Sat. May 18th, 2024

Mumbai: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s famous ‘wagh nakh’, also known as the ‘tiger claw’, which he used to defeat Bijapur sultanate’s general Afzal Khan in 1659, is set to return to Maharashtra from London in November. This year marks the 350th anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s coronation, and the tiger claw weapon will be brought back from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum for a three-year exhibition to commemorate the occasion. Maharashtra’s Culture Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, will travel to London on Tuesday to sign an agreement with the museum for the return of the weapon. The wagh nakh is expected to be housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum in south Mumbai.

The Maratha victory at the Battle of Pratapgad in 1659 was a significant moment in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s campaign to establish the Maratha Empire. Despite being outnumbered, the Marathas defeated the Adilshahi forces led by Afzal Khan, bolstering Chhatrapati Shivaji’s reputation as a brilliant military strategist. Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan at the foot of Pratapgarh fort in present-day Satara district in Maharashtra. This event has since become a part of folklore, symbolizing Chhatrapati Shivaji’s courage and cunning in defeating a much stronger enemy.

The authenticity of the ‘wagh nakh’ is under debate in Maharashtra, as history expert Inderjit Sawant has pointed out that the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website states that Chhatrapati Shivaji did not use the weapon. Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray has also questioned the authenticity of the ‘wagh nakh’.

By admin