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Kapurthala District

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About the Kapurthala district

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Brief About Kapurthala District
Kapurthala, the capital of the former Princely State of the same name, was in its day, known as a city of Palaces, Mosques, Temples, Gurudwara and gardens. The extent of the French influence in the architecture of the main Palace, and some of the other buildings, its wide streets, the Indo-Saracenic influence in the other prominent buildings and the well co-ordinated aesthetic layout of most dwellings, being set amidst a front of an acre of lawn and gardens, earned this small Principality the sobriquet of the "Paris of the Punjab".

The former Kapurthala State also had the unique distinction of being located adjacent to the historic township of Sultanpur Lodhi. The sanctity of this holy township, rivals that of Nankana Sahib. It was at Sultanpur Lodhi that Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the First Guru of the Sikh Faith, spent 14 years of his life. The Guru attained enlightenment whilst bathing in the small rivulet, the Bein, that flowed near the township. The Sikh "Mool Mantra" or "Sacred Word or Revelation", which to this day, forms the commencement of the Sikh daily Prayer or "Japuji" and features at the commencement of the sacred "Granth Sahib", was uttered by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, under the Ber (Zizyohus Jujuba) tree, which is still extant in the precincts of the Gurudwara that bears this name, at Sultanpur Lodhi. There can be no greater evocation to the Sikh psyche, than this sacred site.

The present District of Kapurthala, derives its name from the Town of Kapurthala, which was the capital of the former Princely State of the same name. The town is said to have been founded in the early part of the 11th century by Rana Kapur, a scion of the ruling house of Jaisalmer (Rajasthan).

Prior to 1947, Kapurthala was a unique example of true secularism. Ruled by a Sikh Ruler, sixty percent of the population of the former State, comprised Muslims, both of the Shia and Sunni persuasion. The State gave full representation to the Muslim community, who held honoured places of distinction and merit in all walks of life in the State and its administration.

A unique place of worship, a Mosque, built on the architectural lines of the Grand Mosque in Marakesh, Morocco, by a French architect, Monsieur M Manteaux, was commenced in 1927 and completed in 1930 at a cost of some four lakhs of rupees. It was consecrated in the presence of the late Nawab of Bhawalpur. The inner dome was decorated by artists of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore. This unique example of practical secularism and the only Mosque of this architectural style in South East Asia, still exists. The Mosque is a National Monument under the Archeological Survey of India and some restoration work is being undertaken. This unique spirit of true secularism and tolerance has been the hallmark of the people of Kapurthala, through the ages. It has been exemplified through all the periods of trial and other vicissitudes, that the Punjab has witnessed ever since 1947.

Kapurthala District is situated in the Jalandhar Doab and comprises two non-contiguous parts, separated by some 32 kilometers. Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi and Bholath Tehsils form one part and Phagwara Tehsil, the second separated portion. The former area lies between North latitude 31 degree 07 minutes and 31 Degrees 22 minutes, and East longitude 75 degrees 36 minutes.

Phagwara Tehsil falls between North latitude 31 degrees 22 minutes and East longitude 75 degrees 40 minutes and 75 degrees 55 minutes. The Kapurthala-Sultanpur Lodhi and Bholath segment is approximately 32 kilometers long and varies between 11 to 32 kilometers in width. Kapurthala District is bounded partly in the North and wholly in the West by the Beas River, famed as the Hydaspes River, or the eastern limit of the Greek conquest in 326 BC, by the army of Alexander the Great, whose advance was checked on this river line by King Porus. Even though the army of King Porus was defeated, the battle exhausted the hitherto invincible Greek army, and the great march back to Greece was commenced from here.

The River Beas, separates Kapurthala District from the adjacent District of Gurdaspur in the North, and from the District of Amritsar in the West. In the North, Kapurthala District also abuts partially on the District of Hoshiarpur. The River Satluj, separates Kapurthala District from Firozepur District in the South, and on the Eastern flank, this District is also bounded by Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar Districts.

The smaller portion of Kapurthala District, namely Phagwara Tehsil, is bounded by the Districts of Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur. It is surrounded on three sides, the North West, West and South West by Jalandhar District, on the North East and East by Hoshiarpur District and by Nawan Shehar in the South. The entire District of Kapurthala is situated in the Bist Doab area, which is the tract between the Rivers Satluj and the Beas, referred to generally as the Doab. Kapurthala District is administratively divided into four Tehsils, namely Kapurthala, Phagwara, Sultanpur and Bholath.

