The Lal Mahal means Red Palace. Those who are listing down the places worth visiting in Pune should note that the list will be incomplete if they don’t include the Lal Mahal in it. This historical monument in Pune built by Shahjiraje Bhonsale, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s father holds its own historical significance in the history of Maharashtra and that of the Maratha Empire.
History of the Place:
Shahajiraje Bhonsale built this beautiful palace for his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji in 1630 AD. Chhatrapati Shivaji spent most of his childhood in this palace after leaving his birthplace Shivneri. He stayed in the Lal Mahal till he registered his first victory on the Mughal Empire by capturing the Torna fort in 1646. Shivaji got married with Saibai in this Palace itself.
Queen Jijabai and son Shivaji accompanied by Dadoji Konddev, Shivaji’s guru, came to Pune which was then a newly razed city. The intention of rejuvenating the city of Pune and the need of Jijaabai’s stay in Pune were the reasons enough for the construction of the palace.
Shahistekhan and Lal Mahal:
One important event in Shivaji’s biography that happened in the Lal Mahal is of course Shahistekhan’s defeat in the hands of Shivaji. Shahistekhan was an invader who had spelt a doom on the innocent people of Maharashtra. He was Aurangjeb’s uncle and had come to Maharashtra to kill Shivaji. On his way, he destroyed many temples in Maharashtra and finally took hold of Lal Mahal as well. He desecrated all the chambers in the palace by his profligate behavior. Shivaji could not tolerate such defilement of the place where he had spent his childhood and where his mother had stayed for more than a decade. In a thrilling attack on Shahistekhan Shivaji entered the palace with a few of his brave men. Shivaji could not kill Shahistekhan as he could manage to flee; but Shivaji slashed Shahistekhan’s fingers before he could escape. He never came back to Maharashtra.
Address :Kasba peth ,Pune - 411 011