Skip to content

Places To Visit

All of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir are easily accessible from Chandigarh. With the hills close by, cool environs are very easily reached by road. Chandigarh also acts as a gateway to many pilgrimage centres in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh

Rock Garden

Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world-acclaimed Rock Garden. It consists of art objects, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1. It nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy land of art and landscape. It is without doubt, a tourist spot that is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh.

The Creator

The Rock Garden has become almost a heritage site. Artists and connoisseurs from all over the world flock to see this unique and amazing creation. The concept is daring, the appeal perennial…

Sukhna Lake

The manmade picturesque Sukhna lake in the foothills of Shivalik range is an idyllic place for quiet communion with nature and for offer water sports activities such as boating, yachting, water skiing, etc..

Sukhna is an inseparable part of the city. Le Corbusier had foreseen that the residents of the city would be drawn towards it for the ‘care of the body and spirit’. The planners of the city will be thrilled to find that this beautiful gift to the city has extended its attraction beyond its boundaries.

This 3 sq km rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream…

Architecture

The architectural style of the city, which has rightly come to be called the ‘Chandigarh architecture’, is represented by the unfinished concrete for the buildings in the Capitol Complex and other major buildings, exposed brickwork and use of brise-soleil ( a louvered screen) that replaces conventional verandah to keep sunlight from walls and windows. Another characteristic is neatly finished during construction. There are no narrow streets in Chandigarh. It has wide roads to accommodate the modern means of transport. Most of the buildings are closely spaced, number of houses having been constructed in a single continuous row. This is called ‘terrace housing’. Large number of houses in…

City Centre

The City Centre or Sector 17, as it is popularly called, is a juxtaposition of cuboid building blocks and open spaces. The piazzas liven up in the afternoon with the office crowds out to recharge themselves. In the evenings shoppers and tourists, enjoying ice creams or popcorns, sit on the steps of the “dove of peace” spout, where water cascades down from one level to another in geometrically shaped tanks, amidst delightful play of colourful lights. All the buildings in City Centre are four storeyed. Originally, Le-Corbusier wanted to raise some high rise buildings but influenced by the limitations of building materials and methods , a uniform four storey height was adopted for all the buildings. He, however, designed an eleven storey structure but it is yet to be built.

Conference Facilities

Leisure Valley

MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

Cultural & Theatre

Rose Garden

Other Gardens

Parks

Forest & Trees

Educational Institutes

Sports Facilities

Rock Garden

Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world-acclaimed Rock Garden. It consists of art objects, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1. It nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy land of art and landscape. It is without doubt, a tourist spot that is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh.

The Creator
The Rock Garden has become almost a heritage site. Artists and connoisseurs from all over the world flock to see this unique and amazing creation. The concept is daring, the appeal perennial. Visitors leave in admiration, only to return again. The creator of the Rock Garden, Nek Chand, was a Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project. He roamed the Shivalik Foothills and picked up stones resembling bird, animal, human and abstract forms. He brought them on his bicycle. The first seven years (1958-65) were spent collecting natural material, urban and industrial waste. Gradually his collection mounted to a staggering twenty thousand rock forms of amazing beauty. These were deposited around a hut which he had built for his work and contemplation. He built the Rock Garden from this improvised hut which was located by the side of a stream.

Collection
Since the site where Rock Garden stands today was also used as a dumping ground for urban and industrial waste, Nek Chand picked up pieces of foundry lime-kiln and metal workshop wastes and also shaped them with his creative genius, resembling human, animal or abstract forms. These pieces have been innovatively displayed as sculptures in the garden.

Also, on display are shapes sculptured by using a variety of discarded materials such as frames, mudguards, forks, handle bars, metal wires, play marbles, crowns of soft drink bottles, porcelain, auto parts, broken bangles, pieces of slate, burnt bricks and even human hair recovered from barbers’ shop.

Nek Chand salvaged a variety of debris from demolished structures, waste from lime kilns, discarded street lights, electrical fittings, broken sanitary ware, crockery etc. thus demonstrating how urban and industrial waste can be fruitfully recycled and used in creative pursuit.

Kingdom
In the true spirit of a make-believe `kingdom’ the Rock Garden has fourteen different chambers, like the forecourt : housing natural rock-forms, a royal poet’s and a musician’s chamber complete with a pond and a hut; the main court (Durbar) where the king’s throne adorns the place with natural stone forms depicting gods and goddesses lining the place; a swimming pool for the queen, etc. Another phase of the garden comprises the grand palace complex, minars, water falls, an open air theatre, a village, mountains, over bridges, pavilions and areas for royal pleasures. The tree and root sculpture offers a powerful counterpoint to the existing vegetation.

An open air theatre and a vast pavilion with a centre stage are the other highlights of the Rock Garden where art and culture blend amidst the rustic and exotic environs of the garden.

The Teej Festival, when the Rock Garden assumes a festive look, holds a special attraction for tourists. Young damsels partake in the fun and frolic by swaying on the giant swings, while others adorn their hands with traditional Mehandi (henna), amidst joyful songs and dances.

As you stroll through the Rock Garden, enjoying the awe inspiring creation, you may find yourself face to face with the unassuming, down to earth artist Nek Chand himself, in flesh and blood, working at or supervising his ‘kingdom’.

Sukhna Lake

The man made picturesque Sukhna lake in the foothills of Shivalik range is an idyllic place for quiet communion with nature and for offer water sports activities such as boating, yachting, water skiing, etc..

