Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Chandigarh - India's most modern city

A dark face in the crowd in Chandigarh's Rock Garden

The last stop on our Easter/Holi trip was India's most modern and planned city made from concrete in the 50s under direction of the legendary architect Le Corbusier. It is a city like no other in India: It is unusually spacious, clean, green and in every way convenient, and even hosts the special honour of being the only city which is capital of two different Indian states simultaneously (Punjab and Haryana) It is, however, far from charming. The rectangular concrete and brick blocks of the city are uninspiring to say the least and everything about the city - apart from the fancy stores and bars - seems to suggest that you are in a newly built Russian city during the days of the USSR rather than in India.

A typical Chandigarh commercial block. The whole city looks pretty much like this.

Orderly street with lots of space for every car.

The good part about Chanidgarh is the many green areas such as the pleasant and well groomed - although not hugely inspiring - rose gardens.

Local boy in the Rose Garden

Chandigarh does not see many foreign tourists as it is not heavy on traditional tourists sights. However, it is home to one iconic attraction, which is allegedly the second most visited attraction in India, beaten only by the Taj Mahal! I am talking here about the surreal Rock Garden. Made mostly from scraps and leftovers from building sites and factories, it succeeds in bringing the visitor into a world very different from the one outside the entrance gate. Nitoli didn't like it much, but I thought it was a really nice place, with an almost magical atmosphere.

Making our way through the many labyrinthine passages in the Rock garden.

Fairytale-like landscape in the Rock Garden. The illusion of entering a different world would be stronger if we didn't have to share the place with 20 visiting classes.

A large number of red and blue dragonflies add to the otherworldly atmosphere

Nitoli and I in a cheesy pose on a rock bridge

A section of the Rock Garden is dedicated to human and animal figures, also made from scraps

Humans, perhaps smoking big pipes or playing some instruments.

A little outside Chandigahr on the road to Shimla is the old Mughal "Pinjore Gardens". It's worth a stop on the way.

Nice sunset in Pinjore

1 comment:

oreneta said...

Esben! I have a favour to ask, and I got to look at all your lovely photos again as I scrolled down to the comments.

Eldest has a homework assignment, she has to come up with short weather poems like

April showers
Bring May flowers.

Except she has to come up with them in as many languages as she can, other than Catalan, or English...if by any chance you know any in Danish, or any other languages, we would really appreciate it if you could send them over, or post them in my comments, we need a translation into English as well...

Thanks in advance...

Cheers,
O