Amar Mahal Palace-
Amar Mahal building was planned in 1862 by a French architect, based on the lines
of a French Chateau for Raja Amar Singh, belonging to the Dogra dynasty. This beautiful
architectural monument served as the Royal family residence for many years, Maharani
Tara Devi, wife of late Maharaja Hari Singh. Amar Mahal, Situated atop a hill at
the northern end of the city, it offers a commanding view of the river Tawi and
the Shivalik ranges towards the north. The beautiful palace of Amar Mahal is made
of red sand stone which is a real visual treat. The scenic background of the place
enhances the beauty of this palace manifolds. The stunning sight of River Tawi flowing
below and the Shivaliks in the north will surely make your heart skip a beat or
two. In fact, 4 rooms of the palace have been converted into at present has been
transformed into a museum, depicting the royal history of Jammu. Amar Mahal Palace also plays host to a well stocked library.
Amar Mahal has Art Galleries that promote Indian art and artists. These Galleries
present a splendorous picture in informal surroundings and has collection of paintings
that range over different styles including Kangra style of Indian miniatures paintings.
The collection includes works of some of the renowned artists like M.F. Hussain,
J.Swaminathan, G. R. Santosh, Bikash Battacharjee, Ram Kumar, Laxman Pai and many
others. Nala Damayanti Gallery displays a set of forty-seven exquisite paintings
made in the world famous style of Indian miniature painting that came up in the
late eighteenth century, known as Kangra Ki Kalam, visually narrates the love of
Nala and Damayanti and stops at Damayanti's Svayamvara (wedding ceremony). Dash-Avatar
Gallery has oil paintings based on the unique theme of reincarnations of Lord Vishnu,
the Hindu deity revered as the preserver of life. The paintings depict the incarnation
of Vishnu chronologically as described in the Vishnu Purana (a Hindu religious text).
Contemporary Art Gallery houses the works of art by the eminent contemporary artists
of India .
Durbar hall of the museum is very attractive and is adorned with family portraits
of rulers of Jammu and Kashmir along with magnificient Pahari paintings. The Golden
throne of Maharaja is star attraction of the museum, the throne of Maharaja Hari
Singh is made of 120 kg solid pure gold.
The library in Amar Mahal Museum has more than twenty thousand books collected during
the last 50 years. The collection also comprises of some exceptional volumes from
the library of Raja Amar Singh. It is a must visit for art and history lovers.