Chandigarh means ‘The Fort of Goddess Chandi’. It was created after the partition of India in 1947. Lahore, one of the biggest cities in Punjab went to Pakistan and the need for a new capital city was strongly felt.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India wanted the new city to reflect the new India’s modern, progressive outlook. Two famous architects, Albert Mayer and Matthew Nowicki were commisioned and they even designed the master plan of Chandigarh. However, after Nowicki's death in 1950, renowned architect Le Corbusier was roped into the project.
Present day Chandigarh is a quaint city. It houses many admisnitsrative buildings and has a strong population of retired and working public servants. For this reason, the city is often called ‘Pensioner's Paradise’. It also has the honour of being India’s richest city with a Per Capita Income of Rs. 99,262. Its gross state domestic product is estimated at $2.2 billion in current prices. The economy is boosted by major industries like paper manufacturing, basic metals and alloys and machinery. The Government is setting up many IT Parks to further boost the economy. The defence forces have a significant presence in Chandigarh and the city is the base for sourcing supplies for the Laddakh and Siachen.
The culture of Chandigarh is an amalgam of Punjabi Haryanavi, and Himachali culture. The city is also known for its non-vegetarian food. Don’t forget to sample the street food like Chaat which is really spicy and tangy!
Chandigarh has a humid subtropical climate. It has very hot summers, unreliable monsoons and cold winters. Occasionly, the city receives snowfall in the months of December or January.
Capital Complex - This is the seat of the government including the secretariat, the high court and the legislative assembly. The structure is hailed as Le Corbusier's signature work. In the centre of the complex, there is a giant metallic sculpture of the Open Hand, the emblem of Chandigarh.
Rock Garden – This was built by a former Government official called Nek Chand. It is an increadible collection of 20,000 rock forms collected and fashioned from industrial and urban waste.
Zakir Hussain Rose Garden – This is Asia's largest rose gardens and is a popular tourist detsination. It is spread over 30 acres of land and boasts of over 1600 different species of roses.
Sukhna Lake – This is Chandigarh’s most famous landmark. The shimmering waters of a lake are fringed by a beautiful promenande. It is common to see tourists and local taking long walks here. The area around the lake is hilly and is ideal for trekking. You can avail boating facilities as well.