Mubarak Mandi Palace in Jammu & Kashmir

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Mubarak Mandi Palace in Jammu & Kashmir

Jammu, a beautiful city in the foothill of the Himalayas has its fair share of admirers. It is visited by many tourists throughout the year. Even though temples are its greatest draws, a sight seeing trip of the place includes several other historical sites like the Bahu Fort and the Mubarak Mandi Palace.

About Mubarak Mandi Palace :

Mubarak Mandi Palace is the royal residence of Dogra Kings situated in Jammu the capital city of Jammu & Kashmir. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations with the history of over 150 years. The palace complex stands as a valuable monument associated with Dogra monarchy that houses government offices and courts. The architecture of the palace represents a unique blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and Baroque European influences. The major attraction of the palace is Sheesh Mahal that used to serve as the residence of Dogra Kings. The Pink Hall houses the Dogra art Museum which showcases the rare collection of about 800 art pieces and exquisite Pahari paintings that are sure to leave any visitor startled. The palace site offers a commanding view of Tawi River and old city of Jammu. The halls and galleries of the palace was once the venue of official functions hosted by Dogra Rulres.

History Mubarak Mandi Palace :

The oldest building of the complex dates back to 1824. Successive maharadjas added to the complex in size and building took more than 150 years. The architecture is a mix of RajasthaniandEuropean baroque, and Mughalstyles.

The complex is grouped around several courtyards and includes various buildings and palaces like the Darbar Hall Complex, the Pink Palace, Royal Courts buildings, Gol Ghar Complex, Nawa Mahal, Rani Charak Palace, Hawa Mahal, the Toshakhana palace and the Sheesh Mahal. The halls and galleries of the palace were used for official functions and ceremonies.

Nowadays sections of the palace house government offices, courts and the Dogra art museum. However, other parts of the palace are in ruins as the palace has more than 36 times has been the victim of fires. Furthermore, the building suffered from earthquakes in the 1980s and in 2005.

The Dogra art museum is situated within the ‘Pink Hall’. It has a rich collection containing miniature paintings of various styles of the region. The miniatures belong to the Kangra, Jammu and the Basohili art schools. But it also has a gold painted bow and arrow of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The pink hall owes its name to the pink plastered walls of the palace section.

The Gol Ghar section is located in the southern part of the complex. It has four storeys and overlooks the Tawi river. It has been gutted down in the mid 1980s as a result of an earthquake. Consequently roofs and floors collapsed, leaving the building as a ruin. The Sheesh Mahal is made entirely of glass.

The palace, which is a heritage site declared by the state government, is proposed to be linked with a rope way running up to the Bahu Fort, another heritage site in the city.

Architectureof Mubarak Mandi Palace :

These buildings have been constructed around a beautiful garden cum courtyard. The palace site has a commanding view of Tawi River and old city built on the hillock. It is one of the most prominent tourist attractions of the Jammu city. Reaching the Mubarak Mandi Palace is not a problem because it is situated right in the heart of the walled city. One can take an Auto Rickshaw from almost anywhere in the city as well as common mode of transport in form of the minibuses can take you there for the payment of nominal fare.

Attraction of Mubarak Mandi Palace :

The view of the Mubarak Mandi complex is very ‘Mubarak’ or very admirable. The palace commands great views of the Tawi River and the city of Jammu. The hall and galleries of the Mubarak Mandi Palace were once the venue of the official functions hosted by Dogra rulers. Presently these halls and galleries have government offices and courts within them. Among the halls the pink hall holds great importance today as it houses the Dogra Art Gallery which has an amazing collection of sculptures and paintings that are sure to leave any visitor startled. The Dogra Art Museum showcases about 800 rare and exquisite Pahari paintings from Jammu and Basoli schools of paintings.

Another important attraction of the museum in the Mubarak Mandi Palace is the gold painted bow and arrow of emperor Shah Jahan. The Mubarak Mandi Palace is open for the visitors from half past ten in the morning to half past four in the evening during the Winter Season and from 8’o clock in the morning to half past one in the afternoon in the Summer Season. Visitors will definitely enjoy their visit to this palace not only because of the museum’s rich collection but also because it gives them a chance to witness the remarkable blend of different architectural features that is so magnificently manifested in the buildings.

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Sudhir Kumar

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