The Sword of Chh. Shivaji Maharaj

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Chhatrapati Shivaji was the great warrior of 17th century, born in India. He started his mission to form a hindu kingdom (hindavi swarajya) in his early childhood, at the age of fifteen. In his life he captured & built about 350 hill forts & coastal forts. He also formed a strong navy to protect costal region of western India. Today he is called as the father of Indian navy.

He brought revolution in traditional maratha weapons. This development was the only thing, which took Marathas to the victory

Exactly how was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja's Sword?

Maratha Swords are developed by Chh. Shivaji Maharaj, Maratha Swords are not like other sowrds found in the world. It has a unique comfortable hilt with a unique pomel.

Was it been offered by Godess Bhavani?

It's a believed that the sword used by Shivaji Maharaj was presented by Godess Bhawani, but it is a mith. There is no any evidance found in historical records.

How is it depicted in contemporary paintings & sculptures?

This is a famous contemporary painting of Shivaji Maharaj, now at Chh. Shivaji Vastu Sanghrahalay, Mumbai.

It is clearly seen that the sword held by Shivaji Maharaj is straight & hilt of the sword is of Maratha type.

This is a famous contemporary painting of Shivaji Maharaj, now at British Musium, London.

It is clearly seen that the sword held by Shivaji Maharaj is straight & hilt of the sword is of Maratha type.

This is a famous contemporary painting of Shivaji Maharaj, by Mir Mahmmad painted before 1688.

In this painting, the sword of Shivaji Maharaj is held by his Sardar which is marked above. The sword is of Maratha Type & straight.

A contemporary stone sculpture at Yadwad, dist. Dharwad, karnataka in which Shivaji Maharaj is shown holding a sword which is straight & Maratha Type.

A contemporary stone sculpture at Shrishail Mallikarjun, Andhra Pradesh which clearly shows Shivaji Maharaj holding a sword which is straight.

How do historical references & sources give us information about the sword?

A famous poet Jairam Pinde from Shivaji's father Shahaji's Royal court has written a famous Sanskrit poet 'Radha Madhav Vilas Champu' & 'Parnal Parvat Grahan Akhyan' are said to be the most authentic refrences of Maratha history in which he has mentioned description of Shahaji's sword which is later given by him to Shivaji Maharaj. (Refrance : Radha Madhav Vilas Champu, Page No. 99)

(Shivaji Maharaja's Bakhar written by Chitragupta, Chitnis Bakhar, Shiv-Digvijay Bakhar, Historical records during Tarabai period)

Shivaji's Sword in royal collection Trust,London

One of the sword of Shivaji Maharaj is now in London, in Royal Collection Trust of Royal family of Britain. This sword was presented by Shivaji IV of Kolhapur to Prince of Wales in 1875 AD.

The Royal Collection London

Address: Clarence House, St James's Palace, London, SW1 1BA

King Edward VII when Prince of Wales

Born: 1841
Died: 1910
Reigned: 1901 -10
  • Eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
  • In 1863 married Princess Alexandra of Denmark; their second son succeeded as King George V after the death of the eldest son, the Duke of Clarence, in 1892
  • The first member of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dynasty
  • Presented with jewelled arms and armour on his visit to India (on behalf of Queen Victoria) in 1875-6
  • Commissioned Alfred Gilbert to create the Art Nouveau tomb at Windsor for the Duke of Clarence
  • As Prince of Wales lived chiefly at Marlborough House, London and at Sandringham House, Norfolk (purchased in 1862 and soon rebuilt)
  • After his accession initiated a major refurbishment and redecoration project at Buckingham Palace
  • Gave Osborne House and its estate to the nation in 1902
  • Commissioned many items from Fabergé as gifts for Queen Alexandra, including models of animals at Sandringham


एक कहे कल्पद्रुम है, इमि पूरत है सबकी चितचाहे ।
एक कहे अवतार मनोज, की यो तनमे अति सुंदरता है ।
भुषण एक कहे महि इंदु यो, राजविराजत बाढयौ महा है ।
एक कहे नरसिंह है संगर, एक कहे नरसिंह सिवा है ॥
- कविराज भुषण

अर्थ :-
यास कोणी कल्पवृक्ष म्हणतात, कारण हा सर्वांचे मनोरथ पूर्ण करतो.
हा सौंदर्यसंपन्न असल्याने कोणी याला मदनाचा अवतार म्हणतात.
भुषण याला पृथ्वीवरचा चंद्र म्हणतो, कारण याचे राज्य कलेकलेने वाढत आहे.
कोणी याच्या युद्धातील पराक्रमामुळे यास सिंह म्हणतात तर कोणी प्रत्यक्ष नृसिंह भगवानच समजतात.
कारण ज्याप्रमाने नरसिंहाने हिरण्यकशपुचे पोट फाडले तद्वातच शिवरायांनी आपल्या वाघनखांनी अफजलखानाची आतडी काढली.

