As a relatively new resident of Mumbai, I’ve yet to experience one of its biggest celebrations, Shivaji Jayanti. I’ve heard that this event in Mumbai brings together everything that truly makes Mumbai a maximum city in all its colour, music and joy.
Shivaji Jayanti celebrates the birth of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on February 19, 1627. Shivaji is often called the warrior king and is revered as the creator of the Maratha nation, making him a hero in Maharashtra. From the tender age of 17, he led armies to capture forts and expand the Maratha Empire, including the famous Maratha War of Independence against the Mughals. To this day, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is celebrated in poems, movies and scriptures, and is considered to be an inspiration to leaders.
Take to the Streets
This festival in India is celebrated with processions, the most famous one held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Buildings, streets and vehicles are adorned with triangular saffron flags, setting the streets of Mumbai ablaze with colour. The procession comes alive with music, Lezim instruments, jingles and clang through the streets as people dance along.
Marvel at the Architecture
While gearing up to celebrate Shivaji Jayanti, I thought it would be a good time to explore some of the famous landmarks in Mumbai that are named in honour of this great king. My favourite is the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in the Fort area of Mumbai. A spectacular building, it captivates my imagination about what Mumbai was like in the 1800s. Built in Gothic style, this building is now the busiest train station in India, with over 3 million people a day passing through its hallowed corridors.
Brilliant examples of architecture in Mumbai, with its turrets, carving and ornamental railings, can be seen in most parts of the city. Of course, these days it is most recognisable as the train station that featured in the Academy Award winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
Uncover Hidden Treasures
A short walk from CST is Crawford Market. One of the best markets in Mumbai, I can find anything at Crawford Market and the surrounding bazaars. The main market has the freshest vegetables and exotic tropical fruits, while the bazaars a short walk from Crawford Market, have anything you could imagine from glittering earrings and soft cotton fabric to the sweetest pineapple and strawberries one can find.
This year, I am waiting in anticipation of experiencing Shivaji Jayanti for the first time, and perhaps after seeing the procession at Shivaji Park, I might just head downtown to see some of my favourite places in Mumbai.
Want to take to the streets to celebrate? MakeMyTrip offers convenient flights and trains to Mumbai.