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Punjab: Places To Visit - III

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Kapurthala

Kapurthala, formerly a princely state, is one of the smallest districts of Punjab. Originally founded by Nawab Kapoor Singh, it was made the capital of a new State founded by S. Fateh Singh Ahluwalia. It is bound by Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar in the north, River Beas and district Amritsar in the west and river Sutlej, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur in south. Kapurthala is situated at a distance of 19 km Southwest of Jalandhar. City of architectural monuments and beautiful gardens, it was once called the Paris of Punjab. Kapurthala have many popular tourist attractions.

Kapurthala lies on the Jalandhar-Ferozpur main road and is connected to Delhi, Shimla, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar by road. Kapurthala is a rail head on the Jalandhar-Firozpur Railway line. Jalandhar is the nearest major rail head that connects to all major cities of India by trains. Nearest airport is at Amritsar, nearly 75 km from Kapurthala.

Sainik School

Sinik School, Kapurthala, By Dr Graham Beards (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the remarkable buildings of Kapurthala is the Sainik School, also known as Jagatjit Palace. Maharaja Jagatjit's palace and gardens were modelled on palace of Versailles and its plaster of Paris figures and painted ceilings represent the finest features of French art and architecture. It was built in the renaissance style. The interior decoration of the palace is unique and the great Durbar Hall is one of the finest in India. The palace is full of imported art works from France, Italy and Holland.


Panj Mandir

Panch Mandir of Kapurthala, built during the reign of Sardar Fateh Singh, has historical importance as this is the second sun temple where the idol of God 'Surya' is radiated directly by Sun generator. Several smaller temples dedicated to different deities surround the principal dome in centre.

Moorish Mosque

This is one of the most historic and unique buildings in Kapurthala. Built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh Bahadur, it is a unique piece of the Moorish style architecture. Built in line with the Qutbya Mosque on Morocco, it has a large compound paved with pure Indian Marble. Artisans from Lahore School of Art had designed the interiors of this historic Mosque.

Shalimar Gardens

Shalimar Gardens is situated roughly in the centre of the city and provides an escape from the hustle-bustle of the city. The beautiful Shalimar Gardens is with a magnificent gate at the entrance. It also has a pond, a park and a library. The Basant Panchi Mela is organised every year in this garden.

Ludhiana

Ludhiana is an industrialized city of Punjab. It is famous for industries of bicycle & bicycle components, machine tools, hosiery goods, sewing machines and parts. From the small village called Meer Hota in 1481, to Lodiana and now Ludhiana, the city has been growing. Located on the banks of river Sutlej, Ludhiana is the district capital and home of one of India's leading Agriculture Universities. Khanna, its satellite town is the Asia's biggest grain market. Kila Raipur on the outskirts of the town is the progenitor of rural sports.

Ludhiana is connected with rails to New Delhi and all other important towns of India. It is on the Amritsar-Delhi Grand Trunk Road and other major cities in Punjab are well linked with Ludhiana by road. The nearest airport is Chandigarh about 100km from Ludhiana.

PAU Museum of Rural life

The Museum of Rural life of Punjab in the campus of the Punjab Agricultural University is one of the must-sees for any tourist in Punjab. This museum displays the Punjabi Culture to its best. The Punjab Agricultural University is perhaps, the only university in India to have a museum like this. The museum assumes much importance since the rural Punjab is changing fast and the old traditions and customs are disappearing rapidly.

Lodhi fort

More than 500 years old Lodhi fort, constructed by Sikander Lodhi on a strategic location along the banks of Sutlej in Ludhiana is now in ruins. The once-strong citadel, a military fort, that withstood many an invader has crumbled under the onslaught elements in last five centuries.

Gurudwara Shrimanji Sahib Alamgir

Situated 10 Km from Ludhiana, the gurudwara commemorates the place where the Muslim devotees Nabi Khan and Ghani Khan had carried Guru Gobind Singh to safety during the battle. There is a tank where it is believed that the Guruji had shot an arrow into the earth to pierce a sub-terrain stream of water. A fair is held there in every December.

