From a historic perspective Lalitha Mahal palace stand for two things : the wealth of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom and the cosy relationship the maharajas of Mysore had with the British.
In size Lalitha Mahal palace is second only to the Ambavilas palace , popularly called the Mysore palace. Lalitha Mahal , like many other stately buildings in Mysore city was commissioned during the regime of the then maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. It was intended as the exclusive residence for the then Viceroy of India, whenever he visits Mysore.
Edwin Wolleston Fritchley, of Bombay (who was also associated with designing of the Ambavilas ) was selected as the architect. Work started in 1921 and completed in 1930. The inspiration for its architectural design was the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
While the Mysore Palace was designed in the so called Indo-Saracenic architectural style, E. W. Fritchley designed the Lalitha Mahal palace with a touch of Italian Palazzo and English manor styles. You will see this as a massive snow white mansion on a relatively elevated land surrounded by great expanse of green cover. The view of the hotel from the Chamundi Hill side is magnificent.
Though it was built for the exclusive use of the then Viceroy of India, late it was used as a mansion to host important European guests to the capital. In 1974 the palace was converted into a 5 star hotel, managed by the Ashok Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) under the Government of India.
Obviously this is not one of the hotels meant for the budget travelers. The Viceroy Suite, the most expensive of all in the hotel commands USD750 a day. If staying is not an option, consider visiting the restaurant, especially for the buffet. The bonus is you get a chance to see the inside of the palace as well. Enjoy the grandiose Victorian style interiors with all its opulent excess.
The access to Lalitha Mahal is through the Lalitha Mahal palace road that lie along the Karanji Lake. Of course Lalitha Mahal has a helipad in the compound, if that is what you are looking for!