Chandigarh, the dream city of India's first Prime Minister, Sh. Jawahar Lal Nehru, is situated at a distance of 261 kms from New Delhi. This city was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. Picturesquely located at the foothills of Shivaliks, it is known as one of the best experiments in urban planning and modern architecture in the twentieth century in India.
Chandigarh derives its name from the temple of "Chandi Mandir" located in the vicinity of the site selected for the city. The deity 'Chandi', the goddess of power and a fort of 'garh' laying beyond the temple gave the city its name "Chandigarh-The City Beautiful".
The city has a pre-historic past. The gently sloping plains on which modern Chandigarh exists, was in the ancient past, a wide lake ringed by a marsh. The fossil remains found at the site indicate a large variety of aquatic and amphibian life, which was supported by that environment. About 8000 years ago the area was also known to be a home to the Harappans.
Since the medieval through modern era, the area was part of the large and prosperous Punjab Province which was divided into East & West Punjab during partition of the country in 1947. The city was conceived not only to serve as the capital of East Punjab, but also to resettle thousands of refugees who had been uprooted from West Punjab.
In March, 1948, the Government of Punjab, in consultation with the Government of India, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital. The location of the city site was a part of the erstwhile Ambala district as per the 1892-93 gazetteer of District Ambala. The foundation stone of the city was laid in 1952. Subsequently, at the time of reorganization of the state on 01.11.1966 into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pardesh, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital city of both, Punjab and Haryana while it itself was declared as a Union Territory and under the direct control of the Central Government.
History of Chandigarh
August 15, 1947, the day of independence of India was also the day of division of a nation into India and Pakistan, this was also the day of division of State of Punjab (Punj+Aab) named so for being the land of five rivers being divided into two states West Punjab gone in Pakistan with retaining Lahore as its capital and East Punjab in India became a state without a capital. Shimla which used to be the summer capital of India and had the infrastructure was selected as the temporary capital of Punjab.
The Government of Punjab selected brilliant young engineer Mr. P.L. Verma to undertake the tasks of search for a permanent Capital City for the State of Punjab.
At that time the Punjabis were very nostalgic about Lahore. Till the last moment they hoped that Lahore would remain with India. The loss was felt acutely and people were eager for a city similar to Lahore be built. So Verma and his team of engineers savoured the concept of a larger independent town, when most of the bureaucrats and politicians favoured the concept of a small settlement attached to one of the existing towns. Bureaucrats were conscious of the acute shortage of funds and the very small financial outlay for Punjab. Each politician was eager that this capital be built in the area from where he came. All politicians were trying to pull the capital towards their own constituency.
Under such circumstances Mr. Verma had to lobby intensively with the bureaucrats and the politicians. And it was essentially an account of his dedicated and relentless efforts and lobbying that this idea of a large independent town was finally accepted by Government of Punjab.
How to Reach Chandigarh:
By Air : The nearest domestic airport, which is 11 kms away.
By Rail : The nearest railway station is Chandigarh, which is 8 kms.
By Road : Chandigarh is well connected by Govt & Private bus services. It is connected to all major cities nearby.