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AMAR MAHAL MUSEUM & LIBRARY JAMMU, JAMMU AND KASHMIR

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Hari Singh (September 1895 – 26 April 1961) was the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. He was married four times. With his fourth wife, Maharani Tara Devi (1910–1967), he had one son, Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh. Following the death of his uncle Pratap Singh in 1925, Hari Singh ascended the throne of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26 October 1947, joining the whole of his princely state (including Jammu, Kashmir, Northern Areas, Ladakh, Trans-Karakoram Tract and Aksai Chin) to the Dominion of India. These events triggered the first Indo-Pakistan War.
Pressure from Nehru and Sardar Patel eventually compelled Hari Singh to appoint his son and heir, Yuvraj (Crown Prince) Karan Singh, as Regent of Jammu and Kashmir in 1949, although he remained titular Maharaja of the state until 1952, when the monarchy was abolished. He was also forced to appoint Sheikh Abdullah as prime minister of Kashmir. He had a contentious relationship with both the Congress Leaders and, at the time, their most favored and popular politician in the area, Sheikh Abdullah. Karan Singh was appointed 'Sadr-e-Riyasat' ('President of the Province') in 1952 and Governor of the State in 1964.

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Amar Mahal is situated on the right bank of the Tawi River in Jammu. Jammu, once a princely city, is also famous for forts, palaces and temples. The Sivalik Hills or ranges to the north of the Mahal, on the left bank of the river, provide a grand view, with the Tawi River flowing in between, draining the valley. It is well located adjoining the heritage hotel known as the Hari Niwas Palace Hotel, in the heart of the city, on the road to Kashmir.

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History

Amar Mahal Palace in Jammu is a 19th century extravagance. This structure was built for Raja Amar Singh who was a Dogra king. The palatial structure differentiates itself from other palaces constructed at Jammu by Dogra kings. It stands amidst lush green patches and meadow lands where a large area has been utilised for external beautification of the palace.
Amar Mahal was the last residence of the Dogra Kings, Suryavanshi Rajputs and later was residence to Maharani Tara Devi, wife of late Raja Hari Singh. You’ll see rows of royal family portraits displayed and distributed here in hierarchy.

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This palace lies on banks of Tawi River. On the other side is a magnificent Shivalik range, which completes a panoramic view in front. Tawi River flows through the valley and sounds of this river keep soothing your ears.

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Eventually, this place was handed over to Hari Tara Charitable Trust. They turned it into a museum that houses Dogra-Pahari paintings.

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Amar Mahal was sketched by a French architect in the year 1862 but it was not executed till 1890’s. After the death of Maharani Tara Devi in 1967, her son Dr. Karan Singh and his wife Mrs. Yasho Rajya Lakshmi converted this palace for use as a museum. The museum was inaugurated on April 13, 1975 by then prime minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi. The objective of establishing this museum was to preserve some of the rarest forms of art and literature and they collaborated with other fine arts institutions for the promotion of Indian art and culture. They transferred this regal property to a trust and named it as Hari Tara charitable trust in honour of his parents.

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Architecture

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.

Museum
In 1975 this building was converted into a museum and library housing the golden throne, the royal portraits of the Dogra rulers, a collection of narrative paintings in the Kangra miniature style of the late 18th century and a substantial number of books and contemporary art from the personal collection of Dr. Karan Singh.
Amar Mahal Museum has art galleries displaying Indian art and work of Indian artists in different fields. One of the grandest attractions is Dogra Kings Gold Sofa weighing 120 kg.

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These galleries have paintings made from renowned artists as well as dwelling amateur artists. The attraction in paintings include fascinating paintings made by M.F hussain, J. Swaminathan, G.R Santosh, Bikash Battacharyagee, Laxmi Pani and may more. Paintings here include Dogra and Pahari, paintings from 18th century in Jammu and miniature paintings of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. There are different galleries named Nala Damayanti, Dasha Avatar Gallery and Contemporary Art Gallery.

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Nala Damyanti Gallery has a collection of almost 47 paintings from 18th century made Kangra ki Kalam, which narrates the love story of Nala and Damayanti and ends with their wedding Damayanti Swaymavar.
Dashvatar Gallery has illustrations made in oil paintings depicting stories of Lord Vishnu. A pictogram here is the reincarnation of lord Vishnu or Vishnu Puran.
Contemporary Art Gallery has a modern collection of paintings made by prominent contemporary Indian artists.