The city of Kapurthala is situated approximately 19 kilometers South West of Jalandhar, and is connected to it by Road and Railway. Jalandhar is an important road and railway junction. A pair of high speed Shatabadi Express and a number of other trains from Delhi to Amritsar or Jammu Tawi and vice versa, all pass through Jalandhar. Kapurthala city is about 66 kilometers from Amritsar along the famous Grand Trunk road known as Sher Shah Shuri Marg. (National Highway No. 1).

There is a well appointed Civil Rest House in the city, where accommodation is available through the Office of the Deputy Commissioner. Some middle level accommodation is also available with local guest houses, the Sainik Rest House and Panchayat Ghar. Good hotel accommodation with appropriate "Star" ratings, is available at Jalandhar(19 kilometers).

The climate of Kapurthala District is characterized by its dry and arid nature (except for the monsoon months). It experiences a very hot summer and enjoys a bracing winter season. The year can be divided into four seasons. The most pleasant is the winter season from November to March. Then follows the hot season from April to the end of June, when temperatures can touch 45 degrees Celsius and more. The South West Monsoon season lasts from July to mid September and from mid September to November, can be called the post-monsoon or autumn season. The Monsoon season is the most dramatic, with dark rain laden clouds scudding across leaden, lightning streaked skies. Cool winds break the stranglehold of the oppressive heat of summer, but in turn, the weather can also become humid, sultry and oppressive. The passage of the rejuvenating monsoon rains, yields to the cool of the autumn and declining temperatures. January and February are the coldest months. Cold waves affect the District, when ground fog, hoar frost and passing western disturbances can cause temperatures to plummet to a degree or so below freezing point.

Kapurthala District generally experiences increasing rainfall from the South West to the North East of the District. Almost 70 % of the annual rainfall is received during the monsoon months (July to September), with July usually being the wettest month. Some rainfall, though scanty, is experienced from December to March, which amounts to about 12% of the total annual rainfall. There usually is a large variation in the rainfall pattern from year to year.

District Profile
Formerly a princely state , the Kapurthala District is one of the sub-Districts forming the Jalandhar Division .This is the only District in the state which is split in to two parts some 32 Kilometers apart. Between the two parts is the territory of Jalandhar District. It is the smallest District in terms of area and population. the District has a area of 1,633 Kilometers and is inhabited by 6,46,647 persons as per the 1991census.

Geographical Situation
The District which lies between the latitudes of 30 degree07 minutes 30 second and 31 degree 39 minutes 30 seconds North and longitudes of 75 degree 58 minutes 30 seconds and 75 degree 54 minutes 60 seconds East forms a part of Bist Doab in central Punjab. In the north, it is bound by the District of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur, in the west., by the river Beas and District Amritsar In the south by the river Sutlej and Jalandhar and Ferozepur and in the east by Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur Districts. The Phagwara sub-division is surrounded on all sides by Jalandhar District except in the NorthEast where it joins the District of Hoshiarpur.

Historical background
The District takes it's name from Kapurthala town which is its headquarters and was formerly the capital of the princely state. The ruling Ahluwalia family of the erstwhile princely state of Kapurthala traces its origin to the Rajput House of Jaisalmer. The family derives its title of Ahluwalia from village Ahlu near Lahore (now in Pakistan) founded by Sadhu Singh , an enterprising member of this family.

However , the real founder of the Family was Nawab Jassa Singh who took a leading part in the Sikh struggle against the Mughal governor in Punjab. In 1748, he killed the governor of Amritsar seizing a large portion of the District .He then extended his conquest to the Beas and defeated the governor of Jalandhar doab. His subsequent victorious march was halted in 1762. After the return of Ahmed Shah to Kabul, the Sikhs chiefs under the leadership of Jassa Singh defeated Zain Khan in 1764 whom Ahmed Shah appointed as governor . He contributed most to consolidate the position of the Sikhs before Maharaja Ranjit Singh came on the scene. Jassa Singh died in 1783 . He had made Kapurthala his capital. His illustrious successor Fateh Singh was responsible for including the areas of Phagwara and Banga in his territory.

The last ruler of the family was Jagatjit Singh. His contribution in the field of industry was particularly noteworthy and many institutions and industries installed in his time bear his name . During the post-independence period , Banga Subtehsil was transferred to Hoshiarpur District and four Bastis, Basti Nau, Basti Sheikh, Basti Kotlaan and Kot Sadiq were transferred to Jalandhar District in June ,1950. as a result of the merger of PEPSU with Punjab in 1965. The District has been transferred to Jalandhar division for convenience of administration.