The Lalitha Mahal Palace, located near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city of Mysore in the Indian state of Karnataka, is the second largest palace in Mysore. Built in the year 1921 on the orders of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore, to cater exclusively to the stay of the then Viceroy of India, the palace was structured on the lines of the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It remains, to this day, one of the most striking structures in the entire city of Mysore.
The palace was constructed in the early 20th century in the then princely state of Mysore, known as a "Model State” by the then British administration. Perched amidst the straggling landscaped gardens below the Chamundi hills, the palace itself was planned by E.W. Fritchley, an architect from Mumbai, and constructed by B Munivenkatappa. The wealth of the Maharajas of Mysore was at the time superseded only by that of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and as such the palace was constructed on a generous expense, out of the Maharajas annual income of two million pounds.The maharaja was the 24th ruler of the Wodeyar dynasty, and true to his lineage, was a great patron of arts and architecture, evident by the magnificent palaces, gardens, temples andchurches that they built to increase the architectural splendor of the Kingdom.
The palace is a two storied structure, its architecture characterized by English styled manor houses and Italian Palazzos. An iconic double column acts as the supporting structure of the palace, while there is a projecting porch at the ground level. An imposing central dome sets the front elevation of the palace, with decorative stained glass extensively used to enhance the interiors and the exterior façade of the palace.
The palace has an intricately designed viceroy room, a dance floor, a banquet hall and an Italian marble staircase decorated with small ornamentations believed to be replicas from palaces in Britain. Also of note are the life size portraits of the Wodeyar Kings, the Italian marble floors and Belgian crystal chandeliers, and dainty Persian carpets, that lend a royal air to the palace. The ball room in particular has immensely high ceiling with dome shaped skylights made out of glass from Belgium.
The palace painted in pure white, was converted into a heritage hotel in 1974.Presently, it is run as a luxury hotel of the Ashok Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) under the Government of India. A swimming pool has also now been provided.