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Lalitha Mahal Road, Mysore 570028, KA


4.5 Star

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Pagla Hawar Badal Dine
Jun 20, 2002 06:33 AM 7576 Views
(Updated Jun 20, 2002 06:33 AM)

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The Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel at Mysore, is another ITDC extravaganza. Unlike other ITDC (India Tourism DEvelopment Corporation) Hotels, this Hotel has a royal past and heritage, and is situated in the best location. The Mysore Palace has a link with the Lalitha Mahal Palace. Before it became a Hotel, it was being used by the Maharaja of Mysore as a Royal Museum. The Film 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje', with the Film Star Nanda, was shot here. Subsequently, after the merger of Mysore in the Karnataka State, the Lalitha Mahal Palace was given to the Karnataka Government which in turn handed it over to ITDC. A wise decision indeed.

I was in Mysore when the transfer of the Lalitha Mahal Palace from the Royal control to the Government control took place. Our Training Centre, which is now the ATI (Administrative Training Institute) of the Government of Karnataka, was then known as Orientation & Study Centre, located at Lalitha Mahal Road. Our residential premises were in th beautiful campus of the O&SC. When from the Zoo side you come , you pass through Lalitha Mahal Road. The O&SC was located in front of the Palace Guards, from where you get a scenic view of the Chamundi Hills and the Palace situated on it. The Lalitha Mahal Road ends at the Lalitha Mahal Palace.

Once in 1998, we had visited Mysore with our NRI daughter, and we had stayed in the ATI campus. Some old friends were still working there. After a good Mysorean breakfast, we decided to visit the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, and on reaching there, I wanted my daughter, who was born in Mysore, and who is an architect, to see the huge palatial building. I asked the Manager of the Hotel for permission, and he was happy to show us around. By this time we were in the need of hot Coffee. We sat in the Restaurant attached to the Hotel, and had the famous Robusta Coffee. Can you guess the price per cup ? Any wild guess ? Just Rs.25/- a cup. Not expensive after all according to American standards.

A lunch at this Hotel did not fit into our itinerary. I am told that a lunch or a dinner here is the most expensive when compared with the rates in other ITDC Hotels. The staff are the most courteous, and always well dressed with a Mysore Turban as the head gear.

For me, Mysore is full of memory. From here in 1963, I went to London for higher studies on a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Many of my friends of those days are no more. So, Mysore always makes me nostalgic. If I visit Mysore today, I would like to sit quietly near the rockery of the House where I used to stay with my family, and sing a song from Rabindra Sangeet - '' Pagla Hawar Badal Dine, Pagal Amar Man Mete Uthe. '' ( On a cloudy day with winds blowing in a mad way, My mind turns mad. )

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Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel - Mysore