Chandigarh, “The City Beautiful,” had its foundation stone laid in 1952 and was designed by the renowned French architect Le Corbusier.

The name “Chandi Mandir” was given to the city by a nearby temple. The words “Chandi” and “Garh,” which together mean “home of the goddess Chandi,” refer to the deity and goddess of power, respectively.

There used to be a large lake where Chandigarh stands today with its pretty plains. The Harappan civilization emerged in the region 8,000 years ago. To know more about the city’s past,  you can visit the Chandigarh Museum.

Chandigarh City Information

While previously belonging to Punjab before the city’s creation, the plan to build a new metropolis to become the state’s capital was conceived in 1948 by the Government of Punjab. The city was proclaimed a Union Territory and appointed as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, in 1966.

 A union territory in India and the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana is bordered to the north, west, and south by the state of Punjab and to the east by the state of Haryana. The metropolis, which was the first after independence to be planned, is a prestigious realization of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision.

The city, also known as “a garden of rocks and bangles,” is the perfect example of industrialization and natural preservation. A sensation of absolute joy is produced by taking in the beauty and tranquility of India’s best metropolis.

Chandigarh is included in one of the twentieth century’s most prominent urban planning experiments. Chandigarh is a well-planned city. Aside from its beautiful architecture and iconic structures like the Capitol Complex, High Court, Secretariat, Legislative Assembly, and enormous Open Hand Monument, Chandigarh City is famous for its clean roads and lush greenery. According to the 2018 Swachh Bharat survey, Chandigarh is also ranked as the third-cleanest city in the nation.

Chandigarh has a well-planned infrastructure and low population density with it. The current Chandigarh city population in 2022 is 1,191,000, a 1.88% increase from 2021. More than 50 rectangular sectors are connected by wide streets that handle the city’s busy traffic. The northern region of the city is home to the primary government structures.

The industrial districts are located to the southeast and are divided from the residential sections by a greenbelt lined with mango trees. Electronics, medicines, ceramic plumbing fixtures, and electrical appliances are a few of the city’s primary industries.

Chandigarh City Planning

Jawahar Lal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, saw Chandigarh as his dream city. In 1947, India was divided into East Punjab, populated primarily by Sikhs, and West Punjab, populated primarily by Muslims. Lahore, which was included in Pakistan after the split, needed to be replaced as the capital of the Indian Punjab.

Thus, in 1949, the responsibility of creating a new city called “Chandigarh” was given to American urban planners and architects Albert Mayer and Mathew Novicki. However, after Novicki sadly perished in an aviation accident, Mayer decided to stop. After that, in 1951, a group of architects under the direction of Le Corbusier was given the task.

The Albert Mayer-created master plan for Chandigarh has a fan-like outline and gently fills the area between the two river beds. The state capital served as the plan’s focal point, and the city center was situated in the city’s center. Two linear parklands were also discernible from the northeast head of the plain to its southwest tip. A curved network of primary roads bordered the neighborhood units known as Super blocks. The city was to be built in two phases, the first on the north-eastern side to house 150000 individuals and the second on the south-western side to place an additional 350,000 people.

Le Corbusier’s master plan was primarily similar to that of the team of planners led by Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki, with the exception that Le Corbusier changed the shape of the city plan from one with a curving road network to one with a rectangular shape with a gridiron pattern for the fast traffic roads and reduced its area for economic reasons. Le Corbusier compared Chandigarh’s master plan to the human body, with each element having a distinct function.

  • Head (The capitol complex)
  • Heart (The city center)
  • Lungs (The leisure valley, innumerable open spaces, and sector greens)
  • Intellect (The cultural and educational institutions)
  • Cardiovascular system (The network of roads, the 7Vs)
  • Viscera (The industrial area)

The city was organized into 63 “Sectors” by Le Corbusier. Each Sector, or neighboring unit, is quite similar to the traditional Indian “mohalla” (what Mayer’s proposal had called an “Urban Village”). A sector measuring 800 m by 1200 m serves as the main design component of the city. Each section functions independently with stores, a school, a health facility, and houses of worship. A sector’s population can range from 3000 to 2000 people, depending on the size of the plots and the local geography. Social services, including schools and commercial malls, are within easy walking distance.

The City’s Roads Were Divided into Seven Categories Using the “7 Vs” Classification System.

  • V-1 Expressways linking Chandigarh to other cities
  • V-2 Arterial roads 
  • V-3 Quick routes for vehicles
  • V-4 Streets with free-flowing commerce
  • V-5 Sector access roads
  • V-6 Houses’ access roads
  • V-7 Walking and biking paths

The municipal administration developed a system known as “frame control” to regulate the façade of the residential structures. This established the building’s line, height, and method of construction. In addition, all the gates and boundary walls must follow a standard design, and certain standard door and window sizes are required.

