Chandigarh Tourism and Travel Guide
Chandigarh City – History
The Story of Chandigarh Chandigarh is synonymous to a certain kind of architecture, along with planned landscaping which is, not found in other cities of India, and not amenable to being strait jacketed. Here’s the story of ‘The City Beautiful’ for you.
The Government of Punjab, initially approached American town planner Albert Mayer who along with architect Mathew Nowicki became the key planners for the new city. The master plan conceived by them had a fan-shaped outline filling the site between the two seasonal river-beds. Against the beautiful background of the Shivalik Hills was located the capital complex, at the northern edge of the city. The City Centre was sited in the middle, and two linear parklands ran from the northeast to the southwest. The Mayer wanted to create a self-sufficient city, restricted in size and surrounded by green belts. Areas for business, industry
and cultural activities were clearly demarcated. In August 1950, his co-planner Nowicki died in a plane crash and Mayer withdrew from the project.
This vision of Chandigarh, contained in the innumerable conceptual maps on the drawing board together with notes and sketches had to be translated into brick and mortar. Eminent architect and urban theorist, Le Corbusier, was then selected to carry forward this task. He chose to retain many of the seminal ideas of Mayer and Nowicki, like the basic framework of the master plan and its components; the Capital, City Centre, besides the University, Industrial area, and linear parkland. Even the neighbourhood unit was retained as conceived by the previous architects. However, the curving outline of Mayer and Nowicki were redeisgned into a mesh of rectangles, and the buildings were characterised by an ‘honesty of materials’. Exposed brick and boulder stone masonry in its rough form produced unfinished concrete surfaces, in geometrical structures. This became the architecture form characteristic of Chandigarh, set amidst landscaped gardens and parks.
When it comes to North Indian cuisine, the first thing that strikes mind is the Punjabi traditional food. There is nothing specific as far as the Chandigarh cuisine is concerned. It is mainly the Punjabi food that forms part of
cuisine of Chandigarh, India. Punjabi cuisine is popular not just among Indians, but also among the foreigners. The staple food mainly consists of wheat-based rotis, paranthas and naan.
The main feature of Punjabi food is the extensive use of butter, cream, ghee and cheese. Their meals usually consist of pulses cooked on a slow flame with the traditional Punjabi tadka. For preparing the gravy, a mixture of onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and spices are used. Usually the traditional Punjabi food is prepared in the earthen tandoors, which give the food a unique aroma. In the category of beverages, one name that truly deserves a mention is the Punjab-di-Lassi.
Popular Punjabi vegetarian dishes:
- Makki di Roti
- Sarson ka Saag
- Dal Makhni
- Punjabi Chhole
- Palak Paneer
- Stuffed Vegetable Punjabi Parantha
- Baingan da Bhurtha
- Butter Chicken
- Punjabi Lachha Paratha
- Chicken Tikkas
- Amritsari Fish
When it comes to Chandigarh culture, this city reflects a blend of different cultures within the country. It can be attributed to the fact that Chandigarh has attracted people from virtually all parts of the country. It houses several Central Govt institutions, branches of almost every national bank & research institutes. Also, there are large establishments of Air force and army. This explains the reason for Chandigarh being a land of multicultural people. Read on to know more about the culture of Chandigarh, India…
Chandigarh is a cosmopolitan city that has always encouraged the various diverse groups to intermingle with each other. Therefore, one
can find several bhavans and sabhas over here that are actively involved in the task of promoting different cultures. The blending of distinctive cultural aspects is also reflected in the architectural style of the shrines of this city. Apart from the typical north Indian style, you can also find places of worship in the styles of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Orissa & Bengal.
Also, the folk music and dances of different communities are given a boost. Various exhibitions and workshops are conducted to showcase the talent of people. As far as the language is concerned, Hindi and Punjabi are the two main languages that are spoken here. However, among the youth it is usually Hinglish (combination of Hindi and English) that is becoming increasingly popular. It is a city, where you can find yummy mouthwatering food. There are different choices of cuisines to choose from. The city has plenty of fast food joints, South Indian & Chinese restaurants.
Fairs & Festival
Mango Festival: This festival is held in June at Pinjore Gardens, 20 Kms from Chandigarh. Mango-growers from all over India are invited to enter their prized fruits in the various competitions. Visitors can see and taste all the traditional varieties of the fruit as well as the latest hybrids from the agricultural universities. Agro and food industries processing mango display their jams, pickles and canned fruits. The name mango festival is suggestive of the fact that it is a festivity of mangoes. Mango festival in Chandigarh, India is celebrated with splendid grandeur. It gives a platform to all mango growers of our country to display their varieties. Also, the agricultural universities participate and exhibit the latest hybrids of this fruit. Chandigarh mango festival takes place in the month of June & Pinjore garden usually serves as the venue. This festivity cum fair gives a fabulous opportunity to the food industries that process mango into jams, pickles and canned fruit, to showcase their products. This fair is drawing more and more crowds every year.
Baisakhi festival has a lot of significance for people of Punjab. It marks the beginning of harvest season. It also celebrates the founding of Khalsa panth. According to the solar calendar, this festivity of merriment falls on the first day of the Year, which is usually 14th April. Vaisakhi festival in Chandigarh, India is celebrated with lot of excitement and cheerfulness. Men and women dress up in the best of their clothing and visit temples and Gurudwaras to offer prayers. Special food is prepared at home. Folk dances are performed. Chandigarh Baisakhi festival celebration takes place with great pomp and show.
Teej festival in Chandigarh, India is celebrated with fun and frolic. It is a traditional festivity in which women participate enthusiastically. Teej festival falls in the first week of August. It is basically the festival of monsoon. On Chandigarh Teej festival, Rock garden serves as the festive venue, where different cultural programs take place. On this festive occasion, women adorn their hands with beautiful Mehndi designs. They buy colorful bangles and wear their special clothing. Various dance performances are held on this day. Giant wings are the main highlight of the festivity of Teej.
This three-hour programme held every Saturday in Central plazza situated in Sector 17, is a huge draw. This carnival encourages talented local artists. Chandigarh Plaza carnival is a very popular weekly show. It takes place on every Saturday evening. Plaza carnival in Chandigarh, India is hosted by a private group to encourage local artists to come forward and show their talent. Every week, there is some thing new to offer. It acts a platform to promote the talent of singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, actors and acrobats, who otherwise don’t get an opportunity to prove their worth. It is a fabulous cultural program that has been increasingly gaining response from visitors.
The Chrysanthemums Show is held at the Terraced Flower Garden in December. Competitions are held and hundreds of varieties of the flower are on display in the garden situated at Sector 33. . This fair is usually held in the month of December. In the Chandigarh Chrysanthemums flower show; you can find distinctive varieties of flowers. As a part of this show, various competitions are conducted regarding gardening, in which many city gardeners participate. Chrysanthemums Show has been drawing more and more crowds each year. This flower show has been increasingly gaining momentum.