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Chandigarh
City Beautiful
Chandigarh
Location of Chandigarh
Coordinates 30°45′N 76°47′E / 30.75°N 76.78°E / 30.75; 76.78
Country  India
District(s) 1
Established 1953
Capital Chandigarh
Largest city Chandigarh
Population
Density
900635[1] (29)
7,900 /km2 (20,461 /sq mi)
Official languages Punjabi, Hindi and English
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
114 km2 (44 sq mi)
350 m (1,148 ft)
ISO 3166-2 IN-CH
Website chandigarh.nic.in/
Seal of Chandigarh

Chandigarh (Punjabi: ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ), (Hindi: चंडीगढ़), is a union territory of India, that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana. " The name translates to English as "The Fort of Chandi". The name was coined from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi, present in the city's vicinity.[2] It is occasionally referred to as The City Beautiful. Chandigarh Capital Region including Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur had a combined population of 1165111 (1.16 million) as per the 2001 census.

Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, it is the first planned city of India.[3] Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer. The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with the highest per capita income in the country at Rs.99,262 at current prices and Rs.70,361 at constant prices (2006-2007).[4]

Contents

History

After the partition of British India into the two nations of India and Pakistan in 1947, the region of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken.

Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city's strategic location as well as the personal interest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation's modern, progressive outlook, Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future." Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the French (born Swiss) architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Poland-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki's death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.

On 1 November,1966, the newly-formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi speaking state, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi language-speaking majority and remained as the current day Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states. It was the capital of Punjab alone from 1952 to 1966.[5] Chandigarh was due to be transferred to Punjab in 1986, in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal. This was to be accompanied by the creation of a new capital for Haryana, but the transfer had been delayed. There is currently a discussion about which villages in southern districts of Punjab should be transferred to Haryana, and about which Punjabi-speaking villages should be transferred to Punjab. But analysts believe that now it is not possible as none of the State governments would like to give up their claim and Chandigarh would remain to be the capital of both states and a union territory.

On 15 July 2007, Chandigarh became the first Indian city to go smoke-free. Smoking at public places was strictly prohibited and considered as a punishable act by Chandigarh Administration but, according to public opinion and a secret survey done by several prominent citizens of the U.T., smoking still exists in Chandigarh, which is not completely smoke-free zone due to delays in the construction of smoking zones promised to by the administration. Recent developments also showed that Chandigarh had became the hub of drugs and a very spoiled part of northern India. The police are recognised as the most effective police in the region, mostly free from corruption with high-spirited officers first taking the cause to make Chandigarh drug-free, but they failed to do so. The roots of drugs lie deep and the area is becoming degraded as modernisation, the term used to cover the decaying values and manners for which the area was once famous. That was followed up by a complete ban on polythene bags with effect from 2 October 2008, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi[6] [7].

Geography and Climate

Sukhna Lake
Morni Hills

Chandigarh is located near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in Northwest India. It covers an area of approximately 44 sq mi or 114 km². and shares its borders with the states of Haryana in the east and Punjab in the north, west and south. The exact cartographic co-ordinates of Chandigarh are 30°44′N 76°47′E / 30.74°N 76.79°E / 30.74; 76.79.[8] It has an average elevation of 321 metres (1053 ft).

Chandigarh
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
33
 
20
6
 
 
39
 
23
8
 
 
30
 
28
13
 
 
9
 
35
19
 
 
28
 
38
23
 
 
145
 
39
25
 
 
280
 
34
24
 
 
308
 
33
23
 
 
133
 
33
22
 
 
22
 
32
17
 
 
9
 
27
11
 
 
22
 
22
7
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: World Weather Information Service

The surrounding districts are of Mohali, Patiala and Roopnagar in Punjab and Panchkula and Ambala in Haryana. The boundary of the state of Himachal Pradesh is also minutes away from its north border. Chandigarh has a sub-tropical continental monsoon climate characterized by a seasonal rhythm: hot summers, slightly cold winters, unreliable rainfall and great variation in temperature (-1 °C to 41.2 °C). In winter, frost sometimes occurs during December and January. The average annual rainfall is 1110.7 mm. The city also receives occasional winter rains from the west.

Average temperature

  • Spring: The climate remains quite pleasant during the spring season (from mid-February to mid-March and then from mid-September to mid-October). Temperatures vary between (max) 16 °C to 25 °C and (min) 9 °C to 18 °C.
  • Autumn: In autumn (from Mid-March to April), the temperature may rise to a maximum of 36 °C. Temperatures usually remain between 16° to 27° in autumn. The minimum temperature is around 13 °C.
  • Summer: The temperature in summer (from Mid-May to Mid-June) may rise to a maximum of 46.5 °C (rarely). Temperatures generally remain between 35 °C to 40 °C.
  • Monsoon: During monsoon(from mid-June to mid-September), Chandigarh receives moderate to heavy rainfall and sometimes heavy to very heavy rainfall (generally during the month of August or September). Usually, the rain bearing monsoon winds blow from south-west/ south-east. Mostly, the city receives heavy rain from south (which is mainly a persistent rain) but it generally receives most of its rain during monsoon either from North-west or North-east. Maximum amount of rain received by the city of Chandigrah during monsoon season is 195.5 mm in a single day.
  • Winter: Winters (November to Mid-March) are quite cool and it can sometimes get quite chilly in Chandigarh. Average temperatures in the winter remain at (max) 7 °C to 15 °C and (min) -2 °C to 5 °C. Rain usually comes from the west during winters and it is usually a persistent rain for 2–3 days with sometimes hail-storms.

