City of wonderful architecture and beautiful gardens and once called the Paris of Punjab because of its cleanliness and planned township. Kapurthala have many famous tourist attractions.
Sainik School (Jagatjit Singh Palace), The Mall Road
One of the remarkable building of Kapurthala is Sainik School. This is also known as Jagatjit Palace. Maharaja Jagatjit’s palace and gardens were modeled on Versailles. He hired a French architect M. Marcel, was inspired by the palaces of Versailles and Fontainbleau. Its plaster of Paris figures and painted ceilings represent the finest features of French art and architecture. It was built in renaissance style with the sunken park in the front (Known as Baija) and has many other similarities to that of Palace of Versailles. The construction of this palace took roughly eight years(1900-1908).The interior decoration of the palace, which is unique of its kind in India was carried out by expert European and Indian workmen. The great Darbar Hall is one of the finest in India. The palace is full of imported art work from France, Italy, Holland.
Panj Mandir (Panch Mandir)
Faith whether of God or of hope paves the way to read a life. When places of obeisance having historical and amusing values imbibe rigid faith in believers. Panch Mandir of Kapurthala, built during the reign of, Sardar Fateh Singh, have such qualities of historical importance and having amazing idole and this is the second temple of a country where monument of God ‘Surya’ is enlighted directly by Sun enerafter. Several smaller temples dedicated to different deities surround the principal dome in center. Another amazing stuff is that from the main silver door of temple one can pay obeisance to every idol and there idols seems same attractive from outside the door as they are from in. Even historic idol of God “Bramajee” is placed in this temple. A replica of this only temple of its kind was exhibited in the pre-partition Punjab Museum at Lahore.
The Jagatjit Club on the Mall is a typical Greeco-Roman specimen of architecture resembling the Acropolis at Athens in Greece. It thus differs from the other French style structure in the city.
This is one of the most historic as well as unique building situated in Kapurthala. It was built by his highness Maharaja Jagatjit Singh Bahadur, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.B.E. Designed by famous French architect M. Manteaux, it is a unique piece of art of the Moorish style of architecture. This is patterned after the Qutbya Mosque on Morocco. It has a large compound paved with pure Indian Marble and decorators from Lahore School of Art had designed the interiors of the historic Mosque. Its construction was started on October,1926 and which was completed on March1930.Total building cost of Mosque was Rs.4,00,000.00. It was inaugurated by Nawab Sadiq Mohd. Khan Bahudar, Ruler of Bahawalpur State on March 14,1930.The existence of this Mosque will bear an enduring testimony to his highness broad minded tolerance & solicitude for welfare of his subject. Also there is Red Cross Rose Garden, inaugurated by Giani Zial Singh, C.M. Punjab on December 6,1972.Its replica was exhibited in the pre-partition Punjab Museum in Lahore.
Elysee Palace housing MGN School at present was built by Maharaja Bikram Singh in 1862.
Old Courts (Kachari)
This historic building is situated in the middle of City. It is very good piece of Art and was built by Maharaja Fateh Singh. It is a sprawling edifice in red bricks with impressive domes and grills resembling East European Structures. The designs of doors and windows are Islamic. There is also a bronze statue of Maharaja Fateh Singh inside the premises of Courts. Many government offices are there in this building. Different halls in this building represents to what extent the former rulers of Kapurthala State love for art.
Currently renovation of Old Court building is going after shifting of major Government offices to New Administrative Complex.
The city has an beautiful Shalimar Gardens. One historical building -“Baradari” is also present in the Shalimar Garden where Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Fateh Singh had met. There are also “Samadhis” of former rulers of Kapurthala State in this historic garden having excellent work on art of them. There is a magnificent gate at the entrance of this garden. It also has spacious parks & a library. The Basant Panchi Mela is organised every year in this historic garden.
Shalimar Garden now houses an eating joint as well.
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 (Main Kapurthala Market)
Oldest and biggest market of the city is Sadar Bazar where person can get almost all the stuff. During Riyasat years, this Bazar was made very systematically and all the buildings are of identical type but at present there are only few signs of its historic image.
NIHAL PALACE (NOW IN RUINS)
This palace was built by His Highness Raja Nihal Singh in the year 1840.The palace was beautiful art work. In Its prime the palace also had Sish Mahal. Now due to negligence, there is only remains of beautiful palace. It is now known as Jallowkhana Chowk, at the end of Sadar Bazar (Main Market of Kapurthala) .The palace no longer Exist and only remains of magnificent palace are there. Only Two standing Walls which are having skillfully crafted wooden doors.
Mata Bhaderkali Temple, Sheikhupura
This temple was built by Sh. Thakur Dass Mehra on 13th of Falgun 1885. The idol of Mata Bhaderkali was installed here by Pandit Dhani Ram Ji. Formerly there used to be a small temple, but now it has become a center of pilgrimage for lacs of devotees. Every year the Mela is celebrated for two days. On a day that preceeds the “Nirjala Ekadasi” a huge procession is taken out from Shalimar Garden (Kapurthala) to the temple at Sheikhpura. “Night Vigil” or Jagrata is held on the same night and “Havan” is performed on the dawn of the next day(Nirjala Ekadasi). A kavi Darbar is also held on the “Ekadasi” night.
A 5 k.m. away from Kapurthala City is the rivulet of Bein, which is surrounded by natural scenery. Villa Buona Vista, built on the banks of the ‘Bein’ is the residence of Ex-Maharaja of Kapurthala. Nearby is the Kanjli Lake, a beautiful home of migratory birds in the winter. At Kanjli, Basakhi Mela is held every year. It is declared as a picnic spot by government. The place has scenic beauty of lake & all the infrastructure for a memorable fishing and boating holiday for the tourists. The wetland extends in the area of about 50 acres and is a habitat to about 40-50 bird species. Apart from it the area attracts migratory birds. The area was declared as a wetland of national importance in the year 1992 on account of the rich biodiversity it supported.
Randhir College (NJSA Government College)
One of Punjab’s first education institution was set up in 1856 by Maharaja Randir Singh in Kapurthala as a leading Sanskrit institute, to encourage education in one of the Punjab’s richest state. In 1896 it was upgraded as an intermediate college. In 1945 it was made a degree college. Since then if been timely upgraded. In 1968 English was introduced, in 1976 economics and M.A. was introduced. In 1986 B.Com. and 1991 B.Sc. Medical was put on the rolls of the College. The Jublee Hall which was the ‘Darbar Hall’ of Maharaja of Kapurthala is the main attraction of college along with lush green ambience and feel good environment.
The college is centrally located and is reachable from all sides of City.
Other Palaces of Interest
The city has many other places to visit. It includes the War Memorial (Opp. Moorish Mosque), the Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar), the Irwin Jubliee Memorial Hospital, the Circuit House, Sri Sat Narayan Mandir( Sri Sat Narayan Bazar), Prachin Shiv Mandir( Mall Road), Sri Laxmi Narayan Mandir ( Laxmi Nagar), Brahm Kund Mandir ( Behind Shalimar Garden),Baba Pir Chowdhary (Jalandhar Road),Hanuman Mandir (Amritsar Road), Mandir Janki Dass (Near Jallowkhana Chowk),Jain Mandir( Amritsar Road), Sheetla Mata Mandir (Chowk Jallowkhana).