An architect might be assigned to design parliament houses, museums, or great architectural structures, but not many get or offered the ‘dream project’ to design an entirely new city. Le Corbusier, the greatest architect of the twentieth century was the lucky one to be invited by the Indian Government to design a new capital for the Indian Punjab, since its original capital Lahore had gone to Pakistan after India’s Independence in 1947. Commenting on the birth of the new city, India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said:
‘Let this be a new town,
symbolic of the freedom of India,
unfettered by the tradition of the past…
an expression of the nation’s faith in the future.’
And in the early fifties, India did get an ultramodern city full of architectural marvels such as the grand Secretariat, the imposing High Court, the elegant Assembly Hall, the magnificent University and other educational institutions, sprawling shopping centres, meticulously planned roads, well laid out localities, and gardens set against the serene Shivalik hills. The city that got its name from the goddess Chandika, is a thriving metropolis today, and more than fifty years after Independence, Chandigarh remains India’s first planned city full of tree-lined avenues, parks and gardens free of pollution. Chandigarh welcomes you with all its warmth and love to give you an experience you will never forget.