One among the top tourist attractions in Jammu. But the condition is not as good as it used to be in its splendid days. The architecture can be seen as a unique blend of European, Rajasthani and Mughal styles. Actually whenever an artist from these areas of reign came they contributed a little something to this place. As a result the amalgamation is formed. But the wonderful part is that nothing looks out of place. All the details are so intricately married to each other that only the professionals can tell the difference apart. The Mubarak Mandi Palace was in use by the Kings of Dogra Dynasty personally till 1925, when the then ruler Maharaja Hari singh made and shifted into Hari Niwas.
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This palace on the other hand is believed to be more than 150 years old. It stands tall with the history of Jammu being spilled from each nook and corner of the palace. A visit to this palace will explain and give you a feel of the grandeur in the lifestyle of the rulers of the yesteryears. They simply had a class apart, not just the clothes and food they had but their palaces also explain this fact beautifully. With time the palace has taken a back seat in beauty but it is still significant in history. The whole complex is very vast and comprises of many palaces, other buildings and also courtyards. All have their separate names so that it can be known who made it and when.
There are buildings Like
- Pink Palace: this palace has now been converted into Dogra Art Museum. The museum was originally in the Gandhi Bhawan but then in 1991 it was shifted to this pink hall for a larger space requirement. This hall is called pink due to the color of the walls, all the walls are pink. The museum is a collection of heritage and culture of not just Jammu but Kashmir and Ladakh too. The specialties of this museum are the miniature paintings on display from Basohali. There are also teracotta heads discovered in Akhnoor. There are contributions from art schools like Kangra and Kashmir too. The most prized possession is the golden bow and arrow believed to have belonged to Mughal emperor Shah jahan. It was kept here as a symbol of his defeat to against the Dogra dynasty.
Numerous manuscripts have been preserved here for the public to view there are a few Persian manuscripts believed to be a part of Sikandernama and Shahnama. The collection also has sculptures, costumes, jewellery, armory etc. belonging to Dogra dynasty. The painting collection has paintings of Krishna and Sudhama as friends dated back to 18th century. The collection has been growing day by day as contributions from other museums too pour in. There are around 5000 articles as a whole in the museum.This Museum is closed on Monday and there is an entry fee of INR 20 per person.
- Gol Ghar Complex: it is a circular building. A part of it has been damaged during the earthquake in 2005.
- Naya Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Rani Charak Palace : all these are situated in the same complex and were built by different kings for their queens and themselves to show their uniqueness.
- Sheesh Mahal : this palace is almost made of different types of glasses only.
- Toshakhana Palace: believed to have treasures of the Dogra dynasty when they ruled under lock and key. It is a strong room of that era.
Other royal court buildings and Darbar hall are used today also for official functions of the state as they can house many people together.
There were royal functions and meeting held in the courtyards in the yesteryear. Now parts of the complex are used as government buildings for official use, as now it is under the care of the government itself. The whole complex is not fully functional as parts were destroyed in the fire and earthquakes that hit the region. But still the collections of articles in the complex as a whole have been saved to a large extent so they are frequently visited by the tourists now also. If in town, you must go there for once and know the Dogra dynasty in a better way.
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When you step out of the Palace you can see the today’s Jammu. Outside this historical structure lies the modern world. You can enjoy shopping and having food in the local market. You can buy shawls and Kaftans or any other winter clothes. You will get best
quality here as it is quite cold all the year round. Another qualityy shawls and Kaftans or any other winter clothes. You will get best quality here as it is quite cold all the year round. Another quality of these items is that they are mostly hand made by the locals. There are articles made of wood and paper mache. You can collect artifacts and souvenirs for friends and family back home. Do not forget to visit other places in the Jammu city.