A minister from India’s Maharashtra state government said they are trying to bring back warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s sword from the UK.
Records show that the sword, named ‘Jagdamba’, made its way to St James’s Palace in London after the Maratha ruler’s descendant presented it to Albert Edward, then Prince of Wales, in 1875.
Maharashtra’s cultural affairs minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, on Sunday (16) said he would visit Britain next month and try to get back the sword and a dagger used by the 17th-century ruler.
His comments came at an event attended by central home minister Amit Shah at Kharghar in Raigad district, where Mungantiwar said the 350th anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation will be celebrated soon.
“I had a discussion with Alan Gemmell, British deputy high commissioner for western India and Imogen Stone, deputy head, political and bilateral affairs, on making available the ‘Jagdamba’ sword and ‘wagh-nakh’ (a dagger looking like tiger claws) for the Marathi people for viewing,” he said.
“I am going to Britain in the first week of May for the same and will try to bring them back for the 350th anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation, which we will celebrate with such grandeur that the world will salute this country led by prime minister Narendra Modi,” the minister said.
‘Jagdamba’ was one of the three popular swords – ‘Bhavani’, and ‘Tulja’ being others – used by Chhatrapati Shivaji who established the Maratha empire in western India, resisting the expansion of the Mughals.
According to history enthusiast Bhushan Garje, the warrior’s descendant, Shivaji IV, from Kolhapur joined other Indian rulers to meet the visiting Prince of Wales in Mumbai.
Shivaji IV was aged 11 when he presented the sword to the British prince.