The Moorish Mosque of Kapurthala

If you travel a lot within India, you’ll soon discover a truth - the most obscure (and dirty) towns and cities hide things of immense beauty within them. Kapurthala is no exception. The last Maharaja of the state of Kapurthala, Jagatjit Singh was a man of extravagant tastes and a bonafide Francophile. So it’s no surprise to find the town dotted with impressive buildings and halls. Chief among them is the Moorish Mosque in the southern parts.

Modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marakkesh, it is the only one of its kind in India and perhaps all of Asia. With its Andalussian motifs and use of colours, it is a beautiful and serene place, finally restored to somewhat of its old glory.

The entire edifice is dominated by the tall tower at its north-eastern end. The windows feature intricate inlay work done in marble.

The entrance is dominated by large inscriptions on either side of the doorway. A commemorative plaque states that the mosque was built between 1926 and 1930 at a cost of Rs. 6,00,000.

The central courtyard is entirely floored with white marble with interlocking black lines where the pavilions extend into the courtyard.

The pavilions themselves are dominated by the marble ablution fountains with intricate, alabaster inlay work on the arches.

The main pathway to the mihrab. Flanked by long colonnades.

The colonnades are beautiful, with delicate hanging lights made of brass and wire.

The central inner dome features very detailed arabesques designed by students of Mayo College, Lahore. A few of the windows feature stained glass.


If you are ever in that area, make the detour to Kapurthala and the mosque. It is a beautiful place, waiting to be discovered by more people.