This is my enquiry about Tiger claws . Tiger Claws of Shivaji Maharaj is now in Victoria and Albert Museum London. 
Dear Deepak,

Thank you for your e-mail.

The piece you have enquired about is not in display in the galleries
but is in storage. I have had a look throught the records and found the
following details - apologies that they are quite brief:

Tiger claws or 'bagh nakh'. An assassin's weapon composed of five
curved hooks resembling claws attached to a bar with ring ends through
which the first and little fingers are passed. Thus held it can be
concelaed in the palm of the hand. Kolhapur, Maharashtra, 19th

I hope that is of some help.

Best regards,

Melissa Appel
Asian Department

Please note that although V&A staff are pleased to answer enquiries
whenever possible, they cannot accept any legal or other responsibility
for any opinion expressed.

The Victoria and Albert Museum
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Tipu's sword is Mallya's

The working president of the Janata Party and United Breweries Chairman, Vijay Mallya, poses with the legendary sword of Tipu Sultan in Bangalore on Wednesday. Mr. Mallya had bought it at an auction in London last September for Rs. 1.5 crores. — AP
BANGALORE, APRIL 7. The legendary sword last used by Tipu Sultan is back in Karnataka, 205 years after the British invaders took it as a battle trophy after the `Tiger of Mysore' fell in battle at Srirangapatna on May 4, 1799.
Vijay Mallya, Rajya Sabha MP, displayed the sword before mediapersons here on Wednesday and announced that he was the `mysterious person' who bought the sword at an auction in London in September 2003.
"The sword reached Bangalore just ten days ago... I paid close to Rs 1.50 crores at the auction. Since the sword is of Indian origin, there was no Customs duty to pay," he said.
The liquor baron-turned-politician said that acquiring the sword, paying for it from his personal funds, was a matter of prestige for him and that he was "restoring Karnataka's pride.''
The sword would remain in his custody except during the weeklong anniversary celebrations of Tipu next month when it would be kept for public display at Srirangapatna near Mysore, which was Tipu's capital.
"It will probably be in a bank vault the rest of the time," he added.
Considering the instance of Tagore's Nobel Prize medal going missing, he did not want to take any chances with the precious object.
Present along with the flamboyant Mr. Mallya at the press conference were the traditional guardians of the Ajmer Dargah Sharief, Sahebzada Sayed Mohammed Ilyas Mian and his son Sahebzada Sayed Mohammed Ayaz Mian.
Mr. Mallya explained that he had sought the blessings of the Sufi saint Khwaja Gharib Nawaz at Ajmer before entering the world of politics.
The guardians of the dargah said that Tipu was known as much for his benevolence and tolerance as the valour he showed in battles against the British.
The calligraphy on the sword vouchsafes for its provenance. On the border of the 36-inch-long steel blade is the following inscription: "The Sword of Tipu Sultan found after Srirangapatnam was taken by Storm on 4th May 1799 and presented by the Army to Major General Baird through their Commander Lieut. General Harris, as a token of their high opinion of his Courage and Conduct in the assault which he commanded and in which Tipu Sultan was slain." The hilt has Arabic inscriptions in praise of the Almighty.
The overall length of the sword is 42 inches. The polished bright steel hilt and the pommel, and the convex pommel cap fitted with a gold loop, form a part of the sword. The scabbard is of velvet with silver gilt. The straight blade with a double-edged point is inlaid in gold with the `orb and parasol' mark ascribed by some historians to imperial Mughal swordsmiths.
The presence of such swords in Mughal paintings, where they are shown as being worn by courtiers or gifted by the emperor, would explain the status of the sword and its probable Mughal-era manufacture. The inscription on the sword, `Samsir-al Malik,' indicates its princely association.
Mr. Mallya said that the sword was among the objects auctioned by the descendants of General Baird to whom it was originally presented after the battle.

The timing of Mr. Mallya's announcement of his acquisition made some six months ago has not gone unnoticed, coming as it does a fortnight before the first phase of polling in Karnataka.
However, the working president of the Janata Party said: "This is not political. It's personal."
Mr. Mallya's party has fielded candidates in more than a hundred Assembly constituencies and half-a-dozen Lok Sabha constituencies in the coming elections in Karnataka.
He described the sword as a unique piece of history and said that he bought it as a `proud Kannadiga' in order to restore the `rightful legacy' to Karnataka.