Besides being one of the most modern cities of India, Chandigarh has earned distinction by its contribution to art and culture in Indian society.
A number of events are organized through out the year like the Rose Festival, life-style exhibitions, canine shows as well as mushairas. For the people who prefer other forms of entertainment there are fashion shows and city carnivals. Chandigarh is spread in an area of 114 sq. km and its population is about 640,725.
Chandigarh is a grand success story in the annals of modern architecture. It combines architectural elegance with wide tree lined avenues and green belts. In 1951 the world renowned Architect, Le Corbousier developed the city plan and designed the capital complex. The idea of vertical planning was ruled out and it was decided to build the city horizontally. The master plan divides the city into rectangular modules called sectors, each one measuring 800 meters X 1200 meters with a population varying from 5000 to 20,000. Each sector is provided with a shopping complex, school, health centre, places of recreation and places of worship. Chandigarh has 47 sectors except for sector number 13!
Places to Visit
During the monsoon, there runs a natural storm-water channel through the middle of the city, locally called a nullah . The nullah , along with the adjoining land has been converted into what is called the leisure valley. Starting from the foot of the hills to the west of the Capitol Complex, the leisure valley extends into sector 3 and crosses over into sector 10. The leisure valley is spread over 6 kilometers and in accordance with the plan no vehicular traffic interrupts a pedestrian taking a walk in the park.
Zakir Gulab Baag is Asia's largest rose garden, spread out over 30 acres of land, in sector 16. Established in 1967, todayaround 50,000 rose trees of 1600 different species bloom here.Apart from roses, the other trees planted have medicinal value and some unique specimen trees were planted to enhance the beauty of the garden. The garden is located next to the city centre.
The Rock Garden of Chandigarh has been created by putting together the fossils of ancient life forms found in the Shivalik hills and by recycled waste material. Its creator, Nek Chand, was an inspector in the engineering department. Rock fossils have been arranged into an open air sculpture exhibition. Some of the sculptures include a wall made out of discarded fluorescent tubes, an army of clay monkeys and broken chinaware soldiers and shapes of women made out of discarded glass bangles. The garden covers an area of 6 acres. In summers, it is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and again from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. From October to March it is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Another tourist attraction in Chandigarh is the Sukhna Lake spread over an area of 3 sq. kilometers in sector 6. The waters of a seasonal rivulet that ran through the city were impounded to create the Sukhna lake. Migratory birds arrive here from Siberia during the winter. A love for the lake draws many volunteers to desilt it just before the monsoon rains set in. While the lake promenade is a place for peace and tranquility, the area just at the entrance has been developed for children to enjoy themselves.
The Secretariat is the largest building in the Capitol Complex and is the headquarters of both the Punjab and Haryana governments. It is one of the Capitol buildings and houses all the ministries. The Secretariat and Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) buildings are in Sector 1.
Located in sector 14, the parks and pools around the university building have enhanced the feel of the whole area. The Punjab University was founded in 1882 at Lahore. After partition and initial dislocation, the University shifted to Chandigarh in 1956. It is as famous for its landscaping as for its architectural.
Pinjore Yadvindra Gardens
Located a short distance from Chandigarh, on the Pinjore-Kalka road is the Pinjore Yadvindra Gardens. This is a traditional Mogul style garden, created in the 17th century by Nawab Fidal Khan, architect to the Mogul emperor Aurangzeb. These gardens were developed along a slope with a central channel of water in which fountains were placed at regular intervals. On either side of the channel are spacious walkways with shady trees and a carpet of green grass. Pinjore Garden is a favorite picnic spot for the citizens of Chandigarh. It is open on all days and accommodation is available at Rang Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.