Shiv Jayanti is celebrated with great fervor, and Belagavi is known for its unique traditions and celebrations of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and this year it will be the centenary year of the celebrations. This year the procession would be taken out on Wednesday, May 8.
It all began in the pre-independence era, in 1919, when the Shiv Jayanti celebration was commenced. Initially, a procession was taken out in the bullock cart and for the first few years, Shiv Jayanti was celebrated in their respective lanes. After a couple of years, a few of the mandals decided to get together and celebrate it in a more grand manner. The celebrations even spread to the suburbs by then. Coconut and banana leaves were used for decoration. Year after year the mandals started to get unique and showcased local issues and now the star attraction is the various skits performed which depict the historical incidents from the Maharaj’s life.
Tributes are paid to the warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and a huge number of people gather to witness the grand procession. Thousands of people from all walks of life throng the streets and all vantage points are occupied to get the perfect view. The decorated tableaus from different Galli’s and areas of the city, showcase posters and skits recalling the historical incidents of Shivaji.
Dying performing arts such as Lathi (stick) fighting skills, sword fights, fireball string skills, Lazim dance, Karela skills, playing of Zhanz Pathak and more along the procession are the added attraction.
The procession begins from Nargundkar Bhave chowk and culminates at Kapileshwar Temple in the wee hours of the morning.