Sukhna is an inseparable part of the city. Le Corbusier had foreseen that the residents of the city would be drawn towards it for the ‘care of the body and spirit’. The planners of the city will be thrilled to find that this beautiful gift to the city has extended its attraction beyond its boundaries.

This 3 sq km rain fed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation. To check the inflow of silt, land measuring 2542 hectares was acquired in the catchments area and put under vegetation. The curvilinear profile of the promenade along the banks of Sukhna hums with activity from dawn to dusk, reflecting changing moods of the day. As the golden hue of the dawn shimmers through its placid waters, a stream of joggers hurries along to savour the fresh morning air.

Others amble on the dew-wet grass, children frolic around, while a few others find time to meditate in tranquility. On weekends in winter, one can hear the melodious strains of the flute or classical rendering by famous musicians on its banks. As the golden orb emerges brightly from the Shivalik hill range, the morning crowd recedes…. and groups of students arrive to browse through their books under the shady trees. The afternoon attracts families on picnic and a siesta to complete their foray into the lap of nature.

The evenings see Sukhna again coming alive with tourists, and families thronging the promenade, the Chef Lakeview, CITCO’s fast food joint, shops and of course the jetties for a boat ride. For children there are a number of joy-rides and a mini train. As night descends, the lights from the hill resort of Kasauli reflect in the lake and present a bewitching sight.

Sukhna is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, Storks and Cranes, during the winter months. The Lake has been declared as a protected national wetland by the Government of India. People of Chandigarh love Sukhna. During summers, there are streams of men, women and children from all walks of life offering voluntary service to desilt the lake bed for about three months. This annual ritual has been a regular feature since long.

Sukhna has a membership based Lake Club with open lawns, a gym, indoor games, swimming pool and tennis courts with both synthetic and grass courts. Boating, rowing, sculling, sailing, kayaking and water skiing can be enjoyed throughout the year.

The Lake, which was the venue for the Asian Rowing Championships, has the longest channel for rowing and yachting events in Asia.

The Lake is fringed by a golf course to the south, and the famous Rock Garden to its west.

Architecture

BUILDINGS
The architectural style of the city, which has rightly come to be called the ‘Chandigarh architecture’, is represented by the unfinished concrete for the buildings in the Capitol Complex and other major buildings, exposed brickwork and use of brise-soleil ( a louvered screen) that replaces conventional verandah to keep sunlight from walls and windows. Another characteristic is neatly finished during construction. There are no narrow streets in Chandigarh. It has wide roads to accommodate the modern means of transport. Most of the buildings are closely spaced, number of houses having been constructed in a single continuous row. This is called ‘terrace housing’. Large number of houses in Chandigarh have been constructed in this mode.

For visitors, some buildings are on the “must-see” list. We will walk you through some of the most significant among these:

Capitol Complex
The Capitol Complex located in Sector 1 is the raison-d’ etre for this city, the seat of the Government. Originally, it housed only the Government of Punjab but now it is the joint headquarters of Punjab and Haryana. The offices of the Union Territory of Chandigarh are located in Sector 9.

This sector, set against the backdrop of Shivalik hills, was entirely developed by Le Corbusier. The complex consists of the Secretariat, the Legislative Assembly and the High Court. There was to have been a fourth building in the form of A Raj Bhawan (Governor’s Palace) or a Museum of Knowledge but this is yet to be realised.

The three edifices of the Capitol Complex stand in their majesty as monuments. They were conceived as temples of democracy of free India. Their bold sculptural forms epitomize the plasticity of Le Corbusier’s architecture which consider concrete as “molten rock”.

High Court
The law-interpreting monument was the first building to be built in the Capitol Complex during 1951-57. This structure has a double roof, projecting over the office block like a parasol or an inverted umbrella. This magnificent outward sweep of the upper roof is symbolic of protection & justice to the people. The 3 vertical piers, rising 60 feet from the floor and painted in bright colours from the grand entrance of the building facade. On the rear walls of the court rooms, hang the giant wooden tapestries designed by Le-Corbusier.


Secretariat

The Secretariat is the largest of these edifices in the Capitol Complex. It is the headquarter of both Punjab and Haryana governments. It is a huge multi-storied linear slab-like structure, intended as a work place for 4000 people. The building is 254 meters long and 42 meters high. It is composed of 8 storeys. The long line of rhythmic sun breakers is relieved by introducing varied heights and projections, together with a roof containing towers, funnels, pavilions and a cafeteria jutting out like an art object placed on a pedestal. In the hands of Corbusier, this basically repetitive framework has been shaped into a work of art. Built during 1953-59, it is shaped like an eight – storey concrete slab, with its distinctive brise-soleil( louvered screen ) of deeply sculptured two-storey porticos in the centre, housing the offices of ministers. The cafeteria rests atop the terrace like an art object, giving a spectacular view of the city.


Legislative Assembly

The Legislative Assembly at the north-eastern end of the Capitol piazza is the most sculptural of them all. The profile of this law forming monument epitomises stately grandeur. Square in plan, with a monumental portico standing free from the main building, it faces the High Court truncated hyperbolic paraboloid, extending well above the roof line. A pyramid covers the upper chamber of the erstwhile bicameral system and offers an exciting counterpoint to the cupola, lending artistic grace to the entire complex.

Other Monuments
The Capitol Piazza extends to about 1,200 feet, displaying a number of attractive structures. These include the Martyrs’ Memorial, raised in commemoration of the martyrs of India’s freedom struggle, a Geometric Hill, the Towers of Shadows and the Open Hand Monument.

