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Country : India         Chandigarh (state)         
     
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Facts At A Glance
Built In It was built in 1953 and it serves as the capital of two states, but is administered by the Federal Government and is hence it is categorised as an union territory . Since 1986 there has been much talk about officially handing it to Punjab on the basis of demography. This issue is still continuing with many political disputes.
Main Languages Punjabi, Hindi & English
Population 9.00 lakhs
Description
The name of the city is originated from Shri Chandika (the female Shakti or Goddess) whose temple is situated at the north border of Chandigarh. The snow-white dome of Mata Chandi devi's Temple on the north-east of the city is visible from across the lake. It is one of the ancient site of major religious significance and is one of the 12 Peeth Sthans for Hindus. Route 32 buses ply pilgrims between the city and the temple daily.

Chandigarh is a very modern town, designed for 50 sectors. Each sector is a self-complete block about a KiloMeter in length by 0.8Km width . There are markets and shopping centres and basic utilities like schools in every sector which limits the total distance of travel for the basic necessities of life. Chandigarh Trasport buses,auto-rickshaws and taxi cabs links the sectors to the main city. There i a small small airport and a railway station though the bus stand in sector 17 (downtown) is probably the best means of approaching Chandigarh from Delhi (the capital) or Simla ( a major tourist resort).
 
Location
Chandigarh lies at the altitude 1150 ft. with an area of about 114 sq. kms.
 
Attractions
Its outstanding modern and folk architecture is the main characteristic feature of the city. There are so many examples of fine architectures like, The Secretariat, the State Library, Super Market, Sukhna Lake, Gulab Bag (rose garden), Shanti Kunj, the Art Museum, the High Court, Bidhan Sabha (secretariat) and the Panjab University.

Another major attraction for tourists is the Rock Garden completed by Nekchand. It is built with multicoloured fragments of china and waste ceramics. This magical garden covers an area of 6 acres (featured above) and shows an excellent artistic treatment of recycling waste.It is opened from 9-13.00 hrs. and again 15-19.00 hrs in summer. During October to March the hours are from 9-13.00 hrs. and 14-18.00 hrs. daily.

A tourist place which also attract tourists and residents of Chandigarh is the Sukhna Lake (featured above) with an area of 3 sq. Locals take breezy walks along the banks of this artificial lake and there is provision for boating and yachting on all days barring Monday.

The Secretariat and High Court builings of Chandigarh are veritable proofs of the architectural talent of Le Corbousier. They are models of modernity. One can enjoy an excellent view of the city from the roof of the Secretariat which has restricted access due to security reasons. The doors of the High Court are open to all. Its double roof gives protection from the heat of the sun and also looks like the shell of an enormous tortoise. These two buildings stand next to each other in sector 1. We hope to soon add photos of the High court & the secretariat here.


The Museum and the art Gallery are two other marvellous examples of this architect's work and carry an excellent selection of artwork and figurines. They are in sector 10 and open daily from 10-12.30 hrs. and 14-16.30 hrs. on all days except Mondays.

Visitors to Chandigarh should also see the Panjab University Building in sector 14 (center photo above). The use of exposed bricks and natural surroundings is beautiful. The beauty of the whole campus has been enhanced by parks and pools and verdant greenery. Almost all tourists try to capture the charm of Gandhi Bhavan the novelty of whose design matches the University Library Building and the cylidrical Student's centre which acts as an inexpensive canteen.

In sector 16 lies Asia's largest rose garden Zakir Gulab Bag spread over 30 acres of land next to the city's cricket stadium. Here bloom 50,000 rose-bushes of 1600 species . A small photo of the rose garden (not in bloom !) is featured in the center of the panel of 3 images above.

The Super Market or shopping centre is also called sector 17 and is a posh built up area with many large department stores (and offices) and acts as the community hub for Chandigarh. A photograph captures a tiny part of its night glitter after a fresh rain spell below. Other major shopping disticts include sector 22 and sector 15. Last but not the least for Chandigarh residents is the famous Tribune building which acts as the local newspaper's hot spot with is little news board (photo above) and the nationally famous post graduate research institute for medicine (P.G.I.) which provides the latest medical techniques to the city's population for free.
 
History
After India's independence from British dominion the partitioned province Punjab became a state without a capital. Though there was a temporary secretariat at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the political leadership decided on the construction of a modern and accessible capital. This was Nehru's dream city of modern India : CHANDIGARH.
The responsibility for the design was given to the French architect Le Corbusier or the crow. With the help of his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, and that of the English couple Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew (alongwith a number of Indian architects prominent amongst them Chief planner Narinder S. Lamba & Chief engineer J.C. Verma) Chandigarh, the present capital, came into existence at the foothills of the Shivaliks (the first of three parallel chains of the Himalayas).
 
Festivals
Baisakhi, Holi, Deepawali, Guru Parv etc.
 
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