steeped in grandeur and historical significance, it’s a testament to the enduring spirit of Shivaji Maharaj, who wielded not only swords of steel but also swords of diplomacy, forging connections across borders.

Bringing back – The Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London

The quest to restore the Jagdamba Sword to its rightful place in Indian history has been a journey fueled by determination and the resolute spirit of reclaiming a cherished symbol. The story unfolds with Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who crossed oceans to London, resolute in his pursuit to defend his honor against the backdrop of disparaging remarks. The echoes of his efforts resound in the verses of poet Ram Ganesh Gadkari, under his pen name Govindagraj, where the sword found its place in the realm of poetry and inspiration.

Post-independence, the mission to bring the sword back gained momentum, spearheaded by luminaries like Yashwantrao Chavan, the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra. A pivotal moment came when Chief Minister AR Antulay took the reins, initiating a concerted effort to unearth evidence supporting India’s rightful claim. Amidst these endeavors, a twist of nomenclature arose. The sword, originally known as ‘Bhavani,’ bore a naming paradox as it existed in Maharashtra’s Satara.

Finally, it became clear that, The Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London is Jagdamba and not Bhavani. The historian also made it clear that we should not get caught in to the name trap. Instead we should focus in to the context and ask the English Government to return the sword that was gifted to Prince of Wales by Shivaji IV at the time of his visit to Maharashtra in 1875-76.

The pursuit to reclaim the Jagdamba Sword signifies more than a retrieval of an artifact; it represents a national endeavor to restore a piece of heritage that encapsulates the spirit of Shivaji Maharaj. It symbolizes resilience, honor, and the indomitable spirit that defined Shivaji’s legacy. As the journey continues, the sword’s return becomes a beacon of hope, illuminating the path of preserving history and connecting the past with the present.

Shivaji Maharaj Coronation Ceremony was held in 1674. So, we have a special occasion in the coming year 2024, as its the 350th Anniversary of this ceremony. And what a great way to celebrate it by bringing all the swords on Raigad Fort that day, especially the Shivaji Maharaj sword in London – “Jagdamba”. Maharashtra Government is in talks with the Centre and are trying there best to have a communication with the English Government and bring this sword back at least for a year for the Celebrations.

Shivaji Maharaj Sword | The Other swords

The swords ‘Bhavani Talwar’ and ‘Tulja Talwar’ stand resolute at Satara and Sindhudurg Fort, echoing with the echoes of Shivaji’s valor.

The precious Bhavani Talwar, also known as the Bhavani Sword, is believed to be in the possession of Chhatrapati Udayan Raje, a direct descendant of Shivaji and a member of the Satara dynasty. He holds the responsibility for its safekeeping and pays homage to it with a puja during every Dussehra festival.

The current location of the Tulja Talwar remains a mystery. There’s a belief among some that the sword found at Shivrajeshwar Temple might be the same one that was once held at the Sindhudurg fort. According to historian Indrajit Sawant from Kolhapur, the sword in Sindhudurg is indeed the Tulja Talwar.

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Is Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London?

The news that – “Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London” is indeed true. But The British didn’t take it by Force. The sword was gifted by Shivaji IV to the Prince of Wales.

Where is Shivaji Maharaj Sword?

Shivaji Maharaj Sword – Jagdamba Sword is in London, Bhavani Sword and Tulja Sword are in India

What is Shivaji Maharaj sword weight?

Shivaji Maharaj sword weight is 1.2 Kg which he used during the battle.

Who was presented with the Jagdamba Sword, and during what occasion?

The Jagdamba Sword was presented to Albert Edward, then Prince of Wales and later King Edward VII, during his visit to India in 1875-76

Where is the Jagdamba Sword currently located?

The Jagdamba Sword is currently under the guardianship of the British Royal Family and is kept at Saint James’s Palace.

Who are some prominent historical figures that pursued the recovery of the swords?

Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Yashwantrao Chavan, and Chief Minister AR Antulay are some historical figures who endeavored to reclaim the swords’ significance.

How did Shivaji Maharaj’s swords become symbols of courage and honor?

Shivaji Maharaj’s swords became symbols of courage and honor due to his exceptional leadership, valor, and the principles he upheld.

What is the mission behind “Bringing Back Shivaji Maharaj Sword”?

The mission of “Bringing Back Shivaji Maharaj Sword” is to restore the Jagdamba Sword to its rightful place in Indian history, symbolizing a national endeavor to reclaim a piece of heritage.

As in 2023, Are there still any efforts going on to bring the Shivaji Maharaj Sword in London?

To mark the 350th Anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj Coronation, which happens to be in 2024, Maharashtra Government is trying their best to bring the sword back for a year to mark the celebrations by asking the Centre to be a Guarantor for the Journey of the sword.

Conclusion: Swords That Forged a Legacy

The Bhawani, Jagdamba, and Tulja swords are not just relics; they are the embodiment of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s spirit, leadership, and defiance against oppression. These swords stand as enduring symbols of courage, honor, and the pursuit of justice. As we reflect on their history, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by Shivaji Maharaj and the indomitable spirit that continues to inspire generations.

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