Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate still in a neglected state
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Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate still in a neglected state

November 23, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Even as the State Government is mulling over the renovation works of heritage Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, the Arch Gate of the Palace on Mysuru-T. Narasipur Road continues to be in a state of utter neglect due to lack of maintenance, with the latest being the damage to a portion of its compound wall.

The two to three-feet tall compound wall with iron grill on the right side (from the road leading towards Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel) is suspected to have been damaged deliberately by miscreants with the ulterior motive of stealing the grills. Four box type pillars have been built with iron grills in between to form the Arch Gate.

The main gate was damaged several years ago and remains unattended, adding to the pathetic sight of the heritage structure that dates back to the reign of Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.

The bottom of the damaged structure lays bare not only the handiwork of miscreants, but also the nonchalant attitude of authorities, with the pieces of bricks clearly visible.

A portion of the compound wall of Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate on Mysuru-T. Narasipur Road that has been damaged in the bottom.

Two small rooms, one each in right and left hand side of the Arch Gate, have been built which is believed to be the rest room for guards during the princely rule. The ornamental light poles are installed on the spot, but it has been several years since the lights illuminated the area for the last time.

The embossed design of Gandabherunda, the royal emblem of Wadiyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, on the top of two big-size pillars of the Arch Gate that hold mirror to artistic skills of yore, are also flaking out at places.

A sapling, mostly of Peepal tree, extends from the top of another pillar of small-size, that aptly explains the extent of neglect of this heritage structure.

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Star of Mysore in its July 11, 2019 edition, had published a detailed story under the headline ‘Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate: History Neglected.’

Recently, Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Officials, led by the then Mayor Shivakumar, had inspected various Arch Gates in the city including Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate to take up restoration works.

Peepal tree sapling on the pillar of the Arch Gate. Picture right shows the embossed art work of Gandabherunda.

Like most parts of the city, where heritage structures wear a decrepit look due the menace of publicity materials, Lalitha Mahal Palace Arch Gate too is no exception. The posters of various programmes are inadvertently pasted, marring the beauty of the structure.

Even amid rain and gale, the Arch Gate continues to stand strong, but till when, given the continuous neglect of authorities that may push the structure towards a perilous state further, if not acted in time to restore the structure.

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