Chandigarh is one of the prominent cities in North India. Chandigarh is a union territory and also serves as the capital of two states Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh has the distinction of being the first planned city of India and is also known to be one of India's cleanest and most beautiful cities. The city also ranks high in the Human Development Index.
Chandigarh is a green city with dense cover of various plantations like Asoka, Banyan, Eucalyptus etc. and forests surrounding the city sustain numerous animal and plant species.
The erstwhile Punjab province was split between India and Pakistan during the partition of British India. With Lahore becoming part of Pakistan the Indian state of Punjab needed a new capital. It was then that a decision was undertaken to construct a new planned city. The city was designed by famous French architect Le Corbusier after the initial plan was developed by Albert Mayer. The city of Chandigarh was established in 1953.
Later on when the state of Haryana was formed by splitting Punjab, Chandigarh became the capital for both the states as the city was on the border.
Chandigarh is very well connected with other cities by air and rail. Chandigarh International Airport is 11 km away from the city and has regular flights to and from most Indian cities. The railway station is at a distance of 7km from the city center and is very well connected to other major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai etc. By road, Chandigarh is connected to most important places in northern India. Two major national highways 21 and 22 run through Chandigarh.
Rock Garden is a famous sculpture garden in the city of Chandigarh situated near Sukhna Lake. The garden is entirely built of industrial and home waste and covers an area of 40 acres. Another beautiful attraction of the garden is its man-made interlinked waterfalls. The garden was built secretly by its founder Nek Chand in a forest near Sukhna Lake. He was able to keep the garden a secret from the public and government for 18 years before the authorities found out and was almost demolished (as it was considered illegal). However, bowing to public opinion the park was inaugurated as a public space in 1976.
Zakir Hussain Rose Garden
A botanical garden located in Chandigarh and named after former president of India, Zakir Hussain. It is spread over an area of 30 acres. Contrary to the name, the garden has many trees other than rose, especially trees of medicinal value. The garden is also a place for hosting Festival of Gardens, an annual cultural event celebrated during the month of March.
Sukhna Lake is an artificial rainfed lake in Chandigarh created by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream. The Choe was diverted later on to check the heavy siltation caused by the seasonal flow. Sukhna Lake is an integral part of the city and favorite spot for serious walkers and evening strollers alike. Sukhna Lake has water sports facilities like water surfing and also has the longest channel for rowing and yachting events in Asia.
Sukhna Lake has been declared a protected national wetland and is a sanctuary for many migratory birds. It also acts as the venue of various popular festivals like the Mango Festival.
Among the most popular tourist attractions in Chandigarh, the Leisure valley is a chain of gardens adding a special flair to the beauty of the city. It starts from Rajendra Park in Sector 1 and stretches till the Bougainvillea garden in Sector 3.
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