CHANDIGARH Guide
A GLIMPSE OF BEAUTY AND MODERENITY

Chandigarh is the best - planned city in India, with architecture which is world - renowned, and a quality of life, which is unparalleled. As the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana, and the Union Territ ory of Chandigarh it is a prestigious city. The face of modern India, Chandigarh, is the manifestation of a dream that Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru envisaged and Le Corbusier executed. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is derived fr om an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir , devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi , near the city. Serenity and a city are two diametrically opposite concepts, which however, get belied in the 'City Beautiful'. Chandigarh is a rare epitome of modernization co - existing with nature's preservation. It is here that the trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings and the roads. India’s first planned city, is a rich, prosperous, spic and span, green city rightly called "THE CITY BEAUTIFUL"

HISTORY

After the Partition of India in 1947, the former British province of Punjab was also sp lit between east Punjab in India and west Punjab in Pakistan. The Indian 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 unfeasible 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 strateg ic 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, p rogressive outlook, Chandigarh was 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 Polish - born architect Matthew Nowicki

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Chandigarh is located near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in northwest India. It covers an area of appr oximately 44.5 sq mi or 114 km² and shares its borders with the states of Haryana and Punjab Chandigarh has a humid subtropical climate characterized by a seasonal rhythm: very hot summers, mild winters, unreliable rainfall and great variation in temperature (−1 °C to 41.2 °C). The average annua l rainfall is 1110.7 mm . The city also receives occasional winter rains from the Western Disturbance orig inating over the Mediterranean Sea . Cold winds usually tend to come from the north near Shimla , capital of Himanchal Pradesh and from the state of Jammu and Kashmir , both of which receive their share of snowfall during wintertime.

CHANDIGARH ADMINISTRATION

Chandigarh a dministration is under the control of the administrator who is appointed under the provisions of Article 239 of the Constitution of India . The administrative control of Chandigarh is under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Adviser to the Administrator, a v ery senior officer equivalent to the Chief Secretary of a state, belonging to the Indian Administrative Service, is second in command after the administrator. She/ he generally belongs to the AGMU{viz., the three States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram & Goa, and Union Territories viz., A&N Islands; Chandigarh; Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli; Delhi; Lakshadweep and Pondicherry .} cadre of the Indian Administrative Service.

  • The Deputy Commissioner , an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service , is the in - charge of the general adminis tration in the Chandigarh UT.
  • The Senior Superintendent of Police , an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service , is responsible for maintaining law and order and related issues in the Chandigarh UT.
  • The Deputy Conservator of Forests , an officer belonging to the Indian Forest Service , is responsible for the management of the forests and wildlife in the Chandigarh UT.
  • Member Secretary, Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee is responsible for pollution control in UT of Chandigarh

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

ECONOMY

The RBI ranked Chandigarh as the twelfth largest deposit centre and tenth largest credit centre nationwide as of June 2012.

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”. Ordnance Cable Factory of the Ordnance Factories Board has been setup by the Government of India . There are about 15 medium to large industries including two in the Public sector. In addition Chandigarh has over 2500 units registered under small - scale sect or. 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 appliance s. Yet, with a per capita income of 99,262, Chandigarh is the richest city in India . Chandigarh's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $2.2 billion in current price s

THE ROCK GARDEN

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 retu rn again. The creator of the rock garden, Nek Chand was a Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Capital Project. He roamed the Shivalik foothills and picked up stones resembling bird, animal, human and abstract forms. He brought th em 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 form 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

Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world acclaimed Rock Garden. It Consist of art object, fashioned from i ndustrial and urban waste. It is situated between the capital complex and Sukhna lake in Sector1.It nestles amidst 20acres 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 visitor to Chandigarh. An unpretentious entrance leads to a magnificent, almost, surrealist arrangement of rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, broken and cast away glass bangles, building waste, coal and clay - all juxtaposed to create a dream folk world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The open air sculptures and concealed gateways separating them are at places enha nced by a waterfall, pools and an open air theatre with proper stage setting. Several prestigious performances have been staged in this small but very artistic and naturalistic open air theatre

ROSE GARDEN

Zakir Hussain Rose Garden Asia's largest Rose Garden and is spreaded over 30 acres of land having over 1600 different species or roses. These have been planted beautifully carved out lawns and flowers beds. Like the cultural zone which is just across the road in sector 10,this was also planned by Dr. M.S. Randhawa as his interest in horticulture and fondness for flowers was profuse. Every year, either at the end of February or beginning of March, a big festival known as Rose Festival, is celebrated at this garden. Over 20,000 people visit this festiva l. It’s one of the great celebrations in the city. There are lots of competitions, cultural celebrations and many other events.

