The Amar Mahal Palace is a palace in Jammu
, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir
, which has now been converted into a Museum. It was built in the nineteenth century for Raja Amar Singh, a Dogra king by a French architect on the lines of a French Chateau. The palace was donated to the Hari-Tara charitable trust by Dr. Karan Singh for use as a museum.It has many exhibits including a golden throne weighing 120 kg, Pahari miniature and Kangra miniature paintings, a library of 25,000 antique books and many rare art collections.The palace was the last official residence of the Dogra Rajas, Suryavanshi Rajputs, and a large collection of portraits of the royal family are also on display in the Museum.
The palace built in red sandstone with red bricks is in a picturesque environment on a hillock overlooking the Tawi River
valley. Built in the European castle style, the palace has sloping roofs with turrets and tall towers.When built during the reign of Raja Amar Singh, it was the tallest building in Jammu.The imposing building has long passages on three sides, which are covered by sloping corrugated tin roofs.
The passages are supported on columns with wooden framework. The first floor of the palace building has French windows with connected balcony. The top floor has a bay window. The windows also depict triangular projections in classical Greek architectural style, which are fitted over ornate false columns.
Only four rooms of the palace are open depicting Pahari paintings of Mahabharata epic scenes and royal memorabilia. A golden sofa of the Dogra rulers, weighing 120 kg in pure gold, embedded with golden lions at the corners, is housed in a hexagonal room in the museum, which is viewed only through glass covered window panes as the main door is kept locked for security reasons.
The art works of some of the renowned Indian artists like M.F. Hussain, J.Swaminathan, G. R. Santosh, Bikash Battacharjee, Ram Kumar
, Laxman Pai are also on display in the museum.In one of the galleries, paintings of Hindu epic stories such as of Nala Damayanti (a set of forty-seven miniature paintings) are depicted. Modern version of the Dasavatara paintings (ten incarnations of Hindu God Lord Vishnu) are also displayed in a separate ante-chamber in the Museum.
These are unusual modern art set of paintings.Family portraits of the Dogra rulers of Jammu and Kashmir are on display in the Durbar Hall at the entrance gallery. In the first and second floors, a few chambers house the library, which has a collection of rare antique books (25,000) on religion, philosophy and political science to fiction.