Chandigarh is the only city in India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, simultaneously. It is one of the union territories of India and derives its name from Chandir Mandir, a temple of Goddess Chandi, located in the nearby Panchkula district (Haryana). The word Chandigarh literally means the fort of Chandi. Chandigarh is the first well-planned city in India, which is well known across the globe for its splendid architecture and urban planning. It owes its design to great architects like Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki and Albert Mayer.
Chandigarh has a prehistoric past. In the ancient past, the gently
sloping plain on which the modern Chandigarh exists comprised of a wide
lake, ringed by a marsh. About 8000 years ago, the area was known to be
the home to Harappans. With the partition of India and Pakistan, in
1947, the state of Punjab was also divided. There was the need to locate
the capital for the state, as Lahore, its initial capital, was now with
Pakistan. At first, certain additions to an existing place were
considered. However, since the turned out infeasible, a plan for a new
city was devised.
Government decided to use an area of 114.59 sq km at the Shivalik
hills, in Ropar district, to create the capital of Punjab. Subsequently,
Chandigarh came into existence, which has an excellent designing behind
it. With time, the city became important, mainly owing to its strategic
location and personal interest of the then prime minister, Pt.
Jawaharlal Nehru. To quote Nehru, Chandigarh is the land, which is unfettered
by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nations faith in
the future. In the course of time, Chandigarh was given the status
of the capital of Haryana as well.
Chandigarh is located in the foothills of the Shivalik range in the
north, which form a part of the fragile Himalayan ecosystem. It is
surrounded by the districts of Mohali, Patiala and Ropar in Punjab and
Panchkula and Ambala in Haryana. It has Kandi (Bhabhar) in the north
east and Sirowal (Tarai) and alluvial plains in the remaining part. The
subsurface formation consists of beds of boulders, pebbles, gravel,
sand, silt, clays and some kankar. The area is drained by two seasonal
rivulets viz. Sukhna Choe in the east and Patiala-Ki-Rao Choe in the
west. There are two streams passing through the central part of the
city, N-Choe and Choe Nala, which initiates at Sector 29.
Chandigarh is a rich city of India, not only in the commercial aspect,
but from travel and tourism point of view as well. There are many
tourist spots in the place, like Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, The Capitol
Complex, International Dolls Museum, Government Museum & Art Gallery
and Chandi Mandir, which make it a must-visit place for tourists coming
to India. On 15th July 2007, Chandigarh became the first Indian city to
be smoke-free. Also, the state retains its grandeur by the subsequent
banning on the polythene bags, which came into effect from 2nd October,