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A City which could pride itself of being the kingdom of a secular monarchy. Kapurthala is infact, a gloring example of how a religiously diversified population base could reside with peace, amity and brotherhood. A predominantly Sikh dominated city, with Hindus accounting for the second largest slot. As far as, number of citizens is concerned, Kapurthala is also a cosy-home to an appreciable number of Muslims, Christians, Jains who though in minority enjoy the religions liberty and freedom at par with their fellow beings from Sikhs or Hindu religions.

The Moorish mosque and the holy shrine of Baba Peer-Zant-Deen (alias Peer Chaudhry), which is held in high esteem by city dwellers, irrespective of their religious identity bears testimony to the fact that the people have secular tendencies and liberal outlook towards religions other than theirs. The great pomp and show that mark the celebrations of Christmas and Good Friday reveals nothing but secular colours of Kapurthalities.

One another sect that has an enormous and vibrant follower-base is the Radhaswami sect, which has carved out its separate identity and position from the parent religion-Sikhism. It is now a sect that stands equidistance from Hindu and Sikh religions and has deviated from the traditional structure and nature of the two religions. Because of Kapurthala's proximity with Beas, the seat of Radhaswami sect, the city has a substantial number of followers of this offshoot of Sikh Religion.

Jainism is yet another sect which forms an appreciable number of total citizens of the city. Any of the jain festivals is celebrated with mutual participation of people from all walks of life and all sections of society, symbolizing the communal harmony, that has been integral and inherent to the city, from times immemorial.

There are a pretty good number of religious seats and shrines located in the erstwhile princely state of Kapurthala. Every city dweller feels pride when he gives reference of Moorish mosque. Sikh shrines of the city, and specially of Sultanpur Lodhi are of vast historical importance because of their close association with the Ist Sikh guru Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Begowal a small town in the vicinity of the city, is the seat of yet another sect originated from Sikh religion. Apart from Peer Chaudhry, a muslim shrine- Mudhali Sharif, situated near Phagwara- is of immense importance to not only muslims, but for all the natives of Doaba and adjoining areas. The beautiful and elegant Nirmala Mission Church and the historical CNI church are another examples that throw light on the religious mix, the city boasts of.

In short, Kapurthala is a home to people from different religions, different sects, different castes and creeds. And the eternal beauty of the religious tolerance and communal harmony and brotherhood that has been a part of city's social set up, just indicates that what a beautiful and nice city Kapurthala is to live in. Simply too good.

Contributed by: Mr. Lal Vishwas

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