Chandigarh, the capital city of the states of Haryana and Punjab, is an Indian city unlike any other. It was planned during the first years of India’s independence with the support of Primer Minister Nehru. The first layout was done by the architects Albert Mayer and Matthew Nowicki, but it was the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who completed the plan and supervised its creation.
Chandigarh is a model city in terms of architecture, planning and urbanism. Le Corbusier’s vision was focused in creating a friendly city, where people could enjoy nature and public spaces. Therefore, there are many parks, gardens, museums and even an artificial lake.
Le Corbusier designed most of the important buildings, including the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Secretariat and Assembly. I couldn’t see them since they are closed on the weekends. However, I did visit the Government Museum and Art Gallery, the Government Architecture Museum and the Museum of Science, also designed by him.
One of the most popular attractions in the city is the Rock Garden, founded by Nek Chand. It is a park with trails, waterfalls, and sculptures made of industrial waste. At the end of the garden, you can find a swing area where adults and children alike spend their time playing and laughing.
Le Corbusier envisioned Sukhna Lake as an integral part of the city, where people would come to replenish their spirits and be in touch with nature. Every day, you can see people exercising, fishing, watching and feeding the birds, or simply sitting and talking.
The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is another important park in the city. It’s said that there are more than 50,000 bushes of roses of 1,600 species.