The capital of the princely State of Kapurthala, the city is often referred to as the ‘Paris of Punjab’ due to its architecture. The monuments and gardens in the city are evident of the Indo-Saracen and French style architecture. The State of Kapurthala was ruled by the Ahluwalia Dynasty but was founded in the 11th century by the Bhati Rajput clan from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. The city is a famous tourist attraction in Punjab due to its distinctive architecture and gardens. Here’s a list of the best places to visit in Kapurthala.
1. Jagatjit Palace
Jagatjit Palace was the residence of the erstwhile Maharaja of the State of Kapurthala, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. The palace was built in 1908 and is has a remarkable Indo-Saracen architecture and is modeled after the Versailles Palace. The Jagatjit Palace is now inhabited by the Sainik School to train boys for the National Defense Academy.
2. Elysee Palace
The Elysee Palace was built in 1962 by Kanwar Bikram Singh, in the Indo-French style architecture. The Palace is a famous monument in the city with its magnificent façade and monolithic structure. Today this structure has been converted into the MGN School.
3. Kanjli Wetland
Kanjli Wetland was created by building headworks across the Bien River in 1870 to provide irrigation facilities to the region. The Kanjli Lake is formed as a part of this man made wetland and is a famous picnic spot surrounded by some amazing surroundings. This is a great place for the photography enthusiasts as a huge number of avi fauna and mammalian species are found here.
4. Moorish Mosque
Moorish Mosque was commission by Maharaja Jagjit Singh Bahadur and was completed in 1930. The Mosque is indeed an example of the religious tolerance during the time of the Maharaja’s Reign in Kapurthala. The mosque complex comprised of some amazing painting by the Students at Mayo school of arts in Lahore and is located amidst a beautiful garden.
5. Panch Mandir
Panch Mandir, dedicated to several Hindu deities and was built during the reign of Maharaj Fatah Singh Ahluwalia and is built in a bright white structure. Due to its marvelous architecture it is one of the few Hindu temples that has its replica in one of the Museums in Lahore, Pakistan.
6. Jagatjit Club
Jagatjit club is a geek-revival style building that has served several purposes since its construction. The building has the Coat of Arms of the Royal Family of Patiala and is inspired by the design of the Acropolis of Athens.
7. Shalimar Gardens
Located in the heart of the city of Kapurthala, Shalimar Gardens are a hugely frequented tourist spot that provide a momentary escape from the busy life and bustle of the city. The gardens contain the cenotaphs of the Royal family of Kapurthala and are characterized by the marble obelisks in the chambers made of red sandstone.
The rich culture owing to the reign of the Sikh kings of the Ahluwalia dynasty, the city of Kapurthala is totally distinctive from the rest of the Indian cities. The French and Indo-Saracen architecture has made this town a must visit for all the tourists. The aforementioned places are a must visit to experience the real culture of Kapurthala.
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