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 ca n 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 more wild 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 a cross large variety of wild animals - antelopes, neelgais, hyena, jackals and hares. The Deputy Conservator of Forest Chandigarh issues permits for entry to these forests

SECTOR 17 PLAZA

One of the most important places to visit is Sector 17, Chandigarh's sleek shopping area and the city centre. Planned around four pedestrian concourses meeting at a central chowk (intersection), the Sector 17 of Chandigarh is a pedestrian's paradise dotted with fountains, sculptures, and groves of trees. In summers the tour ists move from one end of the sector to the other, under the shade of a corridor, and in winter it is nice to be out in the sun - drenched piazzas. In the evenings, when the colorful mosaic of neon signs and the aesthetically illuminated fountains come alive , Sector 17 becomes the Chandigarh city's biggest outdoor club.

GOVERNMENT MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY (WWW.CHDMUSEUM.GOV.IN)

The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 of Chandigarh has a fine collec tion of stone sculptures of the Gandhara period. The museum is the place to see the prehistoric fossils and artifacts along with modern art and miniature paintings. The Government Museum and Art Gallery of Chandigarh is open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. an d is closed on Monda y

MUSEUM OF EVOLUTION OF LIFE

The Museum of Evolution of Life in Sector 10 of Chandigarh takes tourists on a trip 5,000 years back from the Indus Valley Civilization to the present day. Chandigarh city's Museum of Evolution of Life is o pen from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and is closed on Mondays.

INTERNATIONAL DOLLS MUSEUM

T he International Dolls Museum in Sector 23 of Chandigarh has an interesting collection of dolls and puppets from all over the world covering the variant art of more than 25 countries. Chandigarh city's International Dolls museum is closed on Sundays.

THE HIDDEN VALLEY

The Hidden Valley is an Ecotourism camping adventure site in the Shivalik Foothills. It is located near the famous Mata Jainti Devi Temple in Village Jainti Majri, Punjab. Besides being in the pristine nature, it offers Ecotours, Tents, Trekking, Various Jungle safaris like – Camel safari, Horse Safari, Mountain Biking, Bird Watching, Group Games in Nature, Slides & Swings, Cart Rides, Glance of Village life Activities and many more. A great experience of raw nature & countryside life and a good break from the routine city life!!

CHANDIGARH - CAPITOL COMPLEX

The Capitol Complex is Le Corbusier’s most spectacular work. The magnificent edifices, set against the Shivalik peaks, stand “as massive concrete sculptures, representing the monumental character authority that the complex rep resents. It is the seat of the government of the States of Punjab and Haryana. It comprises three epoch - making master - pieces: the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly. Separated by large piazzas, the subtle and most evocative grouping o f these buildings is of breath - taking beauty. And in the centre stands the giant metallic sculpture of The Open Hand, the official emblem of Chandigarh, signifying the city’s credo of ‘open to give’ open to receive’.

THE HIGH COURT

Th e law - interpreting monument was 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. The magnificent outward sweep of the upper roof is symbolic of protectio n and justice to the people. The three vertical piers, rising 60 feet from the floor and painted in bright colours form the grand entrance to the building. A gigantic egg - crate screen covers the building façade. On the rear walls of the court rooms, hand t he giant woolen tapestries designed by Le Corbusier.

THE SECRETARIAT

The law - executing monument is the largest and tallest of the three edifices in the Capitol Complex. Built during 1953 - 59, it is shaped like an eight - storeyed concrete slab, with its dis tinctive brise - soleil - louvered screen of deeply sculptured two - storey porticos in the centre, housing the offices of ministers. The cafeteria rests stop the terrace is like an art object, giving a spectacular view of the city.

THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

The profile of this law - forming monument epitomizes stately grandeur. Square in plan, with a monumental portico standing free from the main building, it faces the High Court. The shape of the cupola is an obliquely truncated hyperbolic parabolic, extending we ll 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.

THE OPEN HAND MONUMENT

One of the most significant monuments plan ned by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh is the Open Hand. The monument is a place to visit in Chandigarh. Rising 85 feet high from a sunken trench, a giant hand in metal sheets is designed to rotate "like a weather cock, not to show the incertitude of ideas, but to indicate symbolically the direction of wind (that is the state of affairs)." It is also meant to convey a message of peace "open to receive." Amongst the other monumental places to visit in Chandigarh are the Tower of Shadows, Geometric Hill, and Marty r's Memorial.

