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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history and culture of Chandigarh?

Kapil Gumasta DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Cutting edge, legendary, postmodern architecture may define Chandigarh but its the city’s matchless style that will captivate you. Capital of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh will not only seem quite different from both states but also anywhere else in the country. Following partition, Punjab was left without a capital city, Lahore being the capital earlier. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, commissioned the establishment of a new capital city, that was also to reflect the new nation’s progressive outlook. Initially American architect and planner Albert Mayer along with Polish-born architect Matthew Nowicki worked on and prepared the master plan. Later the plan was handed over to French architect and urban planner Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, known to all as Le Corbusier.

Pieces of Past: Pioneer of modern architecture, Le Corbusier had moved from designing buildings to study of entire cities. In 1935, his book La Ville radieuse, the Radiant City, which expanded and reformulated his ideas on urbanism. His dream of building calm and powerful architecture that would transform society into a more efficient environment with a higher standard of living on all socioeconomic levels, was finally realised on a grand scale in Chandigarh in 1954.

He had envisioned Chandigarh as a living breathing organism with different regions of the city representing and functioning as different body parts. The Open Hand monument at the Capitol, that gradually became the logo and official emblem of Chandigarh and the most revered one amongst the places to visit in Chandigarh, may have been the recurring motif with Le Corbusier, a sign for him of peace and reconciliation as well as of openness to give and receive. Today, it symbolises the very fabric of Chandigarh’s culture and people; open, warm and big-hearted.

Present: Unlike other major cities, Chandigarh’s legacy is not defined by the eras that passed it by, but by domestic architecture. It's not ancient; the joy is in the detail. Elaborate buildings and arterial roadways considered and executed individually and in relation to the whole. Warm, open-minded and easy going, people here flaunt their quirky creativity and welcome all visitors like long lost friends. This green glazed beauty doesn’t follow any rules. Natural scenery, particularly the Shivalik ranges looming in the skyline, is a potent lure.

Soak in the sheer amount of culture, urban design, space, shopping, restaurants in Chandigarh, and best of all, the spirit of its inhabitants, and in no time you will be punch drunk on their unmistakable, infectious zest for life. With so much to do and see, Chandigarh is a virtual amusement park that's bound to entertain all those who pass through its smooth, wide streets.

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