Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the greatest of the Maratha Emperor and the bravest of the Hindu warrior of all times, is a cult figure here in Maharashtra, as he is worshipped as a God, by all his devout and staunch followers. Every year on the 6th day of June, a grand ceremony is organized by the local authorities in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, in the memory of this greatest King and Emperor, who assumed the title of a ‘King’ of the Maratha Empire, in the late 17th century. Even today, this formal coronation ceremony is celebrated and emulated in a grand way by the local government authorities, that make extensive preparation for this mega event. People from all over Maharashtra, come to witness the enactment of this Rajyabhishek (coronation ceremony) of this true Indian patriot and Hindu King, who assumed the title of Chhatrapati Maharaj and the king of the Maratha Empire. The Coronation took place on the 6th of June on 1674, and till date, it is celebrated with enthusiasm, festive fervor and passion, as it happened on the actual day. Men, women and children from all walks of life descend upon Raigad to be a part of this mega celebration every year, and the entire region turns into a sea of saffron color.
Folk Music and Traditional Fashion Everywhere
Preparation for this mega annual event, starts at least a week ahead, with the authorities making every effort to accommodate people coming from all over Raigad district, and beyond. On the day of the Rajyabhishek ceremony, Marathi folk songs and devotional songs fills the air, and processions are taken out, in exactly the same manner, as it happened more than three centuries ago. A pure solid gold bust of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is placed on the same King Throne on which the emperor sat himself. Then follows the set of customary rituals of bathing the emperor in the waters of the seven rivers, and in pure milk and honey. It is truly a spectacle of some sort, that is worth viewing. Marathi women can be seen dressed in silk sarees or Kolhapuri saris with the famed Kasta style or Koli style drape, along with traditional jewelry. The sarees are mostly in gorgeous red and orange, with zari embroidered borders, while the men folk are in white kurta pyjamas, with the authentic Maratha pagdi. Saffron banners and saffron slit flags are to be seen everywhere, and this grand spectacle, fills every Hindu’s heart with pride, who are true patriot. Come to Raigad during this time of the year, and be a part of this royal coronation ceremony of the Maharaj. He is truly the pride of every nationalist Indian.