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Jagatjit Palace

The Jagatjit Palace is set within a 200 acre complex featuring spectacular architecture that had been borrowed from the famous Fontainebleau and Palace of Versailles. This is the most famous site in the town of Kapurthala and allows one to revisit the extravagance and opulence of the Sikh Maharajas of the nineteenth century.

Today, Jagatjit Palace is run as the Sainik School and maintained by the Defense Ministry. The architecture is considered to be a ‘must see’ when you are in this part of Punjab.

History of Jagatjit Palace

The much renowned Jagatjit Palace was built as the residential complex of the erstwhile Maharaja of the state of Kapurthala, HRH Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. Spread across a vast 200 acres (0.81 sq km) of land, the palatial building features amazing architecture of the 19th century and is spectacularly maintained by rich vegetation all around. The original architecture was designed by M. Marcel; a French artist called in by the Maharaja and assisted by a local builder by the name of Allah Ditta. The construction of the palace started in the 1900 and was completed in time by 1908 for the new wife of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, Anita Delgado.

Site and Architecture of Jagatjit Palace

The Jagatjit Palace is undisputedly the most famous building in Kapurthala. It was once the home of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh and his wife Anita Delgado who also have been responsible for designing most part of present existing town. The construction of the building took almost 80 years to complete but it was a gem of an endeavor.

The Jagatjit Palace features a magnificent Durbar Hall, also called the Diwan-E-Khas and is one of the finest of its kind in India. The most interesting feature of Jagatjit Palace is the Plaster of Paris figurines and painted ceilings that represent the French taste of art and architecture. The roof of the palace complex has been designed in ‘beaux art’ style that represented the 19th century French designs. Among these structures, the most impressive part of the building is the Mansard Roof featuring oeil-de-boeuf windows and double slopes that could be found in the Louvre of historical French buildings. The Lapis lazuli pillars that one sees in the Jagatjit Palace had been imported from Italy and the same goes for the marbles that are seen in the fireplace. All the furniture, which still exists in harmony with the design, had been brought in from France as were the artists who had painted the ceilings of reception rooms.

The Jagatjit Palace also features interesting artifact collection that include a 19th century mechanical clock which can point towards moisture, different planetary positions, varying temperatures throughout the day and the time in about 12 Asian and European countries. Another special artifact is a rare pneumatic Orchestra that is integrated with an automated tune player. The Jagatjit Palace sure defines the best aspects of both French and Indian architecture. Art work features in the palace halls have been imported from as far as France, Italy and Holland.

Best Time to Visit

Jagatjit Palace is considered to be one of the must see buildings in Kapurthala in terms of architecture. However, entry into the palace is not allowed since the compound is used by the Defense Ministry. Viewing it from a distance is still worthy of the effort. Thus, there is o such time limit to see the palace building. It is open 24 x 7.

Things You Must Know

The Maharaja Jagatjit Palace is presently maintained by the prestigious Sainik School. The Defense Ministry took over the restoration and maintenance since 1961 and now it is primarily aimed at grooming capable youngsters for getting selected by the National Defense Academy.

How to Reach

By Air

Nearest International airport to Kapurthala is Raja Sansi International Airport and is located 66 kilometers away at Amritsar.

By Train

Nearest railway station to Krupathala is Kapurthala Railway Station located at a distance of 1 kilometer from the site. The station code is KXH belonging to the Northern Indian Railway. There are a total of 4 trains halting at Krupathala for around 2 minutes each and run all throughout the day.

By Road

The city of Krupathala is well connected by road network with main transport routes running across Punjab and the whole of Northern India. The road distance is just 19 kilometers from the nearest well known city of Jalandhar between which buses ferry regularly. The main site is located just 3 kilometers from the main part of the town. Road time from Jalandhar to Krupathala is approximately 30 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

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