|Established||01 November 1966|
|High Court||Punjab and Haryana High Court|
|National Parks||Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Languages||Hindi, Punjabi, English|
|State Animal||Indian grey mongoose|
|State Bird||Indian grey hornbill|
|State Tree||Blue Jacaranda|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||86.05%|
|Females per 1000 males||818|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||1|
Chandigarh is a city and a union territory in India serving as the capital city of both the neighboring states of Haryana and Punjab. Though Chandigarh does not belong to either of the two States but it is directly administered by the Union Government because it is the Union Government which governs all the Union Territories of India. This city is most planned cities ever found in India and is internationally renowned for its architecture and urban design and planning. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier which changed from earlier plans prepared by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. Most of the government buildings and houses in the city were designed by the Chandigarh Capital Project Team which is headed by Le Corbusier, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry. Chandigarh was formed in 1966 as a Union Territory.
The past history of Chandigarh dates back since pre-historic times because evidences have been found from a lake in Chandigarh. The area of lake had the fossil remains with imprints of immense range of aquatic plants, animals and amphibians which belong to that era and lived in the environment of pre-historic times. Since Chandigarh belonged to Punjab region it had many rivers where oldest and ancient civilizations have flourished especially the Harappan civilization which flourished here about 8000 years ago. Chandigarh was the dream project of India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru because after independence Punjab had to replace Lahore with a new capital for Indian part of Punjab since Lahore came under Pakistan border during partition of India. Therefore, in 1949 the Indian Government formed “Chandigarh” with the help of an American architect and planner- Albert Mayer. In 1966, the newly formed state of Haryana which was carved out from the eastern part of East Punjab to form a new State for the Haryanvi speaking population of that part while the western part of Eastern Punjab was the Punjabi speaking dominant and it was renamed as Punjab. Since Chandigarh is located on the border of both the States so it was declared as the Union Territory to serve as the Capital city of both Punjab and Haryana.
Situated near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in North-West India, Chandigarh covers an area of 114 Km2 and shares its border with Punjab and Haryana. The city of Chandigarh lies on the Northern plains occupying a big fertile flat land with abundant crop production. Moreover this fertile alluvial soil of Chandigarh consists of boulders, gravel, clay, slit, sand, pebbles and bricks. It extends towards the parts of Bhabar in the North-East and Terai in rest of the area. Chandigarh is surrounded by Mohali, Patiala, Zirakpur and Roopnagar in Punjab with Panchkula and Ambala in Haryana. The capital city of Punjab and Haryana has a sub-tropical climate and is distinguished with hot summers, rainfall and breezy winters with even frost in winters. The entire city is drained by the seasonal Sukhna Lake and Patiali Rao. Chandigarh has a rich diversity of flora and fauna in Chandigarh’s natural habitats. You will see varieties of trees, herbs, shrubs, mammals, reptiles in Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. Moreover, the Sukhna Lake of Chandigarh is the host to a large number of migratory birds coming from Japan and Siberia.
According to the Census of India 2011, there is a population of 1,055,450 residing in Chandigarh which consists of 55% male population and 45% female population. The sex ratio of Chandigarh is the third lowest in the country which is 818 females per 1000 males and the child sex ratio is 880 females per 1000 males. Chandigarh has an average literacy rate of 86.77 with male literacy of 90.81% and female literacy of 81.88%. Approximately 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Chandigarh has bagged the reputation of being the wealthiest city of India due to the fact that the Reserve Bank of India ranked Chandigarh as the third largest deposit centre and seventh largest credit centre nationwide as of June 2012. It is the richest city in India with per capita income of Rs. 99,262. Moreover, the Gross Domestic Product has been estimated to be about 0.29 lakh crore for the year 2014-2015. Chandigarh also surpasses the top cities for example, Beijing for being the rising destination to offer outsourcing and Information Technology services. Most of the Indian and Multi-National firms like Quark, Infosys, EVRY, Dell, IBM, Tech Mahindra, Airtel, Amadeus IT Group, DLF, etc have set up their base here in Chandigarh and its suburbs. However the government is the major employer in Chandigarh with three governments working here: Chandigarh Administration, Punjab government and Haryana government. Moreover, government has set up various industries including paper manufacturing, basic metals and alloys and machinery. Other industries are relating to food products, sanitary ware, auto parts, machine tools, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances. The main occupation here is trade and business and for this purpose four main trade promotion organizations – The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry, ASSOCHAM India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, (FICCI) the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has set up their offices in Chandigarh.
