Named after its founder Nawab Kapur Singh, this capital town of an erstwhile princely state is situated towards the west of Jalandhar City at a distance of 19 kms. It is now the headquarters of the district in Punjab with the same territory. The story of Kapurthala extends back to more than 900 years ago, Mahmood Ghaznavi's time. It is said that a certain Rana Kapur, of the royal Rajpur House of Jaisalmer, a legendary ancestor of the Ahluwalia family, founded the town in that remote age. But it remains the fact that during 700 years of Muslim rule, it was not a prominent place. The limelight of history fell upon it only with the advent of Jassa Singh. The story of Kapurthala is inextricably inter-woven with the life and struggles of Jassa Singh. It was he who evicted Ibrahim Khan, a usurper after the death of Mughal Governor Adina Beg, from Kapurthala. Jassa Singh selected Kapurthala as his capital, although it was only after his death that the town became the fixed capital and place of residence of the Ahluwalia chiefs. State Gurdwara
Places of Interest In Kapurthala
The Moorish Mosque
Palace of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh
Gurdwara Ber Sahib at Sultanpur Lodhi
Tomb of Pir Jumme Shah Darwesh Pind
The most striking building in the town is a fine Hindu temple called the ' Panch Mandir' built during the reign of, Sardar Fateh Singh Ahluwalia. The prime dome in the centre is surrounded by several smaller temples dedicated to different deities. A replica of this only temple of its kind was exhibited in the pre-partition Punjab Museum at Lahore.
The Moorish Mosque
Situated near the railway station it was built in 1930 during the reign of the last Maharaja of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh. He had employed a French architect Manteaux who followed the design of the great Qutbiya Mosque, at Marakesh in Moracco. It is a large compound paved with the purest Indian marble. The inner dome of the mosque was decorated with designs composed by the artists of the Mayo School of Arts, Lahore.
This is is a lovely small garden with a swimming pool and a library having 'Samadhis', having excellent filigree work, of the former Rulers Kapurthala state. This spot is filled with peace and a great spot for spending leisure time.
The Jagatjit Palace now housing the Sainik School is a remarkable building. Worthy of note also is the building of the Randhir College, which institution is now over a 100 years old.
Reverting to the town itself, where Red Marble State Gurudwara is an imposing building, as also are the War Memorial, the Irwin Jubilee Memorial Hospital, the Circuit House and the Clock Tower.
Maharaja of Kapurthala had built a lake after making a barrage on river Kali Bein. Many rivulet discharges into this river and a beautiful lake is still there. On the left side of lake lies a green forest with some wildlife. Maharaja had built a retreat called The Villa on French design on the banks of this lake. The present descendant of Maharaja uses it as their residence. The lake is a beautiful home of migratory birds in winters, has been developed as a still more beautiful picnic spot with all the infrastructure facilities.
Gurudwara Ber sahib here, situated amid a constellation of other Gurudwaras is connected with Guru Nanak Devji who spent the early years of his life in and around Sultanpur Lodhi. Other historical buildings here include Mazaar Shah, Hujra Hajira and a Serai , which is the oldest building in Sultanpur.
Handira Mausoleum, Sultanpur Lodhi located on the banks of the river Kali Bein. It is a fine monument of strength, weight and balance built on an octagonal plan with four gates in cardinal directions. Its drumless squattish dome, broad pointed arches and open arched Jharokas (an ornamental sitting place jutting of the walls) add dignity to its austere design.