The Navhind Times Archive

Remembering Sambhaji, the Maratha king

Chhatrapati Sambhaji, son of Chhatrapati Shivaji and the second ruler of the Maratha kingdom will be remembered at a spectacular event to be held at the Ponda Fort, at Farmagudi on Wednesday, January 16, at 9 a.m. while commemorating 339th anniversary of his coronation.

The event will be organised by the Directorate of Art and Culture, in association with the Pune-based Chhatrapati Shambhu Raje Rajyabhishek Trust.

The Minister for Art and Culture, Govind Gaude stated that besides the anniversary of coronation of Chhatrapati Sambhaji, the Maratha king had posted victory against Portuguese rulers in Goa on November 1, 1683, exactly 335 years ago.

The event will commence at Narvem, at 7 a.m. with the Mayem MLA, Praveen Zantye performing abhisheka – holy shower – on the ‘ling’ of Lord Saptakoteshwar. Chhatrapati Sambhaji had also performed this religious ritual, when he had arrived in Goa to counter the Portuguese rulers.

The Portuguese colony of Goa at that time provided supplies to the Mughals, allowed them to use the Portuguese ports in India and pass through their territory. In order to deny this support to the Mughals, Chhatrapati Sambhaji undertook a campaign against Portuguese Goa in late 1683, storming the colony and taking its forts.

In November 1683, the then Portuguese viceroy Francisco de Távora attacked the Ponda Fort in the possession of Marathas, armoured with 25,000 guns, two large canons and eight movable canons. Chhatrapati Sambhaji along with 14,000 horsemen defeated the Portuguese army.

Following the abhisheka of Lord Saptakoteshwara, an idol of the Maratha king will be carried in a procession from Narvem to Farmagudi, to the Gopal-Ganapati temple. Furthermore, 11 achiever Goan women will perform abhisheka on the idol of Shambhu Raje, with waters brought from seven Goan rivers.

Later, a special book on Chhatrapati Sambhaji written by Ramkrishna Kadam will be released along with a portrait of the Maratha king. The event will also include a lecture by leading historian Bhagwan Chille and felicitation of eminent persons and performances by cultural troupes.

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