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The Moorish Mosque

Kapurthala is an overwhelming town in the magnificent state of Punjab. Known for its intricate architectural marvels, the cultural heritage of this town is vast and widespread. It was the capital of the state during the British era and is the administrative headquarters of Kapurthala District. The various French and Indo-Saracenic architecture based buildings have given it an aesthetic look and feel. Some people also called it as the 'City of Palaces & Gardens.

One cannot envision the splendor of Kapurthala without immersing themselves in its rich cultural heritage. Its traditions have withstood the test of time and have been passed on from generation to generation. Jagatjit Palace, Shiv Mandir, Gurudwara Chhevin Padshahi, and Shalimar Gardens are the some of the many tourist attractions to grace the town.

Founded by the scion of Jaisalmer, Rana Kapur in the 11th century, the town has seen tremendous growth and progress since that era. The present royal family of Kapurthala is descended from the leading Sikh of his time, Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia who was also a contemporary of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah and was known for his wisdom, intelligence and bravery.

The state is known for its production and exportation of crops such as wheat, sugar and cotton on a large scale. It is also a major market for several rice varieties like Basmati and non-Basmati rice, parboiled rice and raw rice. It is also famous for its metal-work and hand-painted cloths and is home to several well-known medium and large scale industries.

The Kapurthala Moorish Mosque

One of the most enchanting and prominent tourist attractions in the city of Kapurthala is the Moorish Mosque. Located at a distance of approximately 3 kms from the city, its beauty and intricacy has attracted travelers and devotees from across the continent. The Mosque upholds the vivid history of the area. Its construction was initiated by the last ruler of Kapurthala, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. Its construction began in 1917 and after 13 years of dedicated hard work and devotion, it was finally completed in the year 1930. Its splendid artwork draws inspiration from the Grand Mosque of Marakesh in Morocco. Constructed by the well-known French architect, Monsieur M Manteaux, it was consecrated in the presence of the late Nawab of Bahawalpur.  It was due to the heartfelt blessings of the Maharajah that the mosque was finished, and it went on to become a monumental creation during the premiership of the late Diwan Sir Abdul Hamid Kt., CIE, OBE.

Travelers visiting the mosque can view the beautiful inner dome, adorned with works of art from various artists of Mayo School of Art, Lahore, travelers can bask in the beauty and glory of its inner dome. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens with numerous structures and various colorful lights.

The mosque is safeguarded as a National Monument and is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. One can see its wooden model at the entrance of Lahore Museum.

The Legacy of Maharajah Jagatjit Singh

The city of Kapurthala owes its cultural heritage to none other than Maharajah Jagatjit Singh (1872-1949 AD) who by constructing splendid edifices added to the overall beauty and magnificence of the area. During his various travels and voyages, he was exposed to exceptional forms of architecture. So, he decided to adorn his state with some of the finest works of art. And it was all thanks to his supervision that the Moorish Mosque is what it is today.

Constructed by the celebrated French architect Manteaux in 1930, it was finished at a final cost of Rs. 4 Lakh and was based on the pattern of the Koutoubia or Grand Mosque of Marakesh, Morocco. Apart from its simplicity and style, it is the intelligent use of color, lines, patterns and horse-shoe shaped arched forms that make it an in-disposable piece of architectural masterwork. The only area in the mosque where one can see stone embellishments is the inner concave of the sanctum. Apart from this, one can also see a deviation from the common Islamic, marble-domed mosques found across the country. Instead, the mosque has a brick-work facade without a dome, a flat-roofed entrance and a rare, single cuboidal minaret.

Hotels Near Kapurthala Moorish Mosque

The town of Kapurthala offers a perfect mix of accommodation options to suit the diverse needs and budgets of visiting tourists. From medium to deluxe to economical rooms, Kapurthala ensures that its tourists and devotees always stay happy and content. A few well-known hotels around the area include the following.

London Hotel

The London Hotel is a reputed tourist Hotel in the town of Kapurthala. It offers a wide array of essential amenities required for a comfortable stay.

Kapur Palace Hotel

The Kapur Palace Hotel is a budget hotel offering a decent yet comfortable stay. It is the best hotel for those who are looking for a quick visit to the mosque.

Hotel Vasu International

Vasu International is a well-known luxury hotel in the city. Being in close proximity to the bus stand and railway station, it offers visitors a chance to indulge in a cozy environment equipped with world class amenities. Moreover, the staff is very friendly and provides timely service. The lobby is spacious and offers complete relaxation.

Monuments Adjacent To Kapurthala Moorish Mosque

Apart from basking in the vivid glory of the Moorish Mosque, one can also pay a visit to any of the following nearby attractions.

Elysee Palace

Built by Kanwar Bikrama Singh in 1862, this supreme building has an imposing and elegant facade. However, it has now been converted into the MGN School of Kapurthala.

Shalimar Gardens

Located roughly in the centre of the city, Shalimar Gardens provide a much needed escape from the pollution and traffic of city life. The traditions of its ruling dynasty are symbolized by the Shahi Samadhis or the Royal Cenotaphs. In memory of the former rulers and their families, one can also find various Marble obelisks inside the red sandstone chambers.

Gurudwara Ber Sahib

Situated at Sultanpur Lodhi, one of the four tehsils of Kapurthala, the Gurudwara Ber Sahib is very important to Sikhism and the Sikh community. It is considered to be the very place where Guru Nanak spent 14 years of his life and attained enlightenment. The place is named after a Ber tree planted by the Guru himself.

Panch Mandir (Five Temples)

The Panch Mandir of Kapurthala is home to five small temples and is a place of reverence for different faith and following. Built by Sardar Fateh Singh, the temple is unique as one can view and pay homage to all the five idols from the entry door itself.

Best Time to Visit

The months of October and November are the best to visit the Kapurthala Moorish Mosque as the weather is cool and pleasant.


Winter season lasts from October to February, and as the temperature is comfortable, it is perfect for sightseeing. The usual temperature ranges from 11°C to 20°C.


In Kapurthala, summers are very hot and exhausting. From the months of March to June, the temperature usually ranges from 29°C to 40°C.

Monsoon Season in Kapurthala

The monsoon is usually marked with high humidity and lasts from July to September.

How to Reach

By Air

Raja Sansi International Airport, Amritsar is the closest international airport and is a rough one and half hour’s drive from Kapurthala. It is well connected to the prominent cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai via various airlines.

By Road

There are various bus and public transport services offered by the Punjab State Road Transport Corporation. One can also avail of the services provided by several private travel service operators.

By Train

Kapurthala Railway Station is the most important railway station in the city. It is well connected to the several prominent cities such as Delhi, Bhatinda, Jammu, Jalandhar and Ferozepur. The prominent trains that pass through Kapurthala are Jat Adi Express, 9226 Express, 2JF Passenger and the Bti Jat Express

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