Panjab University (The Campus )
The University Campus was designed by Pierre Jeannerret under the general guidance of the legendary Le Corbusier. By now spread over an area of over 500 acres, the Campus has fairly well-marked zones: the teaching area in the north-east, with the Library, Fine Arts Museum, and the three-winged structure of the Gandhi Bhawan forming its core; the sports complex and the market in the middle; the University hostels on the flanks and the south; and the residential area in the south-east, stretching into the adjacent sector. There are nearly a dozen types of houses to accommodate the Faculty and the Employees. For the visiting faculty, eminent scholars, examiners, and others there are different Guest Houses, including a separate one for the foreign scholars. The construction and maintenance of the Campus buildings is looked after by the University Executive Engineer and his establishment.

Chandigarh College of Architecture
http://cca.nic.in/
Chandigarh –the largest and the most daring experiment in modern urbanism has become the Mecca for architects from all over the world. Chandigarh’s pre-eminence as an ‘International City‘rests largely on the world renowned architect that Le Corbuiser; who developed its master plan in 1951, based on his urban planning theories and the masterly architectural works.

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. His conviction was that the creation of built environment , however brilliant and consequential , cannot be fully grasped- much less perpetuated – if the principles regulating its concept are not properly understood through study of various components of the city in use.

The CCA aims at developing its unique inherent potential and to inspire, support, sustain and continue academic programmes whereby professionals –trained in the tradition of modern urbanism ushered in by the incomparable master- could extend the frontiers of Creativity in the pursuit of serving the Family of Man — efficiently, comprehensively, beautifully.

City Centre

The City Centre or Sector 17, as it is popularly called, is a juxtaposition of cuboid building blocks and open spaces. The piazzas liven up in the afternoon with the office crowds out to recharge themselves. In the evenings shoppers and tourists, enjoying ice creams or popcorns, sit on the steps of the “dove of peace” spout, where water cascades down from one level to another in geometrically shaped tanks, amidst delightful play of colourful lights. All the buildings in City Centre are four storeyed. Originally, Le-Corbusier wanted to raise some high rise buildings but influenced by the limitations of building materials and methods, a uniform four storey heights was adopted for all the buildings. He, however, designed an eleven storey structure but it is yet to be built.

Sector 17 is the hub of the town where important offices of Punjab, Haryana and UT such as Estate Office Chandigarh, Udyog Bhawan Punjab, Central Income Tax building, Accountant General Punjab building and Haryana Mini Secretariat apart from Chandigarh District Courts are located.

Sector 17 is the biggest Shopping Centre of the city. One can find well stocked shops and variety of goods here. Most of the shops are air conditioned and shopping is a pleasure.

Conference Facilities

EXHIBITION AND CONVENTION CENTER
Chandigarh, equipped with all the modern amenities and infrastructure firmly in place, is one of the fastest growing cities in India and the business capital of the industrially and agriculturally rich north. Developing into one of the finest convention centers around Delhi, it is aiming to be ‘The First Wired City.’

Chandigarh is already hosting mega international and national exhibitions and conventions like Agro Tech, Auto Shows and Consumer Fairs. After its construction, Chandigarh would be in a position to organize even bigger shows in a more systematic manner.

The city has excellent Convention and Conference facilities. There are about 30 government and private hotels in Chandigarh offering 900 rooms. The CITCO- run hotels have excellent halls accommodating about 500 and 300 persons. There are other large auditoriums and conference halls also of capacity upto 800 and 1000 persons. The City in recent years has become venue for various International/National conferences and exhibitions.

CONFEDERATION OF INDIAN INDUSTRY
The Northern Region Headquarters of CII is located in Union Territory of Chandigarh and covers the States of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

The Confederation of India Industry (CII) is India’s association with a direct membership of over 3400 companies whose total capital investment is over US $63 billion. CII members are from both the public and private sectors. With 23 offices in India and 10 overseas it organises Industrial trade fairs in India and abroad.

The Northern Region Headquarters of the Indian Industry opens fresh business prospects in a newly built state-of-the-art Convention Center.

The facilities of the Complex include several conference/seminar halls that can accommodate upto 350 people, making it the largest conference venue in Chandigarh ideal for board meetings, dealer conferences, training programs, workshops etc. making it the largest conference venue in Chandigarh. Ideal for board meetings, dealer conferences, training programs, workshops etc. To make things more convenient state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment is available to facilitate business presentations. The conference hall is also supported by a cafeteria, a business centre and an in-house catering facility.

The complex also has over 12,000 sq.ft. of exhibition space that is carpeted and fully air-conditioned. Organisations interested in renting exhibition space could utilise the area for small exhibitions, industry specific fairs, buyer-sellers meets, product launches, sub-contracting shows, vendor meets, to name just a few.

Chandigarh plays host to India’s largest agro technology fair once in two years. Agro Tech’94 was organised by CII for the first time in India in the city of Chandigarh from Dec 1-4 1994 with Israel as the Partner Country. 27 Israeli firms exhibited their strengths in agri business, 250 Indian exhibitors also exhibited. 150, 000 people including business visitors, researchers, agriculturists, Central / State Government enterprises and progressive farmers visited the fair. Agro Tech’94 evoked a phenomenal response and has since been institutionalized.

