At a distance of 3 km from Pune Junction, the Lal Mahal is a red-colored palace located near Shaniwar Wada in Pune. It is one of the most famous monuments located in Pune.
Located in the Kasbapeth area of Pune, Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhosale established this palace for his wife Jijabai and son in 1630 CE. The original Lal Mahal was built with the idea of rejuvenating the recently razed city of Pune when Dadoji Kondev entered the city along with Shivaji and his mother, Jijabai. Shivaji stayed here for several years until his first victorious feat of capturing the Torna Fort in 1645 CE. This is the same place where Shivaji Maharaj cut Shaistekhan's fingers when he was trying to escape from one of the windows of the Lal Mahal.
Towards the end of the 17th Century CE, the Lal Mahal fell into ruins and was eventually razed to the ground as a result of various attacks on the city. The exact original location of the Lal Mahal is unknown, however it was known to be very close to the location of Shaniwar Wada, which is roughly where the current reconstruction stands. The current Lal Mahal was built only on a part of the land of the original Lal Mahal. The new Lal Mahal was not rebuilt in the same fashion as the original one and there is not much information found about the area and structure of the original Lal Mahal. The current Lal Mahal was rebuilt by the PMC. Construction started in 1984 and was completed in 1988.
The present day Lal Mahal is more of a museum that has a vast collection of huge oil-paintings that depicts significant life events of Shivaji Maharaj. This includes a statue of Rajmata Jijabai, a big map of Maharashtra highlighting the forts of Shivaji, and a sculpture portraying little Shivaji holding a golden plough together with Jijabai and Dadoji Kondev. All these things, events, and the architecture of the Lal Mahal remind us of the glory and bravery of Shivaji Maharaj. The popular Jijamata Garden is now a recreational park for kids.
Timings: 9 AM - 1 PM and 4 PM - 8 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 5 per person