From British Museum To Maharashtra, The Untold Story Of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Wagh Nakh

by Ankita Mazumdar
From British Museum To Maharashtra, The Untold Story Of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Wagh Nakh

We are well aware that British historic museums have loads and loads of Indian artifacts and statues. One of them is Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s legendary dagger named ‘Wagh Nakh’ which has great historical significance for the state of Maharashtra. The great value of this tiger-clawed dagger comes from the fact that in the year 1659, it was used to kill Afzal Khan. Afzal was the general of the Bijapur Sultanate and by murdering him victory was for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Read more about its historical significance. 

Know All About The Significance Of Wagh Nakh

  • The dagger’s name, Wagh Nakh, is enough to point out the way it is shaped. In English, it translates to “tiger’s claw” because it is influenced by the claws of big cats like lions and tigers.
  • According to information provided on the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website, James Grant Duff an East India Company officer owned it and brought it to England. He worked as the Resident of the Satara State in the year 1818. 
  • “The ‘Wagnuck’ of Sivajee With Which He Killed the Moghul General. This Relic was given to Mr. James Grant-Duff of Eden When he was Resident at Satara By the Prime Minister of the Peshwa of the Marathas” was inscribed on the case of this dagger.

  • It is a special dagger that is to be concealed in the hand or worn on fingers. It has four or five curving blades meant to slice through the flesh.
  • The Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan in 1659 with this amazing sword and the rest is history for Maharashtra.

Also Read:71 KM From Mumbai, A Farm Stay In Maharashtra’s Shahpur Converts Into A Tiny Island During Monsoon 

The Crucial History Of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Wagh Nakh

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj decided to pretend to negotiate with Afzal Khan after a crucial battle with the army of Bijapur. Shivaji Maharaj was aware of the fact that Afzal Khan intended to assassinate him during the encounter. Therefore he secretly carried a dagger in his left sleeve and had Wagh Nakh in his right hand. 
  • Shivaji Maharaj took a daring step that contributed to his and Maharashtra’s triumph. This action made him establish the Wagh Nakh as a legendary weapon in the history of Maharashtra. 
  • Just as they were about to give each other a hug as a greeting, Shivaji Maharaj quickly pierced Khan’s back with the Wagh Nakh and then struck him with a dagger, when Khan went to stab him.
  • Afzal Khan’s guts were ripped out and he was then beheaded later. Therefore, it was used as a defence weapon. 

The Dagger Is Finally Coming To India

The great Wagh Nakh will make its return to Maharashtra, India for three years. It will move around different museums of the state for display. Maharashtra’s Cultural Affairs Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, will visit the popular Victoria and Albert Museum in London to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom’s authorities. The historic artifact will come to Maharashtra later this year.

If you are a history buff and an ardent follower of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj then witnessing this classic piece of the historical artifact should be on your bucket list as soon as it arrives in Maharashtra.

Also Read: From Matsya To Vamana, This Boutique Art Hotel In Maharashtra Has Vishnu-Themed Rooms

So, who will go along with to see the weapon once held by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj?

Cover Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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