CONFEDERATION OF INDIAN INDUSTRY

Northern Region : Chandigarh
Block No. 3, DakshinMarg
Sector 31-A
Chandigarh – 160047
Phone : 91-172- 2602365, 2605868, 2607228, 2614568
Fax : 91-172-2606259, 2614974
Email :ciinr@ciionline.org

Leisure Valley

A continuum of various theme gardens to take “Care of the Body and Spirit” of the city.

Le Corbusier retained the eroded valley of a seasonal rivulet (‘City Map’ ) on the original site of the city and sculpted it into a linear park, now over 8 kilometers long, running through the whole of Chandigarh. It traverses the heart of the city and has been developed into a series of special “theme gardens” weaving a garland of gardens for the city : of varied hues, textures and colours. Enter this Leisure Valley, and the proximity of the city becomes a blur. Let us walk you through this meandering parkland.

Art Gallery

MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
The Government Museum & Art Gallery was designed as a building for the Museum by Le Corbusier. It came into being on the 6th of May, 1968 with untiring efforts of Late M.S. Randhawa, the then Chief Commissioner.

Like the City of Chandigarh, the Museum owes its existence to the partition of the country. The collection of arts objects, paintings, sculpture and decorative arts was housed in Lahore, the then Capital of Punjab. On 20th April 1948 the division of the collection took place by which 60% of the objects were retained as were the objects already re-produced in books and excavated from the sites falling in erstwhile Punjab. The remaining 40% collection consisting mainly of Gandhara Sculpture and miniature paintings fell in the East Punjab’s share. Received in 1949, the collection was first installed in Amritsar and then shifted to Shimla. In 1954, the exhibits were shifted to MotiBagh Palace, Patiala. It was decided in 1960 that the Museum should have a building of its own in Chandigarh. The plan was approved in 1962 and the work remained suspended for some time and finally, the Museum was constructed and opened to public in May, 1968.

The Museum possesses the largest collection of the world famous Gandhara Sculptures after Lahore. There is also a well-appointed library in the Museum, which meets the needs of the scholars and students through its stock of 4600 books and references of arts and allied subjects.

The Art Galleries are classified as follows:-

Gandhara and Hindu Sculptures
Miniature Paintings
Contemporary Art Gallery
Decorative Arts and Coins
GANDHARA & HINDU SCULPTURES

When Alexander of Macesdonia came to India in 326 B.C., it consisted of 122 different nations. After his death in 323 B.C. his Generals added to the number by setting up additional independent kingdoms. The whole of Western Asia (from the present day Syria right upto Western Punjab in Pakistan) came under Graeco-Roman influence affecting art, customs, fashions, coins and language of the region. The local public intermarried with Romans and Greeks and adopted mixed religions and customs.

By the Ist century B.C., a large number of these foreigners settled in the Buddhist border kingdom of Gandhara (the name derived from “Gandhari”, the local tribe settled in the extreme NWFP region). The Gandhara region includes two royal cities Taxila&Pushkalavati near Peshawar. These early settlers converted to Buddhism, built monasteries, temple, stupas and created a vigorous art movement, ‘The Graeco-Buddhist art of Gandhara’. Though superficially there were Graeco Roman elements in this art, it was essentially an Indian art. This art flourished under the various rulers right upto 500 A.D., the famous out of the them being the Kushan King-Kanishka(2nd century A.D.). He conquered Mathura and the movement spread to that area also. It is believed that the art activity declined in Gandhara in 700 A.D and the artisans flocked to Kashmir via Baramula through the PirPanjal range. There are two major archaeological sites in Kashmir- a large monastery in ruins at Ushkar near Baramula and a similar monastery in the neighbourhood of Akhnur, in Jammu. These sites are popularly called Kashmir Terracottas.

Four distinct periods of this art are the Primitive style (1st century B.C.-250 A.D.), the Classical style (300 A.D. to 500 A.D.), the Mannerist style (500 – 650 A.D.), the Baroque style(650-800 A.D.). The Museum has an excellent collection of Buddhist, Brahminical , Jain sculptures. A part of collection came from Lahore. Some were received from Central National Museum and a few others were exchanged from other museums.

MINIATURE PAINTINGS
Indian paintings with the possible but important exception of early Indian frescoes are for the individual, to be enjoyed one or two at a time. Religion wise, the paintings may be divided into 3 categories – Buddhist, Hindu & Mohammedan.

The Hindu paintings have come to be referred as Rajput on account of its association with Rajputana and hill Rajputs of Punjab. The Rajas in Rajasthan employed artists who left the court of Delhi and apart from this, there was also a spiritual revival in Hinduism. The worship of Krishna spread all over India and it inspired the mystical literature and paintings in Rajasthan and Punjab hills in 12th-16th centuries.

The paintings reflect the belief, customs and traditions of the common people. The main aim was to popularise religion and make it available in every household. Chittor and Udaipur were the main cultural centres. The other centres were Bundi, Marwar& Bikaner, all now situated in Rajasthan

The Mohammedan art is called Mughal as the art owed its existence to the encouragement it received from the Mughal Empire. The paintings exhibit customs and traditions of the common people in a completely different style. The intent is to the state a fact without any spiritual overtones. The Mughal School of painting started with the Akbar and it attained its peak under the imperial dilettante Jahangir.

Buddhist and Rajput art were symbolic, signifying the spiritual life, with mysticism and the religion chief and dominant features while Mughal painting was frankly secular, and in character, realistic and eclectic.

