The Lalitha Mahal, now one of India’s most luxurious hotels, was built by the then Maharaja of Mysuru near the Chamundi hills. Located amidst lush, landscaped gardens, the iconic structure is a sight to behold.
The Lalitha Mahal is located near the Chamundi hills, to the east of Mysuru in the state of Karnataka. The iconic palace is the second largest in Mysuru. It was built under the orders of His Highness Krishnaraja Wodeyar lV as a residence for his most esteemed guest, the Viceroy of India. Built along the lines of the Renaissance architectural style, this palace takes its inspiration from St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and is one of the most striking structures of Mysuru. Painted in a shimmering white, this elegant palace was converted into a luxury, heritage hotel in the year 1974.
The Lalitha Mahal was planned by E.W. Fritchley, an architect based in Mumbai. It was constructed by B Munivenkatappa. This iconic two-storied structure mirrors the architecture of English manors or Italian Palazzos. The structure is supported by iconic double columns, with a projecting porch at ground level. The front elevation of the palace is set with a dominating central dome and spherical domes above the entrance hall. The palace has an opulent entry called the guard house.
You can also see abundant use of decorative stained glass in the interior and exterior facades of the structure. Use of stained glass on windows, interior doors, and ceilings enhances the beauty and magnificence of this palace. The interiors have immaculately polished Italian marble floors, stunning, imported Persian carpets, ornate furniture built using Rose wood, intricate crystal chandeliers, curtains, and a grand balustrade staircase. The central hall is decorated with lithographs showing Tipu Sultan’s skirmishes with the British, life-size portraits of Royalty, art that shows the history of Mysuru, shutters made of carved wood, and several other forms of embellishment. The balcony upstairs offers a stunning view of the Chamundi Hill and Mysuru city.
The palace boasts of a beautifully designed viceroy room, duplex suites, a dance floor, and a banquet hall along with the imposing Italian marble staircase. The 54 stately rooms are airy and cool with high ceilings, abundant natural light, four-poster beds, velvet armchairs, and Belgian mirrors.
Even though the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel, most of the earlier sections have been preserved in their original elegance. Modern amenities have been added to traditional ones and the dancing and banquet rooms have been converted into dining and conference rooms. A swimming pool, Tennis court, jogging track, and health club have been added for fitness enthusiasts.
The Ballroom is now a Gourmet restaurant with stunning ambience. The ‘Mysore Silver Thali’ is one of the most sought-after delicacies of this palace.
How to Reach
Mysuru can be reached by rail, road, or air easily from all over Karnataka.
Mysuru airport is 11 km from the city center. You can opt for flights from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Goa, Kochi, and Chennai.
Mysuru has a railway station, connecting it to Mangaluru and Bengaluru. The train from Bengaluru to Mysuru takes around two hours.
You can also take a bus from various cities in Karnataka to Mysuru. Auto-rickshaws and taxis can be hired from Mysuru city to Lalitha Mahal Palace.