History of Mubarak Mandi Palace
Mubarak Mandi Palace was the royal residence of the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir from the Dogra dynasty. It was their main seat till 1925 when Hari Singh, the ruler of colonial India moved to the Hari Niwas Palace in the northern part of Jammu. The palace is located in the heart of the old walled city of Jammu and overlooks the Tawi river. Mubarak Mandi Palace is the oldest building of the complex, which dates back to 1824. There are successive maharajas added to the complex in size and building took more than 150 years.
Architecture of Mubarak Mandi Palace
The architecture of Mubarak Mandi Palace is a mixture of Rajasthani architecture and European baroque, and Mughal styles. 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.
Mubarak Mandi Palace in Modern India
Nowadays, a section of Mubarak Mandi Palace houses government offices, courts and the Dogra Art Museum. However, other parts of the palace are in ruins as the palace more than 36 times has been the victim of fires. Furthermore, Mubarak Mandi Palace suffered from earthquakes in the 1980s and in 2005.
Museum in Mubarak Mandi Palace
The Dogra art museum is situated within the ‘Pink Hall’ of Mubarak Mandi Palace. It has a rich collection containing miniature paintings of various styles of the region. The miniatures belong to the Kangra, Jammu and the Basholi 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.
Gol Ghar in Mubarak Mandi Palace
The Gol Ghar section in Mubarak Mandi Palace 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.
Sheesh Mahal in Mubarak Mandi Palace
Sheesh Mahal in Sheesh Mahal is made entirely of glass.