The offshoot of the Rajput school manifested itself in the Punjab Himalayas developing small but highly significant individual role. Often called ‘Kangra Kalam’ after the leading state of the region, the ‘Pahari School’ includes mountainous states of Nurpur, Basohli, Guler, Chamba, Kutler, Mankot, Jammu. The ruler of the states patronised the artists and produced considerable amount of work for local demand including portraits of rulers and chieftains, hunting and domestic scenes and illustration of mythological and religious writings.

By the 19th century, the Pahari artists enlarged their sphere of activities. The Sikh court of Lahore ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh from 1803 to 1839 accorded encouragement to the artists resulting in numerous paintings of Sikh nobility executed in ‘Kangra Kalam’ to start with later evolving a distinctive style. Its themes are 10 Sikh Gurus, the stories of the Janam Sakhi, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Rani Jindon, his sons, courtiers and generals. Apart from Lahore and Amritsar, which were the main centres of Sikh paintings, the others were Una, Anandpur, Kapurthala and Patiala. The famous painters of Sikh paintings are Sobha Singh, Thakur Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh.

CONTEMPORARY ART GALLERY
Starting with the works of Bengal School revivalists artists like Rabindra Nath Tagore and Abhnindra Nath Tagore, the richness of collection is also reflected in the folkloric works of Jamini Roy and the serene paintings of Nicholas Roerick. Whether it is Amrita Sher Gill’s pictorial interpretation of the lift of the poor Indians, Hussains preference of lavish Indian Palette, human element reflected in the abstract works of Dhanraj Bhagat, the popular works of famous artists like Sobha Singh and Thakur Singh or the expressive works of Satish Gujral, the modernity of Indian art in all its aspects is quite different from that of the west. It is the emphasis on the humanistic element that gives the Modern Indian painting a distinct individual character.

DECORATIVE ARTS & COINS
Coins are important source of history and al commentary upon economic, social and political movement. The galleries display some important coins to acquaint the public with its history. Also on display are some of the important specimens of decorative arts.

OTHER SECTIONS

There is a Pottery section which reveals clearly the complete character of country’s past personality.

Also, on display are some specimens of textiles in the form of Puradahs and Chambarumals highlighting the trends in Indian embroidery and painting.

There are two temporary exhibition halls which can be hired for display purposes. There is also a Child Art Gallery in the Museum block. It is exclusively meant for children. There is a 180 seat air -conditioned auditorium for screening of educational films, holding of special slide lectures, seminars and conferences etc.

CITY MUSEUM
The city Museum was opened in December, 1997. The creation of the City Museum Chandigarh was one of the several activities pursued by the UT Administration during the 50th Anniversary of India’s independence. The objective was to document and display the planning and architectural development that went into this unique urban experiment and to bring out the distinctive and significant aspects of its lay-out and design. It houses original sketches, photographs, plans, models and documents reflecting the evolution of the City from the drawing board state to its realization.

The displays kept in the basement tell the story of partition of the country and the necessity to build new Capital city of Chandigarh. The story of selection of the site and the accompanying controversies is also told through rare documents; maps and drawings. Gradually the exhibits through various panels focus on to the selection of first team of Architects and planners i.e. the American team consisting primarily of Albert Mayer and Mathew Nowicki. Evocative original sketches, studies and drawings prepared by American team demonstrate the enormous amount of pioneering work they did in evolving the first Master Plan. Of particular interest are the broad similarities between the City’s first Master Plan prepared by Albert Mayer and the final one as modified by Le Corbusier. The sketches and documents which are on display in original highlight the hitherto, lesser known great contribution made by the American team in the building of Chandigarh.

On the Ground Floor is the display of the material pertaining to Le Corbusier’s arrival on the scene and his work subsequent to the tragic death of Mathew Nowicki and withdrawal of the American team from the contract for the project. The sketches and drawings prepared by Corbusier personally as well as by his team have been explained. The correspondence between Corbusier and Nehru is also displayed. Various models, photographs give details of the monumental buildings designed by Le Corbusier personally such as: Capital Complex, Museum Complex and the College of Arts & Architecture. Another lesser known aspect of Chandigarh’s planning is that besides, architecture and other urban components, it is one of the few cities of the world with planned landscaping. Various conceptual sketches made personally by Corbusier for the development of Leisure Valley, the Sukhna Lake and tree plantations along various roads, parks and civic areas are displayed.

The first floor of the City Museum houses the theme of “Chandigarh today and tomorrow.” This section broadly displays the City’s growth after the first phase and departure of Corbusier and his foreign team. The City’s evolution through its second phase and the beginning of the third phase are highlighted. Also the commercial centres and major public buildings built later are displayed.

MUSEUM OF EVOLUTION OF LIFE (Sector 10)
Opened to public on 13th August, 1973, Museum of Evolution of Life invites for a stimulating adventure in evolutionary studies. The evolution of life from the unicellular organism to its present state of biological diversity has been explained through exquisite paintings. The paintings exhibit the origin of evolution of life, the variety and diversity of plants and animals including different extinct races of man, their inter-relationship in nature and the fundamentals of evolutionary process. The other main galleries of the Museum include Astronomy, Archaeology, Pre-historic and Geology presented with scientific and technical display. A reference library with fairly good number of books on evolution, paleontology, zoology, botany, biology etc. has been provided in the museum to meet the scientific needs of the scholars and students.

