"Chandigarh - India's only planned modern city" Top 5 Page for this destination Chandigarh by Willettsworld

Chandigarh Travel Guide: 70 reviews and 241 photos

Chandigarh is located approx 300km (200 miles) north of Delhi in its own union terriority. Chandigarh is India's only planned modern city and built in the 1950's after the state of Punjab lost its capital, Lahore, to Pakistan after the partition of India following independence from the British in 1947. Punjab needed a capital and so architects from around the world were asked to submit plans. Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the Swiss-born French architect and planner, Le Corbusier. 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 Polish-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki's untimely death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.

Chandigarh is divided into numbered sectors, each one measuring roughly a square kilometre. The sectors run in a SW to NE orientation with sector 1, containing the city's political and legal buildings, being located NE of the city centre in sector 17. I spent two days here after leaving Delhi for two reasons. Firstly, it was on my way to Shimla and I wanted to break the journey up and secondly, I was intrigued as to what an Indian modern city looked like, bearing in mind that I live in one myself in England. In fact, when I visited the City Museum, it mentioned that Le Corbusier took inspiration from Ebenezer Howard who founded the world's first Garden City, Letchworth, (near where I live), and my home town, Welwyn Garden City - the world's second Garden City. Even though Chandigarh is only 50 or so years old, it's already showing its age. Yes, it has nice straight tree-lined dual-carriageway boulevards and nice green parks but its buildings, mostly all made out of concrete, show water marks from monsoon downpours and some haven't been finished. But the city does offer the visitor some interesting and querky sights such as the Nek Chand's Rock Garden and some good museums

  • Last visit to Chandigarh: Nov 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 13, 2007
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  • diocletianvs's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2007 at 1:58 AM

    Great portrait of this interesting city. I guess old typewriters go well with the 1950s architecture.

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