The 'wagh nakh' is expected to be housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's legendary wagh nakh, the 'tiger claw' weapon he used to defeat Bijapur sultanate's general Afzal Khan in 1659, is set to return to Maharashtra from London in November.
This year marks the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The tiger claw weapon will be brought back from London's Victoria and Albert Museum for a three-year exhibition to commemorate the occasion.
Maharashtra's Culture Minister, Sudhir Mungantiwar, will arrive in London on Tuesday to sign an agreement with the museum for the return of the weapon.
"In the first phase, we are bringing the wagh nakh. It should be brought here in November, and we are signing an MoU for that. Our effort is to bring it on the day when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj disemboweled Afzal Khan," Mr Mungantiwar had said earlier this month.
The wagh nakh is expected to be housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum in south Mumbai.
The Maratha victory at the Battle of Pratapgad in 1659 was a turning point in Chhatrapati Shivaji's campaign to establish the Maratha Empire. Despite being outnumbered, the Marathas defeated the Adilshahi forces led by Afzal Khan, boosting Chhatrapati Shivaji's reputation as a brilliant military strategist.
Chhatrapati Shivaji killed Afzal Khan at the foot of Pratapgarh fort in present-day Satara district in Maharashtra. This episode has since become a part of folklore, symbolising Chhatrapati Shivaji's bravery and cunning in defeating a much larger and more powerful enemy.
"When Afzal Khan stabbed Shivaji Maharaj in the back (during the meeting), Shivaji Maharaj used a 'wagh nakh' to kill the cruel, demonic Afzal Khan," Mr Mungantiwar said.
"The wagh nakh is a source of inspiration and energy for us. This year also marks the 350th anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj's coronation," he added.
The authenticity of the 'wagh nakh' is under debate in Maharashtra. History expert Inderjit Sawant has pointed out that the Victoria and Albert Museum website states that Chhatrapati Shivaji did not use the weapon.
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray has also questioned the authenticity of the 'wagh nakh'.