The capital complex in the northeast, the educational institutions in the northwest, the city center in the middle, and the industrial district in the southeast are Chandigarh’s four main work hubs. The city has educational, cultural, and medical facilities, although the main ones are in Sectors 10, 11, 12, 14, and 26. The capital complex is home to the “Secretariat,” “High Court,” and “Legislative Assembly,” three architectural marvels.

To serve the four pedestrian entries into a sector, bus stops are placed every 200 meters. As a result, traffic is conducted outside the sectors, encircled by four wall-bound car highways with no openings (V3). Controls are applied to all City Center commercial structures and institutional or commercial structures along V-2 highways. In addition, he provided parks and other open spaces close to 30% of the city. The city is growing, but it is also running into some issues due to the population growth brought on by the high rate of urban migration, which has led to increasing demand for water supplies, sanitary problems, and the emergence of slums.

Chandigarh Smart City

Chandigarh was chosen as a Smart City in May 2016 during the Fast Track Round of the Smart Cities Challenge. In July 2016, Chandigarh Smart City Limited, an SPV with the name Chandigarh Smart City Limited, was established to plan and carry out initiatives financed by the India Smart Cities Mission.

With cutting-edge smart solutions, Chandigarh Smart City has taken on initiatives relating to essential infrastructure services, including water supply and sewage, sanitation, and urban transportation. Along with this, initiatives related to social infrastructure have also received attention to raising the standard of living for Chandigarh residents. Furthermore, urban retrofit and revitalization initiatives will also be carried out to turn Chandigarh into a thriving regional hub. Most importantly, e-governance options have been considered, integrating all of the services offered by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The National Smart Grid Mission, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, and other government initiatives are being combined with some of the projects under Chandigarh Smart City.

Tourist Places To Visit In Chandigarh

Chandigarh City is one of the best tourist places to visit in India. Here’s a list of some tourist places to visit in Chandigarh-the city beautiful:

1. Rock Garden

Rock Garden, Chandigarh

Nek Chand, a government officer, founded the Chandigarh sculpture park in 1957, and it was formally opened to the public in 1976. He started the garden in secret, and it currently spans 40 acres. It is difficult to imagine, but the entire garden is unique since it is made of household and industrial garbage, as well as objects that have been discarded, such as broken pipes, broken glasses, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, and bottles.

In addition, the garden features many man-made interconnected waterfalls and numerous other salvaged-material artworks. Among the many things to do in Chandigarh, the garden is a must-see location.

2. Zakhir Hussain Rose Garden

Zakhir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh

The garden, which spans 30 acres, comprises 50,000 rosebushes of 1600 different types, as the name of the place suggests. The 1967 creation of the botanical garden bears the name of the former president of India, Zakir Hussain.

This garden is the biggest rose garden in Asia. The garden also has medicinal plants, including bel, Behera, harar, camphor, and yellow gulmohar in addition to roses. The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is ideal for photographers to take beautiful pictures. Annually this garden hosts the Rose Festival in the month of February or March.

3. Shanti Kunj Garden

Shanti Kunj Garden

Shanti Kunj Garden, which lies in Sector 16 and is just across from the Rose Garden, provides its guests with a peaceful and pollution-free atmosphere. The garden features a variety of healing plants and trees that offer visitors relief from the sweltering summer heat. Joggers frequent Shanti Kunj as well.

The garden also has a natural water stream. Additionally, visitors can take advantage of periodic training sessions on national integration, youth empowerment, and spiritual awareness that take place in the garden. The location is ideal for groups of friends, couples, and families.

4. Sukhna Lake

Sukhna Lake

Sukhna Lake is a man-made water body covering more than 3 kilometers. Le Corbusier and Chief Engineer P. L. Verma built a dam out of a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills in 1958, creating the lake.

This reservoir is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas. One of Chandigarh’s top tourist attractions is the lovely artificial lake. Visitors can enjoy an amazing view.

5. Pinjore Garden

Pinjore Garden

Over 100 acres, the gardens are constructed in the Mughal Gardens architectural style. This tourist destination is reachable by both public and private modes of transportation, and it is beautiful at night. The garden was created for Aurangzeb by the architect Muzaffar Hussain, who is thought to be the ruler’s foster brother.

Additionally, the Haryana State Directorate of Archaeology & Museums developed the Pinjore Garden Site Museum. It is a must-see location in Chandigarh because of its lush surroundings, waterfalls, Rajasthani-Mughal architecture, and nearby landmarks like the Shish Mahal and Hawa Mahal.

6. International Dolls Museum

International Dolls Museum, Chandigarh

The Indian Council of Child Welfare founded the museum in 1985. It houses a large collection of beautiful dolls and marionettes from nations such as Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Korea, and Russia, in addition to the large Indian collection.

Other attractions include a toy train and a ceramic mural showing a huge German train station and other significant historical events.