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Jammu Sight Seeing - Amar Mahal Museum & Palace, Bahu Fort, Bagh-e-Bahu & Aquarium
Amar Mahal building was planned in 1862 by a French architect, based on the lines of a French Chateau heavily influenced by the Queen Anne style. As a result one can't deny the overwhelmingly European "feel" of the place. This palace was the residence of the Royal Family, Maharani Tara Devi, wife of late Maharaja Hari Singh. Situated atop a hill at the northern end of the city, the Amar Mahal Museum offers a commanding view of the river Tawi and the Shivalik ranges towards the north.
Stones have been used to decorate the walls as it stands out against the red bricks. The top floor has a bay window while the first floor has French windows and a small balcony.
Three sides of the building have a long corridor covered by a sloping corrugated tin roof resting on a wooden framework and the coupled columns supporting the wooden framework. One can even find triangular projections typical of classical Greek architecture supported by ornate false columns over some of the windows.
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 .
The Amar Mahal Museum is open form 10 a.m to 12 noon & 3 p.m to 5 p.m (winter); 5 p.m to 7 p.m. (summer); Sundays: 10 a.m to 12 noon. Closed on state holidays and Mondays.Bahu Fort & Gardens (Bagh-e-Bahu)
Situated 5 kms away from the city centre, Bahu Fort stands on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi. Perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city, it was constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago. The existing fort was more recently improved upon and extended by the Dogra rulers. Inside, there is a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. An extensive terraced garden, known as Bagh-e-Bahu, has been developed around the fort.
The subcontinent's largest underground aquarium in Jammu's Bagh-I-Bahu area is drawing a large number of tourists ever since it was opened to the public.
Besides students, the aquarium has become a centre of attraction for tourists, giving them an opportunity to revel in the exotic aquatic world. The aquarium has attracted large number of tourists visiting the State. The aquarium-cum-awareness centre comprises of 24 aquarium caves including 13 small caves for holding freshwater fishes, two large caves for holding marine water fishes and nine medium sized aquariums for holding marine and fresh water fishes. It has state-of-the-art equipment, a public gallery, museum, laboratory and a multimedia conference hall. The entrance is designed in the shape of the mouth of a fish and the exit in the shape of a fish tail. The aquarium houses a museum where 400 varieties of freshwater and marine fish are on display.Mubarak Mandi Palace
The oldest buildings in this palace complex date back to 1824. The architecture is a blend of Rajasthani, Mughal and even baroque elements. The most stunning segment is the Sheesh Mahal. "The Pink Hall" houses the Dogra Art Museum which has miniature paintings of the various Hill Schools. These days the Palace is being renovated and it is suggested to visit the area only after the renovation has been complete which is likely to take some time.
Dogra Art Gallery: The Dogra Art Gallery at Mubarak Mandi Complex is open from 10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m (winter); 8 a.m to 1:30 p.m (summer); Monday closed. Exhibits include fine miniatures of the Jammu and Basohli School of painting.