Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s sword that adorned the Shivrajeshwar temple at the Sindhudurg Fort has got a new lease of life. It has been restored by the royal family of Kolhapur, descendants of Shivaji.
On Monday, Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, the Kolhapur royal family scion, handed over the repaired sword to the temple at the fort. It is now placed in an air-tight wooden and glass case in front of Shivaji’s idol.
The royal family also gifted a replica of the Jagdamba sword to the temple for
daily worship. The original Jagdamba sword is with the Royal Collection Trust in London.
The temple’s traditional caretakers had authorised Sambhajiraje to ensure the repair and restoration of Shivaji’s sword. Last week, a team led by historian Indrajeet Sawant restored and polished the sword.
“There is a tradition of worshipping the sword daily — the main reason for its damage. The restoration has been done in a very scientific manner,” Sambhajiraje told DNA.
Historian Grad Duff had referred to this sword belonging to Shivaji in his work, History of Marathas.
It is believed to have been used by him in numerous wars. The sword’s original wooden scabbard is also in the temple.The restoration threw up some interesting findings. “The sword has typical symbols of the Shivaji era like peacocks, eagles and Hanuman. The gold tread and carvings were noticed only after removing the rust.”
Sambhajiraje, an NCP leader, has asked for the creation of a separate government body, apart from the Archeological Survey of India, to undertake the restoration and maintenance of forts and other antiquities.
The Shivrajeshwar temple at Sindhudurg fort in Sindhudurg district was constructed by Shivaji’s son Rajaram Maharaj in his memory. It contains Shivaji’s idol, a gold crown weighing 1.5kg and the sword.