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Monday, 26 January 2015

The beautiful city: CHANDIGARH

Set up in 1966, Chandigarh is the first planned city of India and is known worldwide for its architecture and planned city design. Lush green well planned public places, the most happening party spots with swanky malls and multiplexes, and the only union territory to have an international cricket stadium, this is how Chandigarh is known to most of India. Bordered by the states of Punjab and Haryana, the city is a blend of both. The city is also the first smoke-free city in India.

The city was designed by Swiss architect Le Corbusier, who imagined the city with sweeping boulevards, lakes and gardens and grand civic buildings. Thus, the city came into being in and the architecture still stands the test of time.

For tourists, Chandigarh is the place India like to be seenprosperous, comfortable and cosmopolitan. The city is also the best place to party, eat, drink and shop.

Sharing borders with the state of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh is situated at the foothills of Shivalik mountain ranges.

The union territory experiences humid subtropical climate: very hot summers, mild winters, unreliable rainfall and great variation in temperature (-1°C to 46°C).

Majority of the city is covered by dense plantations of banyan and eucalyptus. The city also has forests surrounding it where many animal and plant species like deer, sambars, barking deer, parrots, woodpeckers and other migratory birds could be found.

Gardens, Lakes and City Centers…
Chandigarh is famous for its gardens, manmade lakes and well-designed city centers. It is a place for nature lovers, historians, architects or simply tourists who want to enjoy the luxury of urban life. Must visit places in the city include:

Sukhna Lake
Le Corbusier’s greatest creation, the lake is among the most beautiful places in Chandigarh. A man-made lake, created by damming the water from Shivalik Hills, the lake is the place that draws people for its peace and quiet.

Rock Garden
This place is identical to Chandigarh. Created out of industrial waste, rocks and concrete. Created by artist Nek Chand, the gardens are located on a conserved land. It is said that Nek Chand, the creator of this garden used to work on it in his free time and it wasn’t before 1970’s that the garden was discovered.

Zakir Hussain Rock Garden
Housing some 1,600 varieties of roses, this garden is a must visit for nature lovers. Established in 1967, the garden houses more than 17,000 plants including medicinal plants. It is also one of Asia’s largest rose garden.

National Gallery of Portraits
A galore of portraits, speeches, writings and texts of India’s freedom struggle, National Gallery of Portraits is a favourite for history lovers. It houses photographs, recording and an incredible collection of books on freedom movement.

Pinjore Gardens
The massive garden was established in the 17th century by architect Nawab Fidai Khan, and later refurbished by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. It is laid out on seven terraces and gives a royal experience to the tourists. One can take the train which takes tourists to various places in the garden or explore the place on foot.

The Capitol
The visionary architect, Le Corbusier envisioned Chandigarh as a living being with different centers representing its body parts. The capitol was thus designed to function as the head of the city, with Shivalik ranges in the north. It houses the High Court of Chandigarh, also known as the Palace of Justice, the Secretariat known as the Palace of Ministries and Legislative Assembly called the Palace of Assembly.

Food Lover’s Delight
No trip to the beautiful city is complete without experiencing its diverse gastronomic culture. People in the city are big time foodies, and the food habits are mostly influenced by Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh’s food is conventionally spicy and made with lots of oil and ghee. Makkee ki Roti, stuffed paranthas, chana bhaturas and the world famous tandoori chicken are among the famous food items from Chandigarh.

The people of Chandigarh are also very fond of milk and milk based products. Lassi, buttermilk and curd are widely consumed with meals. Like any other Indian city, Chandigarh also has its unique sweets. Roh di Kheer, Jaleb, Malpua and Ballushahi are some of the mouthwatering sweet dishes from Chandigarh and are a must try for foodies.

Chandigarh has everything of modern India, it is fashionable, happening, vibrant, beautiful, comfortable and peaceful, and here the radiance of nature and heart are within our reach.

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