Thursday, 21 March 2013

Chandigarh: The Milton Keynes of India

One of Chandigarh's many manicured roundabouts

After posting just twice this year I now find myself posting twice in a week! I'm becoming positively prolific!

Anyway, this post is about Chandigarh, a city five hours' drive from Mussoorie to the west. We went there last weekend to watch the cricket at the Punjab Cricket Association Ground at Mohali, just outside Chandigarh.

What's extraordinary about Chandigarh compared to every other city in India is that it's a planned city. As you cross the city you drive through different "sectors" over grassy, manicured roundabouts, with blocks of houses and flats and shops which make you feel like you're back in a planned city such as Milton Keynes or Welwyn Garden City in England.

A tree-lined street
It really is the most strange feeling, as it feels quite ordered, and almost makes you feel like you are not in India (however the bad driving and camels on the road soon remind you that you are!).

The city was built in the 1950s and designed by French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, and was a pet project of the first Indian Prime Minister Nehru. It was built after partition in 1947 when a new capital for the state of Punjab was required to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan. It is now a union territory and serves as the capital of both the states of Haryana and the Punjab.

It's definitely worth a visit just because it's so different. I'm going back to visit its famous rock garden which sadly I did not have time to see this time.

Don't get the hump! A camel on the road in Chandigarh.

A row of houses in Sector 27, or is it Sector 37?!
Meeting MS Dhoni's biggest fan at the cricket in Mohali

1 comment:

bradby said...

For your kind information, sir, New Delhi is also 'planned city'.