London – In a momentous cultural event, the path has been cleared for the historic ‘Wagh Nakh’ (Tiger Claws) weapon, once wielded by Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, to return to India.
The ‘Wagh Nakh,’ a formidable iron weapon resembling tiger claws, holds a special place in the chronicles of Indian history as it was wielded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
A dedicated three-member team, led by Maharashtra’s esteemed Minister of Cultural Affairs, Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, along with Mr. Vikas Kharge (Principal Secretary, Cultural Affairs), and Mr. Garge (Director, Archaeology and Museums), traveled to London to formalize this momentous agreement.
The transfer contract between the respective parties is likely to be signed on 15 November 2023.
Once the ‘Wagh Nakh’ returns to India, it will be housed in various museums across Maharashtra, where the public will have the privilege of viewing this symbol of valor and victory. The ‘Wagh Nakh’ will be displayed at Satara’s Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, Nagpur Museum, Kolhapur Museum, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastusamgrahalaya, Mumbai. As per the agreement, the artifact will return to London after the agreed duration of 3 years and will be placed at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Designed with precision to slash through skin and muscle, this weapon is currently housed within London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, serving as a testament to India’s rich heritage.
After the signing ceremony of the historic MoU, Minister Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar expressed his optimism, stating, “As we celebrate the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, we had resolved to bring back the ‘Wagh Nakh’ to its rightful home. This historic artifact should serve as an inspiration for the people of our country to emulate the unwavering dedication and bravery of our beloved leaders. We have signed the MoU paving the way for the ‘Wagh Nakh’ to return to India in November.”
In his appeal to the people of Maharashtra, he said, “After the ‘Wagh Nakh’ arrives in India, it will be displayed in various museums under the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums in the future. I am requesting not only the people of Maharashtra but also the people of India to participate in large numbers in the exhibition of the ‘Wagh Nakh’ and other Maratha weapons that were useful for Swaraj, take inspiration from this Shivshastra saga, and behave in a manner that enhances the spirit of patriotism.”
This landmark endeavor not only honors the legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj but also represents a powerful symbol of cultural pride and historical resurgence for the people of Maharashtra and all of India.