Phillaur Fort

The fort was designed by Dewan Mohkam Chand, the brave general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It is police training centre now.

Pathankot

Located 269 km from Chandigarh, Pathankot is situated in the picturesque foothills of Kangra and Dalhousie near river Chakki. It is an important link city for going to Jammu and Kashmir, Dalhousie, Chamba, Kangra and the deep Himalayas. It is surrounded by scenic spots like Shahpur Kandi with a hanging rest house, Madhopur Headworks dating back to the Mughal era, Malikpur where India's foremost hydraulic research station is situated.

Pathankot is connected with direct trains to Delhi, Jammu and other cities of Punjab. National Highways connect Pathankot to Jammu, Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh and other major centres of the country.

Patiala

Located on the eastern branch of the Sirhind Canal Patiala is a city of palaces and museums. The city is a trade centre for grain, cotton handicrafts, hardware, electric goods, textiles, shoes etc., are produced. Patiala has several palaces of the former maharaja, the King Edward Memorial, several temples, Qila Mubarak housing a museum, Moti Bagh and Sheesh Mahal. The city was the capital of the princely state of Patiala from 1763 to 1948. It was also the capital of the Patiala and East Punjab State Union from 1948 to 1956.

Quila Mubarak

Quibla Mubarak, Patiala , Kapurthala

Qila Mubark, founded in 1764 by Maharaja Ala Singh was originally a mud fort and was modified into a double storied structure with a massive gate having beautiful arches. The fort was also the residence of Patiala dynasty. The residential part was called Qila Androon or the Inner Fort. Its living apartments have names like Moti Palace, Sheesh Palace, Rajmata Palace, the Palace of Colours and the Palace of the Moon. Its richly painted chambers are peerless. The best part of the fort is a museum now. Museum of Armoury & Chaneliers contains rare cannons, swords, shields and maces, daggers of Guru Gobind Singh sword of Nadar Shah etc.

Bara Dari Garden

It was the state guest house for foreigners and important Indian dignitaries during the rule of the Patiala dynasty. Its cricket stadium is famous surrounded by huge colonial buildings.

Kali Devi Temple

Situated opposite Bara dari garden on the Mall Road, this Temple was built by the rulers of the Patiala State. Because of its beautiful wall paintings and icons, the temple has been declared a national monument.

The Sheesh Mahal

Sheesh Mahal, Patiala

Sheesh Mahal, Patiala It was built by Maharaja Narinder Singh (1845-1862) in a forest with terraces, gardens, fountains and an artificial lake. Part of the three storied Sheesh Mahal is inset with pieces of reflecting mirrors and a large number of wall paintings depicting scenes from Bhagwat Puran and portraits of the Sikh Gurus. The palace has galleries displaying antique paintings, bronzes, sculptures and portraits of the Maharajas of Patiala, collection of medals, decorations and orders of various countries.

National Institute of Sports

The Moti Bagh Palace, built in the 19th century, is patterned after the famous Shalimar Gardens of Lahore. It now houses the National Institute of Sports and the Art Gallery. National Institute of Sports is one of the few exhibition centres of its type and contains rare photographs, medals and kits etc. of the great Indian sportsmen.

Sangrur

Capital of the erstwhile Jind State, Sangrur is situated at 80 Km from Ludhiana and 48 Km from Patiala. In 1948 it became part of India. The Palaces of the Jind State are now in Haryana after the bifurcation of Haryana. Sangrur is an agricultural market with some light industry, including handloom weaving and handicrafts.

Marble Baradari

It is completely built in marble. The structure is fully decorated with profusely carved marble slabs in the form of perforated screens. Its reflections in the surrounding water on moonlit nights present a splendid view.

Diwankhana

Diwankhana, where Rulers of Jind used to hold their durbars, now houses a small museum which displays weapons and other articles used in princely times.

Malerkotla

Malerkotla is an ex-Afghan State of Punjab. The city is famous for handicrafts like badges, insignia, beautiful hand embroidered Indian shoes.