Flora and fauna

Sambar in a forest
Cassia Fistulia in Chandigarh

Most of Chandigarh is covered by dense Banyan and Eucalyptus plantations. Asoka, Cassia, Mulberry and other trees flourish in the forested ecosystem.The city has forests surrounding it which sustain many animal and plant species. Deers, Sambars, Barking Deers, Parrots, Woodpeckers and Peacocks inhabit the protected forests. Sukhna Lake hosts a variety of ducks and geese, and attracts migratory birds from parts of Siberia and Japan in the winter season.

A parrot sanctuary located in the city is home to a variety of bird species.

Architecture and urban planning

Taking over from Albert Mayer, Le Corbusier produced a plan for Chandigarh that conformed to the modern city planning principles of Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne CIAM, in terms of division of urban functions, an anthropomorphic plan form, and a hierarchy of road and pedestrian networks. This vision of Chandigarh, contained in the innumerable conceptual maps on the drawing board together with notes and sketches had to be translated into brick and mortar. Le Corbusier retained many of the seminal ideas of Mayer and Nowicki, like the basic framework of the master plan and its components: The Capitol, City Center, besides the University, Industrial area, and linear parkland. Even the neighborhood unit was retained as the basic module of planning. However, the curving outline of Mayer and Nowicki was reorganized into a mesh of rectangles, and the buildings were characterized by an "honesty of materials". Exposed brick and boulder stone masonry in its rough form produced unfinished concrete surfaces, in geometrical structures. This became the architectural form characteristic of Chandigarh, set amidst landscaped gardens and parks.

The Open Hand Monument

The initial plan had two phases: the first for a population of 150,000 and the second taking the total population to 500,000. Le Corbusier divided the city into units called "sectors", each representing a theoretically self-sufficient entity with space for living, working and leisure. The sectors were linked to each other by a road and path network developed along the line of the 7 Vs, or a hierarchy of seven types of circulation patterns. At the highest point in this network was the V1, the highways connecting the city to others, and at the lowest were the V7s, the streets leading to individual houses. Later a V8 was added: cycle and pedestrian paths. The Palace Assembly, designed by Le Corbusier The city plan is laid down in a grid pattern. The whole city has been divided into rectangular patterns, forming identical looking sectors, each sector measures 800 m x 1200 m. The sectors were to act as self-sufficient neighbourhoods, each with its own market, places of worship, schools and colleges - all within 10 minutes walking distance from within the sector. The original two phases of the plan delineated sectors from 1 to 47, with the exception of 13 (Number 13 is considered unlucky). The Assembly, the secretariat and the high court, all located in Sector - 1 are the three monumental buildings designed by Le Corbusier in which he showcased his architectural genius to the maximum. The city was to be surrounded by a 16 kilometer wide greenbelt that was to ensure that no development could take place in the immediate vicinity of the town, thus checking suburbs and urban sprawl; hence is famous for its greenness too.

While leaving the bulk of the city's architecture to other members of his team, Le Corbusier took responsibility for the overall master plan of the city, and the design of some of the major public buildings including the High Court, Assembly, Secretariat, the Museum and Art Gallery, School of Art and the Lake Club. Le Corbusier's most prominent building, the Court House, consists of the High court, which is literally higher than the other, eight lower courts. Most of the other housing was done by Le Corbusier's cousin Pierre Jeanneret, the English husband and wife team of Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, along with a team of nine Indian architects. The city in its final form, while not resembling his previous city projects like the Ville Contemporaine or the Ville Radieuse, was an important and iconic landmark in the history of town planning. It continues to be an object of interest for architects, planners, historians and social scientists. Chandigarh has two satellite cities: Panchkula and Mohali. Sometimes, the triangle of these three cities is collectively called the Chandigarh Tricity.

Chandigarh UT Administration

Chandigarh Administration is under the control of the Administrator who is appointed under the provisions of Art 239 of the Constitution. The administrative control of Chandigarh is under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Adviser to the Administrator, a very senior officer equevalent to the Chief Secretary of a state, belonging to one of the All India Services, is second in command after the Administrator. He generally belongs to the AGMU cadre of the Indian Administrative Service.

Chandigarh High Court


The above three officers are generally from AGMU cadre and can also be from Punjab or Haryana cadres of the All India Services.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[10] Chandigarh had a population of 900,635, making for a density of about 7900 persons per square kilometre. Males constitute 56% of the population and females 44%. The sex ratio is 777 females for every 1,000 males–which is the lowest in the country. Chandigarh has an average literacy rate of 81.9%, higher than the national average of 64.8%; with male literacy of 86.1% and female literacy of 76.5%. About 12% of the population is under 6 years of age. The main religions in Chandigarh are Hinduism(78.60%), Sikhism (16.1%), Islam (3.9%), and Christianity (0.8%).[11] Hindi and Punjabi and are the main languages spoken in Chandigarh, although these days English is quite popular. A significant percentage of the population of Chandigarh consists of people who had moved here from the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab to fill up the large number of vacancies in various government departments that were established in Chandigarh.

Economy

A Shopping mall in the city.

The government is a major employer in Chandigarh with three governments having their base here. A significant percentage of Chandigarh’s population therefore consists of people who are either working for one of these governments or have retired from government service. For this reason, Chandigarh is often called a “Pensioner's Paradise”. There are about 15 medium to large industrial including two in the Public sector. In addition Chandigarh has over 2500 units are registered under small scale sector. The important industries are paper manufacturing, basic metals and alloys and machinery. Other industries are relating to food products, sanitary ware, auto parts, machine tools, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances. Yet, with a Per Capita Income of Rs. 99,262, Chandigarh is the richest city in India.[12] Chandigarh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2.2 billion in current prices.

