Chandigarh, ‘The City Beautiful’ is the best-planned city in India that boasts of impeccable urban planning, defined by elegant structures and lovely gardens. The modern city of Chandigarh is a tale of sheer innovation, skill and teamwork of French architect Le Corbusier.
It is divided in to 47 sectors, each intertwined by well-knit roads. Many roads intersect at roundabouts, eliminating traffic signals and ensuring smooth traffic. Each sector has residential and shopping complexes and now some even have swanky shopping malls. The sectors are studded with lush parks, lovely buildings, concourses and streets flanked by trees and bushes making Chandigarh a city like no other.
Normally, Indian cities are chaotic but Chandigarh thwarts such clichés as it stands for urban serenity. Chandigarh is a rare specimen of modernization co-existing with nature’s preservation.
Sukhna Lake: Lying at the base of the Shivaliks, this man-made lake is a great picnic destination. A pleasant walk through the shores of this dazzling lake, relaxing in the calmness of the pristine water is a much loved activity of the town people. Activities like yachting, boating, and water skiing add to its charm. The lake has the finest channel for rowing and yachting that makes it the venue of Asiatic level Rowing Championships.
Capitol Complex: The Capitol Complex is Le Corbusier’s most spectacular work. The magnificent edifices, set against the backdrop of Shivalik peaks stand as massive sculptures of concrete. The Capitol, actually, is the seat of the government of the States of Punjab and Haryana. The Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly form the three wings of the building, each being an architectural masterpiece. These buildings are grouped in a subtle, evocative way and are separated by large piazzas. A giant metallic sculpture of The Open Hand, the official emblem of Chandigarh, is stationed in the centre of the building. The emblem denotes the city’s doctrine of ‘open to give, open to receive’.
Rose Garden: The magnificent Rose Garden is a symphony of colours and fragrance from the 1600 species of rose this garden houses. It is not just roses that this largest rose garden of Asia houses, but it is also a hub of rare plant species, which have enormous medicinal value. The annual “Festival of Gardens” is organized in the Rose Garden in the month of February and is listed in the “National Calendar of Events”.
Chandigarh is also home to a number of other beautiful gardens, the most prominent being Rock Garden, Terraced Garden, Leisure Valley, Fitness Trails, and Botanical Gardens.