There was a time when rulers went out of their way to promote secularism.
One such enlightened ruler was the Maharaja Jagatjit Singh (1875-1949, reign 1877-1947), the last ruler of Kapurthala who built this grand mosque, modelled on the Grand Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh ( from which it’s gets its name Moorish Mosque).
When questioned by the British why a Sikh ruler was building a mosque he reportedly replied
“Your Excellency may be unaware that 60 per cent of my population comprises of my loyal Muslim subjects. It is only in the fitness of things that the best place of worship in my state be constructed for them”
The architect was a French man Monsieur M. Manteaux. It was started in 1927 and completed in 1930 and built at a cost of Rs 600,000. The mosque was inaugurated by Nawab Sadiq Mohammed Khan Bahadur, the Nawab of Bhawalpur.
The interiors are beautiful and serene and the inner domes and the mehrab are exquisitely painted by art students from Mayo School of Art in Lahore.
The mosque is functioning and I saw prayer mats ND caps there but it needs regular maintenence as some of the paint is peeling.
The outside was overgrown and being used by a group of locals for their pastimes.