Chandigarh has a well developed market and banking infrastructure. Nearly all the major banks in the country have registered their presence in Chandigarh. Most banks with a pan India presence have their zonal/regional offices present in Chandigarh. The Bank Square in Sector 17 in Chandigarh has a large presence of such offices all in one section of the commercial sector.[citation needed]

Three major trade promotion organizations have their offices in Chandigarh. These are: Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, (FICCI) the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which has its regional headquarters at Sector 31, Chandigarh.

The defence forces have a significant presence in Chandigarh, apart from the Indian Airforce base in Sector 31 and the nearby Cantonment in Chandimandir, the city is the base for sourcing supplies for the Leh - Laddakh and Siachen region of defence operations.[citation needed]

Chandigarh IT Park (also Chandigarh Technology Park) is the city's attempt to break into the IT world. Chandigarh's infrastructure, proximity to Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, and the IT talent pool attracts IT businesses looking for office space in the area. Major Indian firms and multinational corporations to the like of Quark, Infosys, Dell have setup base in the city and its suburbs. According to a recent Global Services Survey conducted by Cyber Media, Chandigarh is ranked 9th in the top 50 cities identified globally as ‘emerging outsourcing and IT services destinations.’[13]

Education

Gandhi Bhavan built by Pierre Jeanneret for Panjab University

Chandigarh is known for its quality school education.[citation needed] The schools are affiliated to different types of school curricula. The prominent colleges in Chandigarh include GGDSD College, DAV College, MCM DAV College, Government College for Girls and Boys and Government Teacher Training College. There are model schools set up by the government in various sectors, originally aimed to cater the needs of each sector. It is a major study hub for students all over Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab, Uttaranchal, and also for students from South-East Asia.

Chandigarh also houses many prominent institutes of higher learning, such as:

Also located in neighbouring Mohali is the Chandigarh College of Pharmacy (CCP) and Chandigarh College of Hotel Management and Catering Technology (CCHM).The Indian Institute of Science Education Research (IISER) Mohali has been recently established to carry out research in frontier areas of science and provide quality science education at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) located in nearby Mohali is the first national level institute in pharmaceutical sciences with a proclaimed objective of becoming a center of excellence for advanced studies and research in pharmaceutical sciences. Chandigarh's satellite town of Mohali is home for Center for Development of Advanced Computing's northmost branch C-DAC Mohali that is engaged in research on state-of-the-art topics including Telemedicine.

Transport

Punbus connects the city to Punjab

Chandigarh has the largest number of vehicles per capita.[14] Wide, well maintained roads and ample parking space all over the city, make it convenient to use private vehicles for local transport.

Public buses run by the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU), an undertaking of the Chandigarh Administration, provide local transport as well as inter-state transport services.[15]

The Chandigarh Traffic Police oversees the implementation of the traffic rules, and is widely credited for a fairly orderly traffic system. The Traffic Park in Sector 23 introduces children, rickshaw-pullers and new drivers to traffic safety.[16]

Rickshaws are common for traveling short distances, especially by school-going children, housewives and the elderly. Auto-rickshaws are limited, and most often ply to and from the ISBT. Most heavy traffic roads now have rickshaw lanes, which the rickshaw-pullers must adhere to compulsorily. The city also boasts of a well established network of modern radio cabs .

Chandigarh is well connected by road. The two main National Highways (NH) connecting Chandigarh with the rest of the country are: NH 22 (Ambala - Kalka - Shimla - Kinnaur) and NH 21 (Chandigarh - Leh). Chandigarh has two Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), one for the North, East and South located in Sector 17, which is the biggest depot of Haryana Roadways and has regular bus services to most major cites in Haryana,and the national capital Delhi, which is about 240 km away. And a second in Sector 43 for the Western section, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhandand Jammu and Kashmir.

Chandigarh has a railway station located about 10 km. away from the ISBT. Regular train connections are available to the national capital New Delhi and to some other junctions like Ambala, Amritsar, Bhiwani, Chennai, Howrah, Kalka, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Sri Ganganagar and Trivandrum.

Chandigarh also has a domestic airport located nearly 12 kilometers from the ISBT. Its name is Chandigarh Airport. Air India, Jet Airways, JetLite and Kingfisher Airlines operate regular flights from Chandigarh to New Delhi and Mumbai. The airport is under process of becoming an international airport and is negotiating with several airlines including Kingfisher and SilkAir for international flights to Bangkok and Singapore, among other South East Asian countries [17]

In the near future, the city will also see a Metro Rail[18], and an international airport. They are both approved by the governments, and are now at the design step to finalize the project design.

Sporting Venues and Gardens

The popular sector-42 Hockey stadium

Chandigarh is home to numerous intra country sporting teams in tournaments like PHL and IPL. The city has built upon this achievements a network of sound infrastructure ranging from stadium to training camps. This include the entire gamut from cricket stadiums, swimming pools, shooting ranges to skating rinks and hockey stadiums. Chandigarh also has gardens across the entire city. The most famous being the Rose Garden.

