Amar Mahal was built in the 1890's by the Dogra king Raja Amar Singh. The palace, planned by a French architect, resembles a French chateau despite the work of several Indian artisans. Made of red sand stone, it served as the residence of the royal family for many years. The road to the town of Jammu gives it easy access. There is a also heritage hotel, 20386 Hotel Hari Nivas Palace adjacent to the museum. Dr Karan Singh, son of late ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, donated Amar Mahal to Hari-Tara Charitable Trust for housing a museum and library.
The Amar Mahal Museum has a rich collection of sculptures, paintings, inscriptions and books. Pahari paintings and family portraits of rulers of Jammu and Kashmir are displayed in the Durbar Hall. Contemporary painters of stature too find place in the different galleries here. The 120 kg solid gold throne made by Maharaja Hari Singh is the most spectacular possession of the museum. The museum also organizes exhibitions, workshops on visual arts and education programs on art orientation, clay modelling, and miniature painting.
The library is spread over the first and second floors of Amar Mahal. It stores over twenty thousand books collected by Dr Karan Singh over the last fifty years. The collection also includes some rare volumes from the library of Raja Amar Singh. This section contains books with hand-colored engravings and illustrations printed with wood blocks.