INTERNATIONAL DOLLS MUSEUM ( Sector 23 )
The Museum was set up with the joint efforts of Chandigarh Administration and Rotary Club of Chandigarh in 1985. The objective for setting the Dolls Museum was to attract and provide amusement to children. Dolls are living entities to children and hence an important means of communication. There are about 250 dolls from countries like Netherland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Russia and Korea. There is also one toy train on display in the Museum. Paintings of important landmark of different countries have been added to form a background alongwith more coloured blowups.

ART GALLERIES ( Sector 10 )
Across the large expanse of paved space and not far from the Museum was the art gallery, referred to as the ‘Pavilion of Temporary Exhibition’. The buildings of both the museum and the art gallery were realised after the death of Le Corbusier, but strictly according to his designs. The Pavilion was intended as a facility for exhibitions of individual artists. However, since this function was being more than adequately looked after by the Art Gallery within the Government Museum, supplemented by the Art Gallery in the college of Art, this building, became somewhat neglected. Its design and location made it an obvious choice for the City Museum.

There are four more Art Galleries in the city :

Department of Fine Art Gallery, Punjab University.
Art folio, Sector 9
Punjab Arts Council Gallery, Sector 16
Alliance Francais Gallery, Sector 36
NATIONAL GALLERY OF PORTRAITS, Sector 17
Portraits of Indian Freedom Fighters, rare documents of the voices of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru are Exhibited at preserved.

Rose Garden

Named after India’s former President, Zakir Hussain, the garden was established in 1967 under the guidance of Chandigarh’s first Chief Commissioner late Dr M S Randhawa. The largest Rose Garden in Asia, it is spread over an area of 27 acres and has more than 17,000 plants representing some 1,600 varieties of roses as well as several fountains. Alongwith the roses emphasis was also given on the trees of medicinal value and some unique specimen trees to enhance the beauty of the garden. The medicinal trees planted here are bel, bahera, harar, camphor and yellow gulmohar. This garden is the venue of the annual Festival of Gardens, an event listed on the national calendar of fairs and festivals. This is one of the main cultural events of the city and draws thousands of visitors. It was started in 1966.

Other Gardens

TERRACED GARDEN, Sector 33
A small valley running the length of the Sector has been developed into a Terraced Flower Garden. Its main attraction is an illuminated musical fountain. The garden is the venue for the annual Chrysanthemum Show. It is spread over 10 acres. It was started in 1979.

BOTANICAL GARDEN, Panjab University
Botanical Garden of the Panjab University deserves a special mention. One corner of this garden devoted to cacti and succulent plants. In another corner of the garden are grown ever green and exotic plants. There is also a lotus corner in the garden. This is the only place in Chandigarh where one can find beautiful lotus flowers.

FITNESS TRAIL & FLOWER GARDEN, Sector 10
The Flower Garden is located in the Sector 10 stretch of the Leisure Valley . The total area of this garden is 94 acres out of which 52 acres are under seasonal flowers and the rest of the area is punctuated with sculptures by renowned artists. A limited area has been left for organizing different cultural activities etc.

A Physical Fitness Trail Park has also been developed here with a view to combining physical exercises with the beauty of nature. On the north east end of this garden is Bougainvillea Garden and its south west side touches the Rose Garden. It was started in 1965 and then redeveloped in 1985.

HIBISCUS GARDEN, Sector 36
It covers an area of 8 acres and adjoins the Dakshin Marg . About 40 different varieties of Hibiscus shrubs are planted in the garden that provides colour throughout the year. The choe banks are however also planted with bottle brush and bamboo groves as in other parts of the Leisure Valley. It was opened in 1974.

GARDEN OF FRAGRANCE, Sector 36
Situated of south of the Hibiscus Garden is very popular for different varieties of aromatic and fragrant plants.

Parks

BOUGAINVILLEA PARK, Sector 3
It is situated in Sector 3 in an area of about 20 acres. The natural Choe running through the valley starts from here. The garden is devoted to hundreds of bougainvillea varieties. The creepers cover a wide assortment of arches, bowers, pavilions and arcades. About 65 different varieties of bougainvillea shrubs are planted in this garden. A few flowering trees have also been planted to give a colourful effect during the gap of bougainvillea flowering time. It was started in 1976.

TOPIARY PARK, Sector 35
Many animal shapes created out of creepers and bushes attract children to the Topiary Park. A large variety of ornamental plants add to the park’s charm. It was started in 1987.

SMRITI UPAVAN, Sector 1
This space has been set aside to allow the people to plant trees in memory of the deceased. The resultant forest is intended to be a place of silence and remembrance. Smriti means “remembrance” and Upavan means “forest”. This is a forest where every tree commemorates someone who is no more. It was formally inaugurated on 14/11/1988 when the then Adviser Sh. Ashok Pradhan planted a banyan tree in the memory of the first Prime Minister of India Pandit JawaharLal Nehru.

RAJENDRA PARK, Sector 1
It is a vast stretch of land of about 400 acres, abutting the Secretariat building on its eastern side. On the southern side of the park are the residences of Chief Ministers and Ministers. Le Corbusier himself designed the landscape scheme of this park. Trees with round canopies and of evergreen foliage have been planted here, punctuated by a few groups of flowering species. It was started in 1954.

SHANTI KUNJ, Sector 16
The Shanti Kunj is situated between the Rose Garden and the Cricket Stadium in Sector 16 a stretch of the Leisure Valley. This is completely a noise free area with natural undulations and therefore aptly named Shanti Kunj. The natural stream running through this garden divides the park into 5 areas. The 5 parts of the garden depict different kinds of trees such as medicinal plants, vertical shaped trees, flowering trees, trees for shade and environmentally suitable trees.