Notable residents

See also

Major Academic Works

  • Evenson, Norma. Chandigarh. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1966.
  • Joshi, Kiran. Documenting Chandigarh: The Indian Architecture of Pierre Jeanneret, Edwin Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. Ahmedabad: Mapin Publishing in association with Chandigarh College of Architecture, 1999. ISBN 189020613X
  • Kalia, Ravi. Chandigarh: The Making of an Indian City. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew. Chandigarh and Planning Development in India, London: Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, No.4948, 1 April 1955, Vol.CIII, pages 315-333. I. The Plan, by E. Maxwell Fry, II. Housing, by Jane B. Drew.
  • Nangia, Ashish. Re-locating Modernism: Chandigarh, Le Corbusier and the Global Postcolonial. PhD Dissertation, University of Washington, 2008.
  • Perera, Nihal. "Contesting Visions: Hybridity, Liminality and Authorship of the Chandigarh Plan" Planning Perspectives 19 (2004): 175-199
  • Prakash, Vikramaditya. Chandigarh’s Le Corbusier: The Struggle for Modernity in Postcolonial India. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002.
  • Sarin, Madhu. Urban Planning in the Third World: The Chandigarh Experience. London: Mansell Publishing, 1982.

References

  1. ^ Indian Census
  2. ^ The Official Government Website
  3. ^ Business Portal of India
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://chandigarh.gov.in/admn_index.htm
  6. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Chandigarh/Smoke_out_smoking_violations_/articleshow/3551323.cms
  7. ^ http://chandigarh.nic.in/WriteReadData%5Cnotification%5Cnot_env684_300708.pdf
  8. ^ Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Chandigarh
  9. ^ "Census population" (PDF). Census of India. http://sampark.chd.nic.in. http://sampark.chd.nic.in/images/State_2006/StatisticalAbstract2004/Areapopulation/area_pop_tab2.1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  10. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  11. ^ Indian Census
  12. ^ Chandigarh's the richest of 'em all
  13. ^ The Hindu Business Line
  14. ^ http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jun132006/national181232006612.asp
  15. ^ CITCO
  16. ^ Chandigarh traffic police, promoting road safety, traffic safety, India road signs & rules, safe responsible driving, first aid India
  17. ^ City Beautiful to get its first international flight in August - ExpressIndia.Com
  18. ^ Deccan Herald - Metro comes to Chandigarh

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : South Asia : India : Plains : Chandigarh

Chandigarh [1] is a very beautiful city in India. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab, but the city itself is not part of either state, being a union territory, i.e. administered directly by the Central government.

Understand

The most striking thing about the city is the expanse of resplendent blue sky with the mountains in the backdrop. When you are approaching the city, you would see the jagged skyline of the Shivalik Hills looming large over the city and the faint image of an old temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi( 15 km form Chandigarh) from which the city got its name.

The political position of Chandigarh is quite ambiguous for anybody not knowing the city well. It is the capital to two northern Indian states Punjab and Haryana besides being a union territory in itself. The birth of this modern, youngest and happening city was an act of anguish and drama that took place at the time of partition of India and Pakistan. Lahore, the historical capital of Punjab was ceded to Pakistan and Chandigarh was conceived to be a symbol of India's freedom.

The government of the state decided to build a new city at the foot of the Shivalik hills. Architects Albert Mayer and Mathew Novicki drew the initial plans in New York. When the latter died in an air crash in 1950, the work was entrusted to renowned Swiss architect Edouard 'Le Corbusier' Jeanneret who created Chandigarh as a city of "Sun, Space and Verdure" to fulfill basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit. Today, the city is home to more than 9 lakh people living in harmonious conditions that are considered to be the best in the country.

One can see architectural genius in the neat geometrical design of residential quarters, reinforced concrete structures and self-contained area layouts. Chandigarh is divided into 47 self-contained sectors. Each sector of the city is designed with its own shops, academic, and health care buildings, and places of worship, open spaces, greenery and the residential areas.

The city is divided into four major work areas. In the north, the capital complex, consisting of the Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and High Court, with the hills as a background dominating the city. Sector 17, which is the city and district centre, houses the administrative and state government offices, as well as shopping malls, banks and other offices. The west contains the university, and institutions of engineering, architecture, Asian studies and medicine. Finally, the east zone, which is the industrial area of the city. Chandigarh is one of the few planned cities in India, the others being Gandhinagar in Gujarat and Dispur in Assam.

In 1966, the Hindi speaking areas were split from the Punjabi speaking areas of the state to form a new state of Haryana. Chandigarh, however, continued to be the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. In a strange anomaly, the city itself was not made part of either state to avoid dispute, but was brought under direct rule by the Central Government, as a union territory. It was agreed that in 1986, the city would pass to Punjab. But this has been indefinitely delayed because Haryana insists on getting some territory in return, and the two states have not been able to agree on it.

The basic geographical and demographic profile of Chandigarh is as under:

Quick Bite
Area 114 sq. km. (44 sq mi)
Altitude 304 - 365 meters above sea level (997 - 1,197 ft)
Total Population (2001 census)  : 9,00,635

(Rural population-92120 (10.2%),Urban population-808515 (89.8%))

Literacy Rate 81.9%

Get in

By plane

Kingfisher Airlines [2], Indian Airlines [3], Jet Airways [4], GoAir[5] and MDLR Airlines [6] connect to the city.

Indian Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, GoAir and Jet Airways offer a direct flight from Mumbai and Delhi. Tickets cost around Rs 3,000 (ex Delhi, including taxes) for most of the airlines while MDLR is usually the lowest. Recently MDLR Airlines began to offer connections to Ranchi and Kolkata via Delhi. Kingfisher Airlines offers direct flight to Jammu, Srinagar(Via Jammu), Delhi(twice daily) and further connects to Kolkata via Delhi. GoAir has recently started a connecting flight to Goa

Chandigarh has a Domestic Airport about 8 km (5 mi) from city centre. The Airport shall be upgraded to an International Airport and work on that front has commenced since January 2008.

