This city has a mix of French and Indo Sarcenic architecture because of its princely past. This is the administrative headquarter of Kapurthala District. This beautiful city is also known as the city of gardens and palaces.
HOW TO REACH
The closest airport to Kapurthala is in Amritsar.
The railway station of Kapurthala is an important junction and connects to all the major cities through trains on a daily basis.
The bus stand is close to the railway station and has buses to mostly all the major cities of India.
WHAT TO SEE
Sainik School (Jagatjit Palace):-
The Jagatjit Palace, presently called Sainik School, was formerly the palace of Maharajah Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala. It was designed by the French Architect M. Marcel and the construction of the building was completed in 1908. It is spread over a total area of 200 acres. The roofs of the palace have been made in the ‘beaux-artâ€™ style of the 19th century. Of them, the most impressive is the Mansard Roof, with a double slope and oeil-de-boeuf windows, like those of the Louvre. Durbar Hall is the prime attraction here, which abounds in samples of French art and architecture. Today, the palace has been converted into Sainik School.
Built in 1930, by the French architect Monsieur M Manteux, the mosque is a famous replica of the Qutbya Mosque of Marakesh, Morocco. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. It is a national monument, under the Archaeological Survey of India. The inner dome of the mosque has designs of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore.
It is a historical building situated on the main Mall Road. Over the years, it has housed a church, a cinema hall and now the local club. Its Grecian columns and bell tower are outstanding testimonies of great art. 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.
Shalimar Garden is located in the centre of the town and provides a relief from the daily worries of life. The garden has Shahi Samadhs (royal cenotaphs), which emphasize the traditions of its ruling dynasty. Nearby, there is a grand structure built in 1880, which houses the samadhis of Maharajaas Kharak Singh, Jagatjit Singh and Paramjit Singh. The gardens also contain ‘Baradariâ€™ – a historical building that served as the meeting point of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Fateh Singh. The entrance gate is splendid and the gardens have a pond, a park and a library. Every year, Basant Panchi Mela is organized here.
Panch Mandir was built by Fateh Singh Ahluwaliah, the founder of the Kapurthala. The main dome in the center is surrounded by five small temples dedicated to different deities. An extraordinary feature of the temple is that from the entry door, one can have a view of all the five Idols and pay obeisance to all.
Gurdwara Ber Sahib:-
Gurdwara Ber Sahib is located in Sultanpur Lodhi, in the district of Kapurthala. It is revered as the site where Guru Nanak spent 14 years of his life. Here, Guru Nanak got enlightenment, while taking bath in the river Kali Bein and created ‘Sukhmani Sahibâ€™. The place derives its name from a Ber tree (Zizyphus Jujuba), said to be planted by Guru Nanak himself, under which he first uttered the Mool Mantra or the “Sacred Word or Revelation” of Sikhism.
The Court Complex:-
The present District Courts are located in the once-magnificent complex of what was the former Kapurthala State Durbar Hall. It was constructed in 1889 and was built in an impressive style with red bricks, stylized domes and stone lattice work. The door and window frames are in the Islamic style.
It is located on the western Bein rivulet, at the outskirts of the city. 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.
The picturesque township has a number of smaller gurdwaras, all associated with the life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Two of them, apart from the main Gurdwara Ber Sahib, are Gurdwara Hat Sahib and Gurdwara Watta Sahib.
People generally should look for the traditional things available at the local markets. Phulkari and jewelry are some of the items that are very famous from this part of India. It is always better that one should avoid going to the malls and rather target the local markets to get more flavor about the city.
The very famous Makki Di Roti and Sarson ka Saag is to die for during the winters. Apart from them, the deliciously cooked lentils, stuffed parathas, sweets like Pinniâ€™s and their staple diet Chole Bhature.