President Ram Nath Kovind visited Raigad fort on Monday. He landed at the foothills below the fort and took the ropeway up, after the Indian Air Force decided against building a helipad in a part of the fort. Kovind began his three-day visit to Maharashtra by paying tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the fort.
His helicopter landed at a helipad on a private property in Pachad as the IAF decided not to make a temporary helipad at Holicha Mal on the fort. District officials said that people living in the area had been opposing landings at the fort, and the practice had been discontinued since 2005. Paying floral tributes at the samadhi, the President said the visit was like a pilgrimage for him.
Kovind said Shivaji’s thinking was “futuristic”. He took many decisions of far-reaching effect with help from his council of ministers, known as ‘Ashta-Pradhan’, Kovind said, adding that Shivaji built the first modern navy of India.
On Tuesday, the President will visit Lohegaon airport in Pune, where he will witness an IAF display and interact with personnel. On Wednesday, he will present President Standard to 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron in Mumbai.
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