By train

There is frequent service to and from New Delhi. The popular trains connecting New Delhi include 'Kalka(Chandigarh) Shatabdi Express' (twice daily) and the economical Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express(Una(H.P) to Delhi). Shatabdi Express is quite popular and it is better to have an advanced reservation at least 2-3 days prior to the journey.

Popular long distance trains include:

  • Paschim Express (daily) to Mumbai
  • Kalka Mail (daily) to Howrah
  • Dehradun-Chandigarh Madras Express (Monday) to Chennai
  • Kerala Sampark Kranti (Wednesday) to Kochuveli ( Kerala)
  • Chandigarh Lucknow Express (daily) to Lucknow.
  • Chandigarh-Jaipur Garib Rath to Jaipur.

Also a high speed rail line will be built from Amritsar-Delhi via Chandigarh. The train is to run 350 km/h and will get passengers from Chandigarh to Delhi in 50 min and Amritsar in 1 hour and 50 mins.

By car

Chandigarh has an equally good connectivity via road. It is a 4-5 hour drive from Delhi, the road comprising mainly of NH 1 is quite good. Chandigarh serves as a gateway to the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Important Distances :

  • New Delhi - 260 km (160 mi)
  • Shimla - 110 km (68 mi)
  • Manali- 320 km (200 mi)
  • Dehradun - 175 km (110 mi)
  • Amritsar - 250 km (155 mi)

By bus

Chandigarh is served by two bus terminals.

The Inter State Bus Terminus in Sector 43 ,provides connectivity to all major destinations in the neighbouring states Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Jammu, and Delhi(limited).

The Inter State Bus Terminus at Sector 17 offers connectivity to all major towns of Haryana (except those on Himachal Route like Kalka) and Delhi.

Delhi is extensively connected with bus service every 15 minutes offered by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Haryana Roadways, Punjab Roadways and Himachal Roadways. Volvo A/C buses are also run on Chandigarh-Delhi section and offer connection to the Airport and towns like Gurgaon. The fares of Volvo buses are usually comparable with the Shatabdi Express. The timetable for Haryana State Transport Volvo Buses can be found here [7].

Chandigarh Transport Undertaking offers a comprehensive connectivity between the two bus terminals with air conditioned and normal buses plying throughout the day between the terminals.

Get around

By bus

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) provides local bus Transport service in Chandigarh and satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. There are two Local bus Terminals at Sector 17 and Sector 43. The bus service is frequent and efficient and runs from 6:00AM to 10:00PM. It is very economical with a single point to point fare of Rs. 5 regardless of the distance. The map of Chandigarh showing all the bus routes is printed on the back of each ticket.In the New Grid Transport System 45 routes are being plied in Chandigarh. The travel is generally hassle free, though there might be rush on some particular routes during morning and evening peak hours.

Recently, mini air-conditioned buses have been deployed on some vital routes (connecting location such as PGI, ISBT -17,43, Railway Station, IT park and others). The fare for these is Rs. 10/- for a single trip.

The buses with corresponding routes can be found here[8].

Hop on Hop Off Bus
Hop on Hop Off Bus

The Chandigarh tourism also runs a special Hop On Hop off double-decker bus which takes you around for a tour of all the main spots in the city including Sukna Lake, Punjab University, and the Secretariat. Having bought one ticket, a person can board or disembark as many times in a day as he wishes. This provides him flexibility to see the places of interest and spend as much time as he wishes at a particular spot of his choice. It starts its journey from Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17 near the Bus Terminal.

Fare: Point to Point Rs 10/- One Trip Rs 25/- Half a Day Rs 50/- Full Day Rs 75/-

For Booking contact : Citco Tours & Travel Wing, ISBT, Sector 17, Tel : 5055462, 2703839.

By taxi

There are not many private local taxi services in the city. The private taxi operators can be located at Taxi stands in Commercial market of every sector.

UT administration has started a fully air conditioned cab service. The cabs are available at the door step on giving a call. The cabs are stationed at important places including Railway Station and Airport. The cabs are fully air-conditioned and extremely comfortable. They serve Chandigarh and satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. All the taxis are brand new, air conditioned/air heated and driven by the uniformed drivers. Taxis are also have a complaint book and any passenger can lodge a complaint with State Transport Authority if services provided to him are not found up to the mark. The cabs are continuously monitored through GPRS technology whereby their locations are monitored by their respective control rooms.

There are no charges for first KM except for the meter down charges. Rate Rs. 15/- for the first kilometer and Rs. 15/- for the subsequent kilometers. Available on call at (0172) 4141414.

By Auto Rickshaw

Chandigarh Union Territory is the first city in the country to have Radio Auto service on the lines of successful working of the Radio Taxi service. The autos, pink in color, charge Rs. 10/- for 1st km and Rs. 8/- for subsequent km. The service named as "tuk-tuk" is available round the clock. Available on call at (0172) 4242424.

On the whole, Auto Rickshaw are not quite popular in the city although are easily available at Bus Terminals, Railway Station, and Auto Stands in the commercial market of every sector. It is very unlikely that they would operate with a meter so negotiate the price before engaging one.

By Cycle Rickshaw

Cycle rickshaws are three-wheeled pedal powered rickshaws with seats in the back to seat passengers and a driver in the front. They are good for short distances, or places which are too far to walk but too short for taking a bus/taxi/auto rickshaw. Cycle rickshaws can be easily spotted in all parts of the city. You should negotiate the price before boarding one of these. Ask the locals to help if you doubt the charges demanded.

