Kapurthala (Punjabi: ਕਪੂਰਥਲਾ, Hindi: कपूरथला) is a city in Punjab state of India. It is the administrative headquarters of Kapurthala District. It was the capital of the Kapurthala State, a princely state in British India. The secular and aesthetic mix of the city with its prominent buildings based on French and Indo-Saracenic architecture self-narrate its princely past. It is also known as city of Palaces & Gardens.
The vestiges of the royalty that ruled Kapurthala still gloriously mark the present day city of Kapurthala. It was one of the first cities in Punjab to get modern amenities like sewerage, drinking water and communication systems, which still work. The spectacular Jagatjit Palace styled after the French palace of Versailles is like a bejeweled crown in the landscape of Punjab. The unique Moorish Mosque, Shalimar garden, Panj Mandir, the stately Durbar Hall, the beautiful Kamera garden complex with the majestic rest house etc are major places of tourist attraction. Add to these the other tourist attractions like the scenic Kanjli wetland bird sanctuary near Kapurthala , the Pushpa Gujral Science City and above all Sultanpur Lodhi, all in one compact area, this region comes alive like an enduring celebration. This star studded necklace of a tourist circuit has all the potential to be a major international tourist attraction.
The Sessions Division Kapurthala was created on 01.11.1966. The first District & Sessions Judge at Kapurthala District was respectable Sh.Kartar Singh who joined this Sessions Division on 01.11.1966.
Monuments & Buildings
Sainik School (Jagatjit Palace)
The much renowned Sainik School, formerly known as Jagatjit Palace, is housed in what was formerly the palace of the erstwhile Maharajah of Kapurthala state, HRH Maharajah Jagatjit Singh. The palace building has a spectacular architecture based on the Palace of Versailles and Fontainebleau spread over a total area of 200 acres. It was designed by a French architect M. Marcel. Its magnificent Durbar Hall (Diwan-E-Khas) is one of the finest in India and the Plaster of Paris figures and painted ceilings represent the finest features of French art and archiecture. The construction of this palace was commenced in 1900 and completed in 1908.
The Elysee Palace was built by Kanwar Bikrama Singh in 1862. This magnificent building with its imposing and elegant facade has now been converted into MGN School of Kapurthala.
A spectacular example of the secular history of Kapurthala is the Moorish Mosque, a famous replica of the Grand Mosque of Marakesh, Morocco, was built by a French architect, Monsieur M Manteaux. Its construction was commissioned by the last ruler of Kapurthala, Maharajah Jagatjit Singh and took 13 years to complete between 1917 and 1930. It was then consecrated in the presence of the late Nawab of Bhawalpur. The Mosque's inner dome contains decorations by the artists of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. The Mosque is a National Monument under the Archeological Survey of India. It was one of the monumental creations in the State during the premiership of late Diwan Sir Abdul Hamid Kt., CIE, OBE. It was his keen interest with Maharaja's blessings that the mosque was completed. Its wooden model lay at the entrance of the Lahore Museum.
Jagatjit Club, Kapurthala
Jagatjit Club is an elegant building situated in the heart of the city based on the Greek Revival style of architecture. Its design loosely resembles the Acropolis of Athens and features the Coat of Arms of the erstwhile ruling family of Kapurthala with their royal motto "Pro Rege et Patria" (For King and country) on its pediment. The building has been used for a variety of purposes since it was constructed, it was used as a church in the early nineteenth century, as a cinema hall in the 1940s and now houses a local club.
Shalimar Gardens are situated in roughly the centre of the city and provide an escape from the hustle-bustle of the city. The Shahi Samadhs (The Royal Cenotaphs) in the Shalimar Gardens emphasise the traditions of its ruling Dynasty. Marble obelisks inside the red sandstone Chambers, are Memorials to the former Rulers and their families. Nearby, a grand structure built in 1880 and built on a marble plinth, houses the Samadhs of Maharajas Kharak Singh, Jagatjit Singh and Paramjit Singh.
Panj Mandir (Five Temples)
Panch Mandir of Kapurthala is a place of reverence for all faiths. The temple complex has a spectacular construction and is home to five small temples. Built during the reign of Sardar Fateh Singh, an extraordinary feature of this temple is that from the entry door, one can view the idols and pay obeisance.
The State Gurdwara
The large and imposing red sandstone building (now painted white) of the State Gurudwara was consecrated in 1915. Built in the Indo- Saracenic style, it has vast expanses of marble haloed by the feet of the hundreds of devotees.
Gurudwara Ber Sahib
The famous Gurdwara Ber Sahib is situated at Sultanpur Lodhi, which is one of the four sub-divisions (Tehsil) of Kapurthala. This historic site is of great importance to Sikhism as it is said to be the very place where the First Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak, spent 14 years of his life and attained enlightenment whilst bathing in a small rivulet, the Bein. The place derives its name from a Ber tree (Zizyphus Jujuba) said to be planted by Guru Nanak himself and under which he first uttered the Mool Mantra or the "Sacred Word or Revelation" of Sikhism.
Kanjli Wetlands, on the western Bein rivulet at the outskirts of the city, has been included in under the Ramsar Convention. It is a very popular site for bird watching and boating. An enormous project is currently being undertaken here to develop it into a destination for bird watching replete with modern day facilities. Sadly the Kanjli Wetlands have been in a state of neglect lately with little attention being given by the authorities to the condition of flora and fauna and its surrounding infrastructure.
Pushpa Gujral Science City
In 2005, the Governor of Punjab, Lt. Gen (retd) S.F Rodrigues, inaugurated the Pushpa Gujral Science City or simply known as the Science City. A joint venture between the state government and the Government of India,located on Jalandhar-Kapurthala, Highway. This project has been designed as an institution of excellence, for meeting both educational and recreational purposes. Despite being a recent development, it is now fast promoting itself as a tourist attraction, providing facilities for an informal science education through a more recreational aspect. Some of the attractions range from purely recreational adventure sports such as rock-climbing, aero-ballooning, boating to demonstrating learning in the field of nano-technology, micro-machines, levitation and genomics etc. Pushpa Gujral Science City is also coming up as Entertainment Capital having 23 meter diameter Dome Theatre showing Large Format Films (IMax) on 10 times larger screen than ordinary cinema hall screens. Other world class attractions are Flight Simulator, 3D Cinema, LASER Show, Earthquake Simulator and more than 200 interactive exhibits on Physics, Mechanical, Optics, Health, Space, Aviation, Fun Science etc.
Glimpse of Old Judicial Court Complex, Kapurthala
Glimpse of New Judicial Court Complex, Kapurthala
Details of Nodal Officer for Website Related Issues:-
Name of Nodal Officer alongwith Designation
Dr. Ram Kumar Singla, Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Kapurthala