Chandigarh has remarkable tourist attractions but most of them are man-made. Some of the worth visiting places are the seasonal Sukhna Lake which is situated new the Shivalik foothills. This is a 3-Km rain-fed lake which was created in 1958 by damming the seasonal stream- Sukhna Choe. Another interesting place is the Nek Chand Rock Garden where several sculptures are kept which were prepared by using various broken waste materials like frames, cutlery, mudguards, handle bars, metal wires, playing marbles, porcelains, auto parts, broken bangles, etc. This garden was founded by noted Environmentalist – Nek Chand. Another notable destination is the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden which contains about 825 species of roses and 32,500 varieties of medicinal plants and trees. Chandigarh also has wildlife destinations like the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary and the Parrot Bird Sanctuary. Other destinations worth visiting are the Leisure Valley, Government Museum and Art Gallery, International Doll Museum and various beautiful gardens. Chandigarh has close proximity to attractive weekend destinations like Shimla, Morni Hills, Pinjore Gardens, Nada Sahib, Kasauli, Barog, Solan, etc.
The beautiful city of Chandigarh has active participation in sports also. Earlier the Sector 16 Stadium of this city has been the host to many international cricket matches and still it provides platform to budding cricketers. The Chandigarh golf club is the finest golf club in this place. Moreover it also has sports complexes dedicated to sports like swimming, tennis, hockey, football, skating rink, wrestling, basketball, Athletics and many more on the list. Chandigarh also has noted sports personalities like Kapil Dev (Former International Cricketer), Milkha Singh (Commonwealth Gold Medalist), Jeev Milkha Singh (Golfer) and Abhinav Bindra (Olympic Gold Medalist).
Chandigarh has a fine network of transport which connects with the rest part of India via road, rail and air. Chandigarh has the largest number of vehicles plying on its roads. Moreover, the roads of this city are in good condition and have ample quantity of parking places all over the city. It also has a sound local transport in forms of buses, autos and cabs. Moreover, there are frequent bus services between Chandigarh and its neighboring State of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Chandigarh also has an excellent network of highway connectivity via NH 5, NH 7, NH 152 and NH 44 which connects various nearest cities. The Chandigarh Airport provides daily flights to important cities of India and also there are international flights connecting Sharjah and Dubai. This city’s sole railway station- Chandigarh Junction comes under the Northern railway zone and provides connectivity to all the regions of India including main cities of every region. Moreover, there is an upcoming project of the Chandigarh Metro Rail which will soon be commenced.
Chandigarh has a rich cultural diversity of people belonging to Punjabi, Haryanvi, Sikh,Muslim and Hindu origin. The city is known for its colorful festivals like Baisakhi, Guruparb, Lohri, Tika, Raksha Bandhan, etc. Folk dances and music are the integral part of this city’s culture which is also followed by aromatic food, religious practice and rituals.
Chandigarh has 104 Government Schools and Convent Schools like St. Stephen’s School, St. John’s High School, St. Anne’s Convent School, Sacred Heart School, St. Kabir Public School and Carmel Convent School which provides good education. Moreover, Chandigarh is the hub of India’s most prestigious educational institutes like Chandigarh University, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Punjab Engineering College, DAV College, etc.
Hospitals & Health Care
Chandigarh has some of the best hospitals namely Government Medical College & Hospital, Chaitanya Hospital, INSCOL Hospital, IVY Hospital, Silver Oak Hospital, CMC (Cheema Medical Complex) Hospital and many more which provides the best medical aid to the people of this beautiful city.