Area Size : 114 Sq. Km.Population : 0.90 Millions.
Popular Languages : Punjabi, Hindi, English
Chandigarh, is a union territory of India, that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name translates to English as "The Fort of Chandi". The name was coined from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi, present in the city's vicinity. It is occasionally referred to as The City Beautiful.
Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, It is the first planned city of India.Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer. The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with the highest per capita income in the country at Rs 110,676 per year (Rs 44,502 in 2000)
After the partition of British India into the two nations of India and Pakistan in 1947, the region of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken.
Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city's strategic location as well as the personal interest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation's modern, progressive outlook, Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future." Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the French (born Swiss) architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Poland-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki's untimely death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.
On 1 November,1966, the newly-formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi speaking state, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi language-speaking majority and remained as the current day Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states.The was the Capital of Punjab alone from 1952 to 1966. Chandigarh was due to be transferred to Punjab in 1986, in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal. This was to be accompanied by the creation of a new capital for Haryana, but the transfer had been delayed. There is currently a discussion about which villages in southern districts of Punjab should be transferred to Haryana, and about which Punjabi-speaking villages should be transferred to Punjab.
On 15 July 2007,Chandigarh became the first Indian city to go smoke-free. Smoking at public places has been strictly prohibited and considered as a punishable act by Chandigarh Administration. That was followed up by a complete ban on polythene bags with effect from 2 October 2008, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
The best time to visit Chandigarh is the period between mid August and November, when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Since Chandigarh is located in the plains; it enjoys a moderate weather like other North Indian cities experience. Summers are sometimes very hot and then the arrival of monsoon comes like a pleasant surprise. Read on to know more about the Chandigarh peak time…
The ideal time to visit Chandigarh starts by the mid of August. By that time, the monsoons are almost over and the temperature keeps dropping, giving a warm welcome to the winter season. Tourism is on its boom during this season. Tourists come from different parts of the country to visit this beautiful city of gardens.
Chandigarh domestic airport is 8 km away from city center. Cab costs about Rs 100 to cover the distance. Most of the air services provide daily flights to Delhi from Chandigarh. International travelers have to get connection through Delhi Airport. Delhi Airport is connected to all major cities in India and most of the foreign cities.
Chandigarh By Train
Chandigarh is connected by rail to many cities in Punjab, Haryana and also to Delhi. Frequent trains are running between Delhi and Chandigarh (260 km). One can get connection trains to Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum (Kochu Veli) from Chandigarh. Daily trains are available from Chandigarh to Lucknow.
Chandigarh By Bus
State owned buses connect Chandigarh to all nearest cities in Punjab and Haryana. Deluxe Volvo buses and semi deluxe buses are available from Shimla (110 km), Manali (320 km), New Delhi (260 km) and Dehradun (175 km). Deluxe buses charge Rs 3-4 per kilometer.