UDUPI: Basrur in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district will celebrate the valour of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji on February 21 to commemorate his sea expedition that liberated the port town from the Portuguese 356 years ago. The town has been celebrating liberation day for the past four years.
Speaking to reporters in Udupi on Monday, Niranjan Tallur, convener of the event, said the Yuva Brigade is organizing a mega event at Basrur on February 21 beginning with a procession at 4 pm followed by a stage programme where personalities like Sri Vishwaprasanna Theertha of Sri Pejavar Mutt, Udupi, B L Santhosh, National General Secretary of BJP, and Chakravarthi Soolibele, founder of Yuva Brigade, will be addressing the gathering. Tallur further said that about 5,000 people are expected to participate in the programme. A six-foot sculpture of Chhatrapati Shivaji will also be unveiled in Basrur on the day.
It was on February 13, 1665 that Shivaji registered the heroic victory against the Portuguese at the strategic port. In fact, it was Shivaji’s first ever naval expedition with the Swadeshi navy during which he hoisted the Bhagwa flag of the Marathas. Until the 18th century, Basrur was a busy port and hub of trade.
Sandeep Mahind, president of Sri Shivbharath Pramodini along with volunteers’ group members, had come in a bike expedition from Pune to study Shivaji’s naval expedition to coastal areas in 2016 and they visited Basrur also as Shivaji’s naval expedition to liberate the port was known by them through well known historian Jadunath Sarkar's book ‘Shivaji and his Times’.
The expedition that began from Pune ended at Basrur village. Since 2016, February 13 every year is observed as a commemoration day to honour the bravery of Shivaji by locals who were in the dark till then about this tale of past glory. Through the mega event on February 21, the organisers want to revive the memory of Shivaji’s victory against the Portuguese, Tallur said.