To mark 350 years of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the Waghnakh (iron weapon like tiger's claw), which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had used to kill Afzal Khan in the year 1659, will be brought to Maharashtra from the Victoria Museum in London for three years. Maharashtra Government's Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will reach London on October 3 and sign an agreement in this regard with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Mumbai: To mark 350 years of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the Waghnakh (iron weapon like tiger’s claw), which Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had used to kill Afzal Khan in the year 1659, will be brought to Maharashtra from the Victoria Museum in London for three years. Maharashtra Government’s Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will reach London on October 3 and sign an agreement in this regard with the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Last month, he had said that the Waghnakh, used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Bijapur Sultanate commander Afzal Khan in 1659, is likely to be brought to India from London in November. Mungantiwar had said that “in the first phase we are bringing Waghnakh. It is likely to be brought here in November and we are going to sign the consent for it. Our effort is to bring it on the day Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had eviscerated Afzal Khan.
Maharashtra Government Culture Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had said that waghnakh is a source of inspiration and energy for us. This waghnakh is likely to be kept in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in South Mumbai.
The Maratha victory at the Battle of Pratapgarh in 1659 was a turning point in Chhatrapati Shivaji’s campaign to establish the Maratha Empire. Despite being small in numbers, the Marathas defeated the Adilshahi forces led by Afzal Khan, boosting Chhatrapati Shivaji’s reputation as a brilliant military strategist.
Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan at the foothills of Pratapgarh Fort in present-day Satara district of Maharashtra. This incident has since become a part of folklore, symbolizing Chhatrapati Shivaji’s bravery and cleverness in defeating a much larger and more powerful enemy.
“When Afzal Khan attacked Shivaji Maharaj in the back (during the meeting), Shivaji Maharaj used a ‘wagh nakh’ to kill the cruel, demonic Afzal Khan,” Mr Mungantiwar said.
The authenticity of the ‘wagh nakh’ is under political controversy in Maharashtra. History expert Inderjit Sawant has pointed out that the Victoria and Albert Museum website states that Chhatrapati Shivaji did not use the weapon.
According to sources, Waghnakh has been kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, according to this museum, this weapon was given to East India Company officer James Grant Duff (1789-1858) who was the Resident of the then Satara princely state. The then Peshwa of the Maratha Empire had given this weapon to Duff.