Nek Chand's rock garden
Nek Chand's rock garden
Cricket at The Open Hand
Cricket at The Open Hand
The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden
High Court front entrance
High Court front entrance
  • Rock Garden [9] designed by Nek Chand. One day 36 years ago, Nek Chand, a humble transport official, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised of hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards. After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered. When they did discover the garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal - a development in a forbidden area. However, rather than demolishing the garden, they decided to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. The park is open daily from April to September between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Between October and March, it is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Sukhna Lake Located in Sector 1, the Sukhna Lake is an artificial reservoir. A popular place to hang out, one can expect to find residents of the city jogging or strolling along the banks. There is a walking path, a cafeteria, shops and a mini-amusement park and paddleboats. The Sukhna Lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream that flows down from the Shivaliks. Storks and cranes make migratory stops at the lake. The lake, incidentally, has Asia's longest water channel for rowing and yachting.
  • Rose Garden: The city houses the largest rose garden in Asia. It also hosts annual rose festival which is quite popular among local population.
  • The Capitol Most of the capitol complex is fenced off due to tight security, the open hand is accessible and from there you can see the main buildings, albeit in the distance. If you want a closer look at the Capitol, you need permission from the Tourist Bureau, in the ‘Deluxe Administration building’ in Sector 9. Please note the capitol and bureau are only open on M-F. The tourist bureau is not well signed, you’ll need to ask. It’s in the single story building out the back. Bring your passport and prepare for the beginning of the most amazing experience in Indian bureaucracy. All in all I spent three hours in total of which 50 minutes was spent looking at architecture. The tourist bureau gives you three letters giving you permission to visit the three main buildings of the Capitol complex, The Secretariat, the High Court and the Assembly.
  • The High Court - The letter is fine for looking around the High Court just show to security at the entrance, around the back, but if you want to take photos you need to surrender your camera, and head in to fill out some more forms in the protocol office, and the take the forms back to security to get your camera back. It’s worth it as the building is amazing, and extremely photogenic. You can’t take any photos indoors.
  • The Secretariat - To check out the Secretariat, it’s a little harder. First you need to find ‘reception’, which is just a small building out the back and show them your letter to get a visitor permit, then you need to see security who will let you in, then you need to see the main security officer inside, who will send you up to the registrar who will then send you back to the main security office. Thankfully you are escorted through most of this confusing, overly complex procedure, usually by a junior soldier with large machine gun. Whole process takes about 30 min. to an hour. Once it’s all clear you can go up to the roof, check out the geranium gardens, and take in an expansive view of all of Chandigarh. Then they’ll let you have a look out the front, which is more interesting.
  • The Legislative Assembly (both for Punjab and Haryana) - Ran out of time, so make sure you have a whole clear weekday to appreciate all the capitol buildings.
Pinjore Gardens
Pinjore Gardens
  • Pinjore Gardens - Pinjore Gardens, also called Yadavindra Gardens are 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh, 15 km (9 mi) from Panchkula, on the Chandigarh Shimla road. Taxis and buses ply regularly between Pinjore and Chandigarh. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating Mughal Gardens one of the most popular picnic spots. A mini zoo, plants nursery, a Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns await tourists.
  • Museum and Art Gallery - Located in Sector 11, the museum and the combined art gallery is an interestin palce to go to. Artefacts range form the Harrapan Period relics to the paintings and coins from different areas and time periods. Fossils of the local dinosaurs found in the region.

The Chandigarh Museum, which is just next door, provides an interesting aspect on how Chandigarh was founded. It begins with the principles on which Chandigrh was built, selection of the Architects, the design for the people etc.

  • Chandigarh with the highest income per capita in India is home to biggest brands. It is a shopper's paradise. The main hot spots for shopping are markets of Sector 17,Sector 22,Sector 35 and Manimajra. However don't expect to get good bargains as most of the shopping places here are costlier when compared to Delhi or other places.
  • Do enjoy the planned city with tree lined roads, big and beautiful roundabouts, several gardens and on the top it - a great set of people.
  • Visit the Sukhna Lake in the evenings/early morning for an enriching pleasant experience.
  • Visit Nek Chand's Rock Garden to take a walk through a magical kingdom made entirely out of recycled materials.
  • Enjoy a round of boating on Sukhna Lake's enigmatic waters. Shikaras are also available.
  • Plan a day's trip to nearby hill station of Kasauli, Solan or Shimla.
  • Visit Kalagram on Manimajra-Chandigarh road. It has exhibition of various handicrafts and decorations from various parts of the country. It also houses the innovative and famous "Condom Bar", whose theme is centred on condoms.

Movies

The city has several cinema halls with the classical single screen format. Catch a movie at any one of the halls all of which are air conditioned and well maintained.

The city has three Malls with 4 screen multiplexes. These are Fun Republic(Fun Cinemas) in Manimajra, DLF DT Cinema in IT Park and Centra Mall(PVR Cinema) in Phase 1, Industrial Area. Big Cinemas at Paras Mall, Zirakpur on Chandigarh-Punjab border is also easily accessible. Many others malls and multiplexes are coming up in Chandigarh soon.

PRESS

The city has a expansive presence of nearly all leading national dailies which bring out their City based editions. Major among these are The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Tribune ,The Indian Express, Amar Ujala(Hindi), Dainik Bhaskar(Hindi). The Tribune is one of the oldest print Newspaper in circulation has its headquarters in Chandigarh and is widely popular in the region.

Theatre

The city has rich theatre culture with regular performances by societies and groups from all over India. Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 plays host to most of the performances.one can view these stret plays in PLAZA CARNIVAL situaited in sector 17 main market, which can be viewed by everyone.