CHILDREN’S’ TRAFFIC PARK, Sector 23
Concrete paths wander over the gently rolling slopes of this park; they are laid out to form “roads and intersections” and furnished with all sorts of road signs. This place, safe from heavy speeding vehicles is useful for children who are learning to cycle, and designed to teach them the rules of road safety.

This area of the Leisure Valley in Sector 23 is famous for Amla trees. This garden was once planted with different varieties of cannas which could not be maintained because of the shortage of water. It is also known as the Canna Garden.

Forest & Trees

FORESTS
Chandigarh has 3245 hectares under forest and most of it is hilly. The forest areas are mostly around Sukhna Lake, Sukhna Choe and Patiala ki Rao. Near village Kansal on the outskirts of Chandigarh towards the hills is a reserve forest, entry to which is restricted. One has to obtain an entry pass to see it. A large area of natural forest is preserved intact and one can have a real feel of a forest. Inside this forest is located a rest house which is surrounded by beautiful grassy lawns and flower beds.

At a short distance from Kansal forest is located another reserve forest known as Nepli. Nepli is a bit wilder than Kansal. On two sides it is surrounded by small hills and the whole area is covered by thick forest which is full of wild life. There is a small rest house amidst green and flowery lawns.

A walk in these forest areas can be very rewarding as one may come across large variety of wild animals – antelopes, neelgais, hyena, jackals and hares. The Deputy Conservator of Forest Chandigarh issues permits for entry to these forests.

There are excellent places for trekking in the hills near Chandigarh. Most of these routes are in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. Some of the prominent trekking routes are :

Kalka to Kasauli( 15km)
Jabali to Kasauli (6 km)
Morni to Tikar Tal (7km)
Morni to Ghagar River (4km)
Kasauli to Sabathu (13km)


TREES

Nature has endowed Chandigarh with beautiful surroundings : Shivalik Hills as backdrop, seasonal rivulets of Sukhna Choe and Patiala kiRao on the sides and a fertile soil. The city planners from the very beginning were conscious of the fact that the City needed to be provided with a green cover on its periphery. It was considered essential to sterilize a 16 km belt around the boundaries of the city under the Punjab New Capital (Periphery) Control Act 1952.

A Landscape Advisory Committee was constituted in 1953 under the chairmanship of Dr. M S Randhawa, then Development Commissioner Punjab for guiding tree plantation in Chandigarh. Le Corbusier was a member of this Committee. A huge nursery was established in Sector 23 in an area of 25 acres. Various species of trees, their shapes and foliage, and the colour of flowers were studied in detail. Trees were planted in single, double and multiple rows – symmetrical and asymmetrical- depending on the location, type and orientation of the road in relation to the sun. An effort was made to retain old indigenous trees and weave them into the newly created parks. A large number of exotic plants from foreign countries were also planted in Chandigarh.

From the very beginning every attempt was made to retain the existing trees on the site intact. The mango grove near the High Court, the peepul tree on the lake promenade, the line of trees now seen in sector 22 on the old Ropar road are some instances of this heritage. In course of time, planned landscaping took over and with what effect!

There is green foliage all around Chandigarh, offset by a dash of amaltas and gulmohar. A pattern becomes evident to the more discerning. All roads running north-south are planted with canopy – forming trees, possibly to minimise the low rays of the sun. Walking and driving on the avenues has become much easier therefore. Roads running east-west have these ‘vista’ forming trees like the Kachnar and the Kusum. The road dividers have flowering bougainvillea, while the roundabouts are beautifully landscaped with evergreen shrubs and sculptures. The silver oaks on the road leading to the cultural complex, and the eucalyptus clusters in front of Tagore Theatre are distinctive. Within the Sectors, the shopping streets (V4s) have flowering trees of the same species.

Some of the important native trees retained are – Peepul, Mango, Kadamba, Champaka, Parijata, Vakula, Jamun, Kikkar and Neem. The prominent flowering trees are – Amaltas, Semul, Kachnar, Gulmohar, Pink Cassias and Lagerstroemia and Teckomaagentia.

Chandigarh is the only city in India where there are two legislations for the protection and preservation of trees. The Tree Preservation Order was issued in 1952 under which no tree can be felled without the permission of the Finance Secretary. Indian Forest Act 1989 protects the reserved forests. During the initial years there was emphasis on planting ornamental trees but later more and more native trees were also planted. At present the ratio between the ornamental and native trees is 60:40.

MANGO BELT
The Mango Belt is located along the Purv Marg of the city, separating the Industrial Area from the residential areas. It runs north east to south west, starting from the Transport Area roundabout to Sector 47, covering about 4 Kms. On both sides of the road 12 rows of mango of different varieties of dusheri, langra and chausa have been planted. This belt constitutes a complete tree buffer to protect the residential areas from the pollutants emanating from the factories and also from the heavy traffic moving along the Purv Marg. About 5000 mango trees are planted here.

