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Kapurthala

History & Architecture

Kapurthala, the capital town of an erstwhile princely state is situated towards the west of Jallandhar city at a distance of 19 kilometers.It has been named after its founder Nawab Kapur Singh. The place has an interesting history of maharajas, popular for their tastes in western fashion and trends. Among them, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh was regarded as one of the most enlightened Hindu princes of pre-independence times.

Thanks to him, Kapurthala has a significant architectural legacy. A great enthusiast of French architecture, he had a palace built for himself by the famous French architect M. Manteaux. With many other buildings and monuments associated with its Maharajas, Kapurthala sure has a lot to offer to a tourist.

Industrial Significance

Rail Coach Factory
The second Coach Factory owned by Indian Railways and third in the country was set up in 1986 at Kapurthala. The objective was to boost the state economy and to augment the existing coach manufacturing capacity of Indian Railways. With the vision and foresight of the late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, this first large scale public sector industrial enterprise was set up in 1985. The factory occupies an area of 335 acres at Hussainpur in Kapurthala district and contributes to more than 30% of the total passenger coaches produced in India, produing about 23 different types of coaches.

Places to Visit

Villa Buona Vista, located on the banks of rivulet Bein, a few miles from Kapurthala) was once the residence of the maharajas. It is now a frequented picnic spot and people come here for boating and fishing expeditions.

Sultanpur Lodhi (A town 30 km south of Kapurthala): has considerable religious importance as a place. Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru spent the former years of his life here. The place has a host of Gurudwaras among which Gurdwara Ber Sahib is the most prominent. It derives its name from a Ber tree under which Guru Nanak had meditated. Other historical buildings here include Mazaar Shah, Hujra Hajira and Serai, the oldest building in Sultanpur.

Phagwara
Founded by Shah Jahan in 1804, it is one of the main markets for agriculture produce and textile products. It is also a flourishing market for ethnic clothes as a sizeable Punjabi population from here has immigrated abroad.

Sainik School
The Sanik School is a magnificent piece of architecture that took 8 years to complete(1900-1908). This erstwhile palace of Maharaja Jagatjit Singhwas designed by the French architect M. Marcel. Inspired by the palaces of Versailles and Fontainebleau, it was built in renaissance style with the sunken park in the front (known as Baija ). Its plaster of Paris figures and painted ceilings are the finest representations of French art and architecture. Also, the interior decoration of the palace, accomplished by expert European and Indian workmen is spectacular with imported art work from France, Italy and Holland.

Jagatjit Club
The Jagatjit Club on the Mall is a typical Greco-Roman specimen of architecture resembling the Acropolis at Athens in Greece.

Moorish Mosque
It Was built by His Highness Jagatjit Singh and designed by the famous French architect M. Manteaux. Patterned after the Qutbya Mosque in Morocco, it is a brilliant masterpiece of Moorish style architecture. The noteworthy feature of the monument is a large compound paved with pure Indian Marble. Its interiors have been designed by decorators from Lahore School of Art. The mosque took 4 years to compete and the construction cost came to about Rs 4,00,000,00. It was inaugurated by Nawab Sadiq Mohd. Khan Bahudar, Ruler of Bahawalpur State on March 14, 1930.

Kachari (Courts)
Situated in the middle of the city, this historic building was built by Maharaja Fateh Singh. Its sprawling edifice in red bricks with striking domes and grills characterize east european structures. The doors and windows are Islamic in construction. A bronze statue of Maharaja Fateh Singh has been put up inside the premises of Courts. This historical monument today houses many government offices.

Shalimar Garden
Shalimar Gardens is a breathtaking site of cenotaphs of the former rulers of Kapurthala. Some of these cenotaphs embellished with exquisite Filigree work are a visual treat. The gardens also locate "Baradari"-a historical building which was the meeting point of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Fateh Singh. The entrance gate is splendid and the gardens have a pond, a park & a library. Every year, the Basant Panchi Mela is organized here.

State Gurudwara
It is situated in the center of the city on Sultanpur road. It was built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh under the in charge of Revail Singh.

Sadar Bazar
Is the oldest and biggest market of the city where all the items of daily use are sold. In the past, it used to be a systematic market with identical buildings but today it hardly reflects the historic image.

Nihal Palace
Built by His Highness Raja Nihal Singh in the year 1840, the palace stood for architectural elegance. A beautiful Shish Mahal formed part of the palace earlier. Now only the remains of the palace exist and are famous as Jallowkhana.

Mata Bhaderkali Temple, Sheikhupura
Built in 1885 by Sh. Thakur Dass Mehra, the temple houses the idol of Mata Bhaderkali . Formerly a small temple, it has now become a major pilgrim place for lakhs of devotees. Every year a Mela is celebrated here for two days. On the first day a huge procession is taken out, starting from Shalimar Garden (Kapurthala) to the temple at Sheikhpura. A "Night Vigil" or Jagrata is held on the same night (Ekadasi night) and at the time of dawn next day ( Nirjala Ekadasi ), a "Havan" is performed. A kavi Darbar (poet's meet) is also organized on the "Ekadasi" night.

Kanjli Wetland
In the serene vicinity of rivulet of Bein is located, the Kanjli Lake. It is a beautiful home of migratory birds in the winter. The place has the entire infrastructure for a great fishing and boating holiday for the tourists. The wetland extends over an area of about 50 acres and is a habitat for about 40 bird species. Kanjli was declared a wetland of national importance in 1992 for the rich biodiversity it supported.

Randhir College
It is among Punjab's first education institutions and was set up in 1856 by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Kapurthala. It started as a leading Sanskrit institute, to promote education in one of Punjab's richest state. In 1896 it achieved the status of an intermediate college and in 1945 it was made a degree college. From time to time, various disciplines have been introduced in the college curriculum. English was introduced in 1968, economics in 1976, B.Com. in 1986 and B.Sc. in 1991. The Jublee Hall is the main attraction of college along with its lush green ambience and a feel-good environment.


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