Chandigarh is the capital of the two Indian states Punjab and Haryana. The name Chandigarh is obtained from the name of the temple located here called Chandi Mandir. This temple is devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi. This is one of the most beautiful cities in India with central grid gardens and well planned structures. The human inhabitation started here 8000 years ago during the time of Harappan civilization. The excavations carried out in this place during the 1950s and 1960s prove this.
The city of Chandigarh was planned after the independence of India. When India was partitioned, a portion of Punjab was merged with Pakistan and the then capital Lahore became a part of Pakistan. So there was a necessity to establish a new capital and for these reasons, the city was planned. Jawaharlal Nehru took personal interest in the project and entrusted the work with the French architect, Le Corbusier who had good experience in urban planning. The master plan of the city was drafted by the American planner Albert Mayer.
The site for building the new city was selected by Dr. M.S. Randhawa, the then Deputy Commissioner of Ambala. To build the new city of Chandigarh, 58 villages that had 6228 families had to be relocated. This caused huge agitation. Anti-capital Committee was formed and they started their vigorous campaign. Due to this, the construction works were inhibited and it took two years for the government to arrive at a solution.
In December 1949, the city planner, Albert Mayor was commissioned by the Government of Punjab. He along with another architect Matthew Nowicki took up the planning work. The whole city was drawn in the shape of an alluvial cone that was placed between the two rivers. Another wing of the city was bedded beside the Shivalik ranges. The city was divided into super blocks and each one of them was subdivided into three parts.
P.N. Thapar and P.L. Verma were the supervisors of the project and they were very much impressed by the draft. They approached the European architect Le Corbusier to make the final plan. Many other architects were employed in the process and finally the work was done with great perfection. It was built over an area of 114.59 square kilometers. Chandigarh emerged as the capital city of Punjab and Haryana and it itself was a Union Territory that comes under the direct control of the Central Government.
A part of people of Punjab spoke Punjabi with a Sikh majority while those in the eastern side spoke Hindi. Therefore it was planned to be reorganized based on linguistic lines. When the new state of Haryana was carved out of Punjab on 1st November 1966 with Hindi speaking people as the majority, Chandigarh was made as its capital also.
The city has all the facilities and has private sectors for the houses of the government employees, schools, colleges, hospitals and shopping centers. It has well planned broad roads intersecting each other in right angles. The modern planning of the city could be seen in the photos and videos of Chandigarh.
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Also read: Shimla and Manali Destinations Guide