Celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj began at the Raigad fort in Maharashtra on Friday morning in presence of state Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.
As per the Gregorian calendar, the Maratha warrior king was coronated on June 6, 1674, at the Raigad fort from where he had laid the foundation of "Hindavi Swaraj" or self-rule of Hindus. As per the Hindu calendar, the anniversary of his coronation falls on June 2 this year.
Shinde and Fadnavis took part in various rituals to mark the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj at the Raigad fort, around 170 km from here. Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar performed 'jalabhishek' (ritual of offering water) on the idol of the 17th century king.
The water was collected from rivers across Maharashtra.
A state police band paid obeisance to the founder of the Maratha empire by playing Maharashtra's state song 'Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha, Garja Maharashtra Majha'.
Flower petals were showered on the statue of Shivaji Maharaj from a helicopter.
Descendents of the legendary Maratha warrior king were also present on the occasion.
The state government has organised week-long programmes to celebrate the coronation anniversary at the fort.
Both Shinde and Fadnavis greeted people of the state on the 350th anniversary of "Shivrajyaabhishek''.
Fadnavis tweeted, "Do join the year long series of grand celebrations of 350th Year of ShivRajyabhishek, the Coronation Ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra."
In a tweet posted on Thursday, CM Shinde said in order to propagate the ideals of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to each and every home, the government has organised various programmes till June 7.