HELPLINE
(ISD Code 91 - 172, STD Code 0172)

EMERGENCY & HOSPITALS 102

General Hospital, (Ambulance)

102, 2782457

General Hospital Emergency

2768201, 2768202 Ext - 208

General Hospital PBX

2780186, 2549523 - 29,

General Hospital - Blood Bank

2768244

PG I PBX

2747585 - 602, 2747609 - 624

PGI Reception

2746018,2756565

PGI Web Site

pgimer.nic.in

Eye Bank

2744589, 2756368, 1919, 98140 - 14464

Blood Bank

2756480 Ext - 265, 321

Government Medical College Hospital (Emergency)

2665253 - 60, 2665545 - 49 Ext - 1200

Government Medical College Hospital (PBX - Enquiry)

2665253 - 58, 2665545 - 50 Ext - 4000

Government Medical College - Web Site

gmch.gov.in

AIDS Enquiry

1097

Fune ral Van

2780827

Cremation Ground

2703903

FIRE BRIGADES 101

Sector 17

101, 2702333, 2703507

Sector 11

2747820

Sector 32

2648610

Sector 38

2690523

Industrial Area

2655816

Manimajra

2734656

Panchkula

2560926

Mohali

2225902

POLICE 100

www.chandigarhpolicenic.net

Sector 3

2740254

Sector 17

100, 2773951

Sector 11

2747066

Sector 19

2775173

Sector 26

2790594

Sector 31

2662698

Sector 34

2662697

Sector 36

2662995

ManiMajra

2734082

Industrial Area

2657344

Sector 5 Panchkula

6532957

Sector 10 Panchkula

6532962

Sector 16 Panchkula

6630065

Sector 20 Panchkula

6532958

Helpage India’s Elder Helpline

18001801253

Phase 1, Mohali

5099230

Phase 4, Mohali SP office

2234655

CHANDIGARH ADMINSTRATION

Administrator, Punjab Raj Bhawan

2740608 - 610

Advisor to Administrator UT Secretariat, Sector 9

2740164, 2748007, 2740154

Secretary Tourism & Home UT Secretariat, Sector 9

2740008, 2740216

Chairman, CITCO Managing Director CI TCO, SCO 121 - 122, Sector 17 - B

2704455, 4644440

Director Tourism & Hospitality UT Secretariat, Sec 9

2740056

TELECOM ENQUIRY

Directory Service

197, 1961

Fault Repair

198,2602198

Local Assistance

199

Morning Alarm

173, 174

Change Number Enquiry

1951 , 1952

POST & TELEGRAPHS

Central Telegraph Office, Sector 17

2702815, 2702844

General Post Office Sector 17

2702170

Central Telex Service Sector 17

2432400

PASSPORT

Regional Passport Office, Sector 34A

2606889

Foreigner's Regional Registration Off ice, Sector 9

2741100

AIRLINES ENQUIRY

Flight Enquiry, Airport

2656029, 2705062, 2704034

Jet Airways

2658934

Indian Airlines, Reservation Office, Sector 17 - C

2624941 - 943, 2624942 (Fax)

Indian Airlines, Cargo Office, Sector 17 - C

2624941 - 943, 2624942 (Fax)

RAILWAY ENQUIRY - 131, 132

Superintendent

2658924,

Train Status

131, 139, 1333, 2653131, 2654775, 2658713 - 714 - 715

Ticket Booking - ISBT

2708573, 2720242

Train Booking - Railway Station

2641651

ROADWAYS ENQUIRY

Chandigarh Transport Undertaki ng

2700006

Punjab Roadways

2704023

PRTC Enquiry

2624543

Haryana Roadways

2704014

Himachal Roadways

2722625

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES

Railway Station

2658093

Airport

2657784

TRAVEL INFORMATION CENTRES

Tourist Reception Centre, ISBT, Sector 17

2 740420 , 2703839

Tourist Reception Centre, Chandigarh Railway Station

2658093

Tourist Reception Centre, Chandigarh Airport

2656027

CITCO Office SCO - 121 - 122/17B Chandigarh.

2704356, 2704761, 4644430 - 34

Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, (PTDC) SCO 183 - 184, Sector 8 - C, Chandigarh

2699140

Haryana Tourism Corporation (HTC) SCO 17 - 18, Sector 17 - A, Chandigarh

2702955 - 57

Himachal Pradesh Tourist Information Centre ISBT, Sector 17, Chandigarh

2708569, 2707267

Uttar Pradesh & Uttranchal Tourist Reception Centre ISBT, Sector 17, Chandigarh

2707649, 2713988, 9815173916 (PRO)

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