French historian pens book on Kapurthala

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Kapurthala, Feb 14 (UNI) The glorious past of Kapurthala, a princely town renowned for its French architecture-inspired magnificent buildings and fascinationating tales of its royal scions, would soon come alive in a book being penned down by a French historian.

French Historian Jean Marie Lafont, who is writing a book on French-Kapurthala ties during the days of erstwhile Maharaja Jagatjit Singh Ahluwalia who had made several visits to France, today visited the town in this connection today.

Accompanied by his friends, Mr Lafont, went around the historical buildings like Jagatjit Palace now housing Sainik School, Kapurthala, District courts complex, Shalimar Garden, Gole Kothi and the old rest house.

They were impressed to see the old monuments but expressed their unhappiness over the dilapidated conditions of the monuments.

Talking to mediapersons later, Mr Lafont said he was a frequent visitor to Kapurthala since 1973 and had visited the town for more than ten times.

He has mentioned the visit of Maharaja Kapurthala to France in his recent released book on French-Lahore ties which was released by the French Ambassador in Pakistan in July last year.

He has also written about the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his ties with the French government.

French Historian, who is staying in India for the past more than two decades, has written seven books including French-Oudh now called Lucknow, French-Hyderabad, French-Mysore, Punjab and France and French-Lahore.

He has completed his book on French-Delhi and plans to release it during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to France in October this year.

He informed that it would take two to three years to complete the book on Frech-Kapurthala, He said his research was based on Indo-French relations especially the cultural and military exchanges during the 18th century.

Comparing the old monuments in Kapurthala, particularly Jagatjit Palace which is the replica of palace of Versailles in France, he said while the palace of Versailles has been declared as a national monument Jagatjit Palace needs to be maintained better. He said government should take care of these historical buildings for future generations.

Later, the French tourists had a meeting with Kapurthala Maharaja Brig (Retd) Sukhjit Singh Ahluwalia at his residence at Villa Kothi.

UNI XC JN BP1620

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