Describing Chhatrapati Shivaji's thinking futuristic, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said the 17th Century king had taken many decisions of far-reaching effect with the help of his council of ministers and also complimented the founder of the Maratha empire for building the country's first modern Navy.
The President began his four-day tour of Maharashtra by visiting the historic Raigad fort by ropeway. After paying tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji, President Kovind said his visit to this hill fort was like a sacred pilgrimage for him and all countrymen.
The Raigad fort, located 166 km away from Mumbai, was made the capital of the Maratha kingdom when Shivaji was coronated as king in 1674.
The President said that under the able leadership of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the glory of the entire region increased and patriotic feelings re-emerged.
He noted that the character of Shivaji has been described very effectively in the 19th century Sanskrit work 'Shivraj-Vijayah'.
This book, he said, could be translated into various Indian languages so that people, especially the younger generation, can get acquainted with the great personality and unique work of Shivaji Maharaj.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji's thinking was futuristic. He took many decisions of far-reaching effect with the help of his council of ministers known as 'Ashta-Pradhan'," the President said.
"Chhatrapati Shivaji built the first modern navy of India," a statement quoting the President said.
The President reached the hill-fort by ropeway in view of opposition by some groups to the landing of his helicopter on the historic fort. He also visited the Jagdishwar temple and the samadhi of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
"For me and all Indians, this fort of Raigad is a sacred pilgrimage site," he said.
Kovind became only the second president to visit the Raigad fort. In 1985, the then President Giani Zail Singh had visited Raigad.
Earlier in the day, President Kovind arrived at Pune Airport where he was welcomed by Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, Minister of State for Protocol Aditi Tatkare and Mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
During his visit to Maharashtra from December 6 to 9, the President will visit the Air Force Station in Lohegaon in Pune on Tuesday, witness a flying display and interact with air warriors. He will present the President's Standard to the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron in Mumbai on Wednesday, the Rashtrapati Bhavan had said on Sunday.