Chandigarh - India's First Planned City
Chandigarh is one of the most thoroughly planned cities in the world. It was created when the Indian subcontinent was divided in 1947. When Lahore, the capital of the Punjab, became a part of Pakistan , a new city had to be found. Chandigarh was chosen as the new capital of East Pakistan. Designed by a famous French architect, it became a symbol of the new India, located 250 km north of New Delhi , at the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains.
Although the city was originally planned for half a million people , today's population is over a million .For Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, the city was a prestige project and a symbol of freedom for the new democracy.
Chandigarh is divided into sectors, which are connected with each other. They all have their own parks, schools , shopping areas, walkways and other facilities. The broad roads are classified by their functions and lined by different trees.
Today, the city shows a steady growth rate as many immigrants from the poorer parts of India come to the north in search of a better life.
The Capitol complex is the central tourist attraction. The concrete High Court and Open Hand sculpture shows the architecture of the time. The famous Rock Garden contains over 2000 sculptures, including destroyed stones from villages that were destroyed in order to build the new city.
Chandigarh "Open Hand" Monument - Image: Ravjot Singh
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- although = while
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- capital = major city of a country or region; where the government is
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- concrete = strong hard building material made out of sand , water and cement
- contain = include, have
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- democracy = system of government in which every person can vote to elect a representative for parliament
- destroy = damage completely
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- foothills = the smaller hills below a group of high mountains
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- sculpture = art object made out of plastic, stone, wood etc..
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- subcontinent = part of a continent
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- village = small town
- walkway = outdoor path that people can walk along