  • FunCity -20 Km (12 mi) from Chandigarh on the Panchkula - Barwalla Nadha Sahib Gurudwara Highway near Ramgarh .
  • Thunderzone - A 30 Min. drive from Chandigarh, located in Landran, Mohali.

Geri Route

This is probably something that is found in every Indian City but perhaps the whole of Chandigarh coherts in unision to the Stretch starting from the Sector 8 mid sector Road, crossing Hotel Mount View and then towards Sector 11 mid sector road and ending on the road in front of Sector 11. This stretch on any evening would be full of guys and girls out to catch an eyeful of the other sex.

Learn

Chandigarh has evolved into an education hub for competitive exams. Thousands of students from nearby states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh attend coaching in Chandigarh. The city has delivered excellent results in recent years in all spheres especially the IIT-JEE, CAT, CBSE-PMT and the Civil services.

Chandigarh is also home to several renowned centres of higher education:

  • PGIMER - Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. It is one of the premier medical research institutes of the country and serves a wide array of patients from the neighbouring states.
  • Punjab University - With a beautiful campus, Punjab University is one of the most sought after universities by students from the northern region.
  • Punjab Engineering College - The alma matter of NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the institute continues to climb up national rankings and has been designated as a deemed university.
  • C.C.E.T.- Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology-Formerly known as the polytechnic, had been upgraded to include the bachelors degree in engineering, in 2002. The college has the reputation of being the only Engineering college affiliated with Punjab University AND run by Chandigarh Administration. As of now it provides B.E. in the field of Computer Science & Technology, Electronics & communication, Mechanical and Civil Engineering.
  • UIET-University Institute of Engineering and Technology-This is a prestigious engineering institute started by Panjab University in 2002 to provide education in engineering and its associated fields to the growing number of students from around the city.
  • Government College of Art -This Institution is a platform where the method of practice of Art can be learnt by the up coming artists to bring out their creative talents. It is the only nucleus institution of its kind in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, and Kashmir. Affiliated with Punjab University.
  • Chandigarh College Of Architecture-What is not so well known is the fact that the 20th century's greatest architect also succeeded in getting Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) established as an integral part of the great Chandigarh Experiment. Affiliated with Panjab University.
  • Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) - It is a constituent establishment of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Govt. of India) doing research in microbial biotechnology. It offers doctorate degree in different fields of biotechnology such as protein science and engineering, fermentation technology, immunology and cell biology, bioinformatics, genetics. It houses one of the world best bioinformatics research center.

Work

Opportunity is available to work in the growing IT and BPO industry in the city. Newly built IT park had been set up in the city which has proved to be a magnet for potential job seekers in this field. Satellite town of Mohali is also home to several IT majors like Infosys, Webart Softech [10], Dell Inc. and more to name. Most of the population here is employed in Government Services with administrative headquarters of all departments of the government of Punjab and Haryana being situated in Chandigarh.

Buy

There are plenty of Shopping Avenues in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is home to all leading brands and retail store chains.

Sector 17 is a fully commercial sector which houses all the major brands and shops that cater to wide array of taste and pocket.

Other popular shopping places are Sector 22, Sector 35 and Manimajra.

If you want to bargain hard for usual stuff try the Azad Hind Market in Sector 22. (Closed on Monday).

You can buy souvenirs in form of Coffee Mugs, Shirts etc. at the Sukhna Lake.

Eat

You can relish all type of cuisines from local Punjabi flavours to Continental cuisine.

Budget/Mid Range

Nearly all major Western fast food chains have registered their presence in Chandigarh.

  • Barbeque Nation[11] - Sector 26
  • Hot Millions[12] - Sector 17, Sector 35 and also in Mohali, Panchkula.
  • Nik Baker's[13] - Sector 35, Sector 9.
  • Backpackers - Sector 9
  • Pizza Hut - Sector 26, Sector 35
  • Oven Fresh - Sector 35, Sector 26
  • Domino's Pizza - Sector 17, Sector 34.
  • McDonalds - (Fun Republic) Manimajra, Sector 35.
  • KFC - Sector 8, Sector 35.
  • Subway - Sector 17 and Sector 35.
  • Tehal Singh's - Sector 22. One of the best places to try the famous Butter Chicken of Punjab.
  • Chawla's - There is a whole Chain of Chawla's, the better ones being in Sector 8 and Sector 22.

Apart from these, a variety of restaurants can be found in the Sector 35 market, ranging from traditional Indian sweet shops(Gopal's), Burger joints like Mcdonalds to formal dine-in joints.

  • Black Lotus at the Taj Chandigarh, for exceptional Chinese fare, cooked by a Beijing imported chef.
  • Hotel Mountview & Shivalikview also offer specialized dining rooms and bars.
  • Orchid Lounge at Sector 34, for excellent Thai cuisine.

Drink

Coffee Shops

Barista, Cafe Coffee Day and Costa coffee(Panchkula, Sec 35) are popular Indian chain of coffee shops that can be found in Chandigarh at various places.

For a true Indian Coffee experience go to Indian Coffee house in Sec 17

Bars/Pubs

Chandigarh is often accused of a dull night life considering its status as a metro. One can enjoy good drink at various pubs/bars with combined restaurants at Sector 35,Sector 26 and Sector 17.The bars remain open till 12-1 in the night. 'Condom Bar'- a unique bar themed upon the condom, is operated by CITCO at Kalagram, Chandigarh-Manimajra road.

