19th February marks the anniversary of legendary Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Revered as a god amongst the Marathas, this king remains one of the few just and brave warrior kings in India, who fought against Mughals and created peace and harmony amongst the kingdom. His greatness lies in the people whose lives he touched, and who (along with Shivaji Maharaj) has been the center of attention of quite a few films.
This Marathi historical period drama film is centered around the brave efforts of Shivaji Maharaj and his army to reconquer Pune from the hands of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s general Shaista Khan. In a stroke of genius, Maharaj and 400 of his men disguised themselves as a bridal party and attacked Shaista Khan at Lal Mahal, where Khan lost three of his fingers. This legendary part of Maratha history is performed by Chinmay Mandlekar, Mrinal Kulkarni, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Ankit Mohan, and Mrunmayee Deshpande among others.
Based on one of Shivaji Maharaj’s trusted generals Tanhaji, this Ajay Devgn production was a big hit. Tanhaji was such a dedicated servant of the Maratha kingdom, that he postponed his son’s wedding to conquer the Kondhana fort from the Mughals and bring glory to the Maratha empire. His heroic sacrifice is brought to life in the film, which stars Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, and Sharad Kelkar in lead roles.
This film starts right after the death of Tanhaji, where the Panhala fort still remains under the Mughal rule, and the mission of one brave warrior Kondaji Farzand, who, along with 60 warriors defeats 2500 enemy soldiers to capture the fort. Starring Prasad Oak, Ankit Mohan, Chinmay Mandlekar, Mrinal Kulkarni, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Neha Joshi, and Sameer Dharmadhikari, this film is yet another example of the loyalty that Shivaji Maharaj inspired.
How far will a mother go for her child? Hirkani answers this question with the help of Hirkani (Sonalee Kulkarni), a mother who scaled the steep Raigad fort to reach her baby in need. For her bravery, Shivaji Maharaj bestowed the title of ‘Hirkani’ upon her and showed us how he empowered women as well as men in his kingdom.
5. Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy
Dinkar Maruti Bhosale (Sachin Khedekar) is tired of being insulted and adrift in his own Mumbai, and feels that being Marathi has become something insulting. Enraged, he unintentionally roused the spirit of Shivaji Maharaj, who ordered him to look within himself to see where the people went wrong, instead of blaming his heritage. Starring Mahesh Manjrekar, Sachin Khedekar, Makarand Anaspure, and Siddarth Jadhav, this film was a rousing success.