Educational Institutes

PANJAB UNIVERSITY
The Panjab University (previously named University of the Punjab) was founded in 1882 at Lahore as the fourth teaching and affiliating University on the Indian Subcontinent under British rule. After partition and initial dislocation, the University shifted to Chandigarh in 1956. Its red sand stone campus, designed by renowned French architects, came up within a few years. After the bifurcation of Punjab and Haryana in 1966, the University became an Inter State Body Corporate substantially supported by the Central Government, and drawing students from the northern region and beyond. Students from the developing countries too come to the Panjab University for education and research. During the previous year (1997) over 18,000 students were enrolled in the University Teaching Departments (over 13,000 in its Department of Correspondence Studies), and over 69,000 students were enrolled in the 104 affiliated colleges.

To the postgraduate and undergraduate students in its Teaching Departments at Chandigarh (the latter only in Honours School in Science), the University offers a beautifully laid out compact campus with modern amenities in a pollution-free environment. With its most modern laboratories and equipment, and on of the largest libraries in Asia, the Panjab University offers tremendous opportunities to its students who interact with students from all over India and abroad. They learn from a Faculty of national and international repute. They get exposure to a variety of academic, cultural and youth leadership programs. After passing out many get absorbed in various professions and corporate sector in the country and also go for work and higher study outside India.

POST GRADUATE INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL EDUCATION & RESEARCH
It is one of the most modern & prestigious institutions in India.

GOVERNMENT MEDICAL COLLEGE
The Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 serves to augment the existing health care infrastructure in Chandigarh. Spread over 36 acres its buildings are at different stages of completion.

CHANDIGARH COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE
Chandigarh – The largest and the most daring experiment in modern urbanism has become the Mecca for architects from all over the world. Chandigarh’s pre-eminence as an ‘International City‘ rests largely on the world renowned architect that Le Corbuiser; who developed its master plan in 1951, based on his urban planning theories and the masterly architectural works.

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. His conviction was that the creation of built environment, however brilliant and consequential, cannot be fully grasped- much less perpetuated – if the principles regulating its concept are not properly understood through study of various components of the city in use.

The CCA aims at developing its unique inherent potential and to inspire, support, sustain and continue academic programs whereby professionals – trained in the tradition of modern urbanism ushered in by the incomparable master- could extend the frontiers of Creativity in the pursuit of serving the Family of Man — efficiently, comprehensively and beautifully.

PUNJAB ENGINEERING COLLEGE
Affiliated to the Panjab University, the Punjab Engineering College was started as Maclagan Engineering College in Lahore and was shifted to Chandigarh.

GOVERNMENT COLLEGE OF ARTS
This college was founded in Lahore as the Mayo School of Art. After partition it was relocated in Chandigarh and was affiliated to Panjab University. The college provides a bachelor or fine arts degree in applied arts, graphics and print making, painting and sculpture.


POLYTECHNICS

Chandigarh has a Central Polytechnic in Sector 26, a Central Crafts Institute for Women in Sector 11, Government Polytechnic for Women in Sector 10, an Industrial Training Institute in Sector 28 and a Technical Teachers’ Training Institution in Sector 26, all of which provide ample opportunity to acquire vocational skills.

FOOD CRAFTS INSTITUTE
The Food Craft Institute in Sector 42 was established in 1973 to train personnel for the hotel, restaurant and food products industry as well as to popularise wholesome foods which would add diversity to the traditional Indian diet. It offers specific training in 5 years: Front Office, Food and Beverages Service, Cookery, Bakery, Confectionary and House Keeping. The institute also runs a Training Restaurant (Nimantran) and a pastry shop (Elevenses) which are open to the public.

INSTITUTE OF HOTEL MANAGEMENT
Dr. Ambedkar Institution of Hotel Management in Sector 42 was established in 1993. The institute offers a Diploma in Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition and provides trained personnel for restaurants, hotels, catering establishments, tourism and hospitality industry. Apart from full time professional courses, it also offers part time courses for industrial, personal and for technical skills upgradations.

DEGREE COLLEGES
There are number of degree colleges in sectors 10, 11, 26, 32, 36, 42, 45 and 46.

Sports Facilities

Chandigarh provides its residents splendid facilities for all types of sports activities. The Chandigarh Administration runs many well equipped sports complexes where facilities for number of activities are available. The Deputy Commissioner Chandigarh is the Director of Sports, Chandigarh Administration.
Director Sports : DC, Chandigarh Tel No : 2700218 (Office)

BICYCLE SAFARI
The Corporation opened a 12 Km long Bicycle Safari in March, 1999. This track passes through two villages of UT and Haryana and also some forest area. The track completely encircles Lake Sukhna and consists of 10 Km pucca (metalled) road and 2 Km of kuchha path (non-metalled). The kuchha path was made cycle able by the Corporation. This track has not been metaled for fear of encouraging illegal construction and also that the place does not lose its natural ambience. The Corporation regularly organises bicycle safari on this track.

In addition there is 5 Km long cycle track running from the roundabout near the Cricket Stadium in Sector 16 to Sukhna Lake.

CRICKET
Sector 16 boasts of a cricket stadium with seating capacity of 20,000 which has been the venue of international cricket matches. Additionally, we have the world class cricket stadium owned by the Punjab Cricket Association in SAS Nagar, part of Greater Chandigarh which is currently the venue of international cricket tournaments.

GOLF
The Chandigarh Golf Club (Sector 6) started in the Sixties has steadily developed into an 18 hole golf course. The Chandigarh Golf Open Championship is becoming an annual event and one of the most prestigious golf championships in India.

SWIMMING
Chandigarh has a large number of Swimming Pools. They are accessible to the members and guest of the respective institution. There is no indoor Swimming Pool in Chandigarh. Most of the Pools have filtration plants.