Sleep

Bed and Breakfast

The Chandigarh Administration has launched a bed and breakfast scheme for accommodating more tourists in Chandigarh. This scheme provides a reasonable and comfortable alternative to tourists and visitors in the city.The residential premises registered under this scheme are registered as establishments under two categories Gold and Silver. Rooms are available at Rs.900/- and Rs.700/-. Details[14]. The scheme apparently has been canceled for the year 2009 by the district administration due to violation of the norms [15]

  • YMCA, Sector 11
  • Yatri Nivas run by the CITCO
  • Hotel Chandigarh, Sector 22
  • Hotel ParkView run by the CITCO in Sector 24
  • Naresh Sharma Hotel run by the CITCO in Sector 24
  • Hotel Aroma in Sector 22
  • Hotel KLG in Sector 43
  • Hotel Antheia in Sector 34, Ph. (91-172) 4687800,elantheia.com]
  • Hotel The Komfort Inn' in Sector 17 C.(91-172)2701614 http//www.hotelthekomfortinn.com
  • Taj Chandigarh - Block No. 9, Sector 17-A, Chandigarh 160 017. Ph (91-172) 6513000 Fax (91-172) 6514000
  • Shivalik View adjacent to the bus stand at Sector 17 run by CITCO
  • Mount View in Sector 10 run by CITCO.

Contact

STD code for Chandigarh is 0172. When calling from overseas, dial +91 172 XXXXXXX.Same STD code is shared by Panchkula and Mohali. If you have a non-working phone number with only 6 digits try to add a "2" in front of it.

Chandigarh has one the highest cellular density in India. The city is served by all major cellular operators : Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, BSNL, Tata Indicom,Docomo,virgin, Spice and Connect. The cellular connection provided covers the cellular network of state of Punjab and city limits of Panchkula district in Haryana.

If you don’t have an Indian phone number, it is strongly recommended that you get a pre-paid calling card if you plan on using your phone frequently. Because of new government regulations, you need a photocopy of your passport (visa and the ID pages), a colour photo, and proof of local address (in Chandigarh) when buying a pre-paid card. Pre-paid cards are sold in a few of the shops that sell mobile equipment.

PCOs are a good option. You will find them almost every 100 m. These are public pay-phones (post-pay) and there will be a person on the shop to take the payments. Check your bill generated (from the billing machine) and make the payment accordingly. Payments are always in Indian rupees.

Internet is cheaply and easily accessible via various cyber cafes operating in every corner of the city with rates ranging from Rs 15-Rs 30 per hour. Major Cyber Outlets:

  • Reliance Web World: Operates through various centres in Sector 9,Sector 35,Sector 46 and more.
  • Sify Centres: Spread throughout the city.

Stay safe

Chandigarh is a safe city. With the lowest crime rates in the country you can feel safe at any hour. Police assistance can be found at the nearest police station or at the patrolling booths in every sector. You can call following numbers for respective help : 100 (Police), 101 (Fire), 102 (Ambulance), 1073 (Traffic Police Helpline).If you are calling from a mobile phone just add the STD code i.e. 0172 in front of the emergency numbers. This holds true for any Indian city.

Cope

Balance

India is often said to assault the senses, and can be overwhelming to travelers. Some of the Chandigarh may appear oddly familiar to Western visitors and idiosyncratic to the rest of India. Because of this, Chandigarh is a good place to visit if you need a break from the constant flow of India.

Hospitals

List of major hospitals and health care centres:

  • Post Graduate Institute (PGI), Sector 12.[16]
  • Govt. Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh[17]
  • General Hospital Sector 16, Chandigarh
  • Fortis, Mohali [18]
  • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Sector 34-A.
  • Mukat Hospital, Sector 34.
  • Silver Oaks Hospital, Phase IX, Mohali.
  • Army command hospital,Chandimandir,Panchkula
  • Govt. hospital,sector-6,panchkula
  • Saket hospital,sector 20,panchkula

Pharmacies

Pharmacies are dime a dozen and you should not have any problem locating one, though Sector 16-C is considered the "pharmacy district" and offers a variety of shops to find your medication. You do not need any prescription for Modern Medicine Over the Counter drugs and ayurvedic medicine (proprietary and traditional), which are available for most common ailments like fever, headache, travellers' ailments, general infection, etc., But you will need prescription for other medicines, which are categorized as Schedule H drugs. You can locate 24-hour pharmacies at PGI and G.M.C.H, Sector 32.

General Amenities

General amenities for daily living like grocery shopping, laundry etc. can be availed all in one place in every sector's market complex. Each sector is self sufficient in that regard and serves almost all the needs of its residents.

Traffic Rules

There is a strict enforcement of traffic rules in Chandigarh. Wearing helmets (for male riders ISI Marked), and using seat belts are compulsory. Violators pay heavy penalties. No exceptions to these rules are made to cars from outside the state.

Get out

Chandigarh is also based of motorbikes expeditions the are so many bikers club organise motorbiking and adventure activities.

  • Shimla which is just 110KM from Chandigarh by road.
  • Kasuali which only 90 minutes drive from Chandigarh can also be visited. It is a Hill station not very far from the city. If one is lucky, in clear weather it offers a staggering view of Chandigarh from the Himalayan Foothills.
  • Other Himachal hill stations such as Kullu & Manali, since it is a city which is a gateway to Himachal Pradesh. A trip by road to Kullu takes about 12 hours.
  • One can visit Pinjore Gardens that are within a range of 15-20 km (9-12 mile) from Chandigarh on the way to Shimla.
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Chandigarh

  1. Union territory in northern India.
  2. City located in the union territory of Chandigarh, serving simultaneously as capital of this union territory and of the states of Haryana and Punjab.







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