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There is also an extensive library at Amar Mahal with books on subjects such as literature, science, politics, philosophy and more. Another attraction is the suite of Maharani Tara Devi where her clothes, bedspreads and Victorian style bathroom can be viewed.
This museum now fulfills its objectives by arranging tours, reading sessions, lectures and hobby classes. There are student exchange programs, workshops, and other hobby activities in the museum gallery.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:32 Archived in India Tagged landscapes buildings skylines people sky places india fort palace city summer beautiful tourism royal pradesh kashmir romance vaishno katra trikuta jammu chenab Comments (0)

Udaipur....Venice of East !!

Udaipur is a major city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar in the former Rajputana Agency. Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia clan of Rajputs founded the city in 1559 AD and shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur.

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The lakes of the city being interconnected form a lake system which supports and sustains the ground water recharge, water availability for drinking, agriculture, industries and is a source of employment through tourism. The lake system has three main lakes in its upper catchment area, six lakes within its municipal boundary and one lake in the downstream. The Udaipur Lake System can be divided into the following categories:
Upper lakes : Lake Badi, Chhota Madar & Bada Madar.
City Lakes : Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, SwaroopSagar, RangSagar, Kumharia Talab, GoverdhanSagar.
Downstream Lake : Lake Udai Sagar.
River : River Ahar.
Udaipur, with its picturesque landscape, lakes, and historic palaces and architecture, is a major destination for most tourists, both domestic and foreign nationals visiting the state. With numerous hotels to serve visiting tourists, Udaipur is home to some of the world's most renowned and the country's best luxury hotels and resorts.
Udaipur is well known for handicrafts such as paintings, marble articles, silver arts and terracotta. The Shilpgram is a platform where regional handicraft and hand-loom products is developed. Craft bazaars are organized by the Shilpgram, with an aim to encourage the regional arts and crafts, the handicraft and hand-loom works.

Sahelion ki Bari

Sahelion ki Bari is a major garden and a popular tourist space in the northern part of the city.

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The garden with its fountains and kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants, was laid for a group of forty-eight young women attendants who accompanied a princess to Udaipur as part of her dowry.

City Palace

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Standing on the east bank of Lake Pichola is a massive series of palaces built at different times from 1559.

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Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate - the Tripolia, built in 1725.

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This gate leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping parations, terraces, corridors and gardens.

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The palace now houses a museum with many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils from the royal era.

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Lake Palace

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Situated over an island in Lake Pichola, the Lake Palace was constructed to serve as a royal summer palace. Built of white marble, the palace is now a luxury 5 Star hotel, operating under the "Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces" banner.

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Jag Mandir

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Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. Also known as the "Lake Garden Palace", it was constructed by three Maharanas of the Mewar kingdom. The construction started in 1551, and got completed by 1652. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace.

Monsoon Palace

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Monsoon Palace, (in the background) also known as Sajjan Garh Palace, was built as an astronomical centre to keep track of the movement of monsoon clouds in the area and also served as the summer resort of the Maharanas.
Built with white marble, it is located on Bansdara peak of the Aravalli hill range at an elevation of 944 m (3100 ft) above mean sea level. The palace offers a panoramic view of the city's lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside.

Lake Fatehsagar

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Lake Fatehsagar is an artificial lake situated in the north-west part of Udaipur. The lake was originally built by Maharana Jai Singh and later reconstructed and extended by Maharana Fateh Singh. It is one of the most popular destinations in the city for tourists and the city residents.

Lake Pichola

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Lake Pichola is an artificial fresh water lake and is one of the several contiguous lakes in the city of Udaipur. The lake’s surroundings and the several islands within the lake have been developed over the centuries, with palaces, marble temples, family mansions, bathing ghats and chabutaras (a raised platform, normally within a courtyard).

Moti Magri or Pearl Hill

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Moti Magri or Pearl Hill, is a memorial of the Rajput hero Maharana Pratap. It is basically a small hilloc, atop of which there is a bronze statue of the Maharana astride his favourite horse "Chetak". It was initiated by Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar, and carried over and completed with the help of a public trust.

Posted by anuj1975 04:35 Archived in India Tagged lakes buildings skylines people parties boats places fort palace city beautiful tourism royal udaipur rajasthan Comments (0)

Umaid Bhavan Palace , Jodhpur

Umaid Bhawan Palace, located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, is one of the world's largest private residences.

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Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owners of the palace, this monument has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family.

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The present owner of the Palace is Gaj Singh.

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The Palace is divided into three functional parts - a luxury Taj Palace Hotel (in existence since 1972), the residence of the owner's royal family, and a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family.

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There is also a gallery showcasing the most exotic automobiles owned by the royals.

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Posted by anuj1975 09:26 Archived in India Tagged palace king tourism bhavan jodhpur rajasthan umaid Comments (0)

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