is a city in Northern India that serves as the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana. The city of Chandigarh was the first planned city in India post-independence in 1947 and was known internationally for its architecture and urban design.
The city of Chandigarh lies in the valley surrounded by Shiwalik Hills that hem the great Himalayas. From here one can travel northwards to the hill resorts of Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Dharmashala and Dalhousie. Chandigarh is not only the most modern city in the country but has been planned to perfection by the world famous French architect Le Corbusier.
History of Chandigarh
Chandigarh is one of the most significant urban planning experiments of the 20th century. It is the only one of the numerous urban planning schemes of Le Corbusier, the famous French architect-planner, to have actually been executed.
Chandigarh hosts the largest of Le Corbusier's many Open Hand
sculptures, standing 26 metres high.The Open Hand(La Main Ouverte) is a recurring motif in Le Corbusier's architecture, a sign for him of "peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive." It represents the give and take of ideas. However, two of the six monuments planned in the Capitol Complex which has the High Court, the Assembly and the Secretariat, remain incomplete. These include Geometric Hill and Martyrs Memorial; drawings were made; their execution, however, was never fully accomplished after starting out in 1956.
The city has had far-reaching impact, ushering in a modern idiom of architecture and city planning all over India and has become a symbol of planned urbanism. It is as famous for its landscaping as for its architectural ambience. Most of the buildings are in pure, cubical form, geometrically subdivided with emphasis on proportion, scale and detail.
Chandigarh owes its name to an ancient temple of Chandi, the goddess of power. The city emerged as a result of the search for a capital of the post-partition province of Punjab that began immediately after independance. In 1950, the city was conceived thanks to the vision of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru , the first Prime Minister of independent India & to the genius of the French architect, Le Corbusier.
Chandigarh offers a rich fare of places of tourist interest within short intra-city distances, amidst a clean environment.
Chandigarh is famous for its unique architecture. Another lesser known aspect of Chandigarh is that besides, architecture and other urban components, it is one of the few cities of the world with well planned landscaping. The city boasts of Leisure Valley and large number of beautifully maintained gardens.
Chandigarh has the distinction of having world acclaimed Rock Garden. It consists of art objects made from industrial and urban waste. Sukhna Lake is another important place of tourists attraction. This man-made Lake is situated in the foothills of Shivalik Range and offers an ideal place for quiet communion with nature. It also offers boating and other water sports facilities.
The city has also a Museum Complex. The Government Museum and Art Gallery has the largest collection of the world famous Gandhara (Buddhist) Sculpture after Lahore. It has also large number of articles of miniature indian paintings. The City Museum displays the planning and development of the City from the drawing board state to its completion. The Museum of Evolution of Life shows evolution from unicellular organism to its present state of biological diversity.
The City has one of the best facilities for organizing culture and theatre shows. It has large number of auditoriums, some of them air-conditioned. The City boasts of six art galleries.
Chandigarh has two forest areas beyond Lake Sukhna where one can find excellent trekking routes in the lower hills of Shivalik Range.
There are large number of important places of tourist interest beyond Chandigarh. Chhatbir Zoo, Bhakra Nangal Dam, Patiala, Anandpur Sahib and Fatehgarh Sahib are important tourist attraction sites and are situated within 60-70 kms from Chandigarh. Yadvindra garden Pinjore and Mansa Devi both in Haryana are situated within 15 kms from Chandigarh. The hill stations of Kasauli, Chail and Shimla are also close-bye