Knowledge Corner

Chandigarh is a city and a union territory in the northern part of India that serves as the capital of the states of Punjab and Haryana. As a union territory, the city is ruled directly by the Union Government and is not part of either state.

Chandigarh Capital Region or Greater Chandigarh is an area in northern India, comprising territories of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, Indian state of Punjab(Mohali District) and state of Haryana(Panchkula district). The region consists of the cities of Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur and Kharar.

The city of Chandigarh was one of the early planned cities in the post-independence India and is known internationally for its architecture and urban design. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, transformed from earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. Most of the government buildings and housing in the city, were designed by the Chandigarh Capital Project Team headed by Le Corbusier [real name – Pierre Jeanneret], Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry. In 2015, an article published by BBC named Chandigarh as one of the perfect cities of the world in terms of architecture, cultural growth and modernisation. Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex was in July 2016 declared by UNESCO as World Heritage at the 40th session of World Heritage Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey. UNESCO inscription was under “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement”. The Capitol Complex buildings include the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Punjab and Haryana Secretariat and Punjab and Haryana Assembly along with monuments Open hand, Martyrs Memorial, Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadow.

The city experiences extreme climate and uneven distribution of rainfall. The roads in Chandigarh are surrounded by trees and it has the third highest forest cover in India at 8.51% followingLakshadweep and Goa.

The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories by per capita income followed by Haryana and Delhi respectively in the country. The city was reported to be the cleanest in India in 2010, based on a national government study. In 2016, Chandigarh was declared as the second cleanest city of India under Swachh Bharat Survekshan. The union territory also heads the list of Indian states and territories according to Human Development Index. In 2015, a survey by LG Electronics, ranked Chandigarh as the happiest city in India over the happiness index. The metropolitan of Chandigarh-Mohali-Panchkula collectively forms a Tri-city, with a combined population of over 2 million. This is the first smoke-free city in India.

Chandigarh has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission. However, it was not selected in the list of first 20 smart cities of India.

The name Chandigarh is a portmanteau of Chandi and Garh. Chandi refers to Hindu Goddess Chandi, the warrior Avatar of Goddess Parvati, and Garh means fort. The name is derived fromChandi Mandir, an ancient temple devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi, near the city in Panchkula District.

History

The city has a pre-historic past. Due to the presence of lake, the area has fossil remains with imprints of a large variety of aquatic plants and animals, and amphibian life, which were supported by that environment. As it was a part of the Punjab region, it had many rivers nearby where the ancient and primitive settling of humans began. So, about 8000 years ago, the area was also known to be a home to the Harappans.

Chandigarh was the dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. After the partition of India in 1947, the former British province of Punjab was also split between (mostly Hindu) east Punjab in India and (mostly Muslim) west Punjab in Pakistan. The Indian Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. So, the government carved out Chandigarh of nearly 50 Pwadhi speaking villages of the then state of East Punjab, India.
Chandigarh hosts the largest of Le Corbusier’s many Open Hand sculptures, standing 26 metres high. The Open Hand (La Main Ouverte) is a recurring motif in Le Corbusier’s architecture, a sign for him of “peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive.” It represents what Le Corbusier called the ‘Second Machine Age’. Two of the six monuments planned in the Capitol Complex which has the High Court, the Assembly and the Secretariat, remain incomplete. These include Geometric Hill and Martyrs Memorial; drawings were made, and they were begun in 1956, but they were never completed.
On 1 November 1966, the newly formed state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of Punjab, in order to create a new state for the majority Haryanvi-speaking people in that portion, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi-speaking majority and remained as the current state of Punjab. Chandigarh was located on the border of both states and the states moved to incorporate the city into their respective territories. However, the city of Chandigarh was made into a union territory to serve as capital of both states.
As of 2016, many historical villages in Chandigarh are still inhibited within the modern blocks of sectors including Burail and Attawa, while there are a number of non-sectoral villages that lie on the outskirts of the city. These villages were a part of the pre-Chandigarh era.

Geography

Chandigarh is located near the foothills of the Sivalik range of the Himalayas in northwest India. It covers an area of approximately 114 km2. It shares its borders with the states of Haryana and Punjab. The exact cartographic co-ordinates of Chandigarh are 30.74°N 76.79°E. It has an average elevation of 321 metres (1053 ft).

The city, lying in the northern plains, has vast fertile and flat land. It has portions of Bhabar in the north east and Terai in rest of the area. The surrounding districts are Mohali, Patiala and Roopnagar in Punjab, Panchkula and Ambala in Haryana. The boundary of the state of Himachal Pradesh is also minutes away from its north border. It approximately lies in the centre of the north zone of states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, eastern Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, western Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi in India.

Demographics

Population

 As of 2011 India census, Chandigarh had a population of 1,055,450 making for a density of about 9252 (7900 in 2001) persons per square kilometre. Males constitute 55% of the population and females 45%. The sex ratio is 818 females for every 1,000 males–which is the third lowest in the country, up from 773 in 2001. The child sex ratio is 880 females per thousand males, up from 819 in 2001. Chandigarh has an average literacy rate of 86.77%, higher than the national average; with male literacy of 90.81% and female literacy of 81.88%. 10.8% of the population is under 6 years of age.

There has been a substantial decline in the population growth rate in Chandigarh, with just 17.10% growth between 2001-2011. Since, 1951-1961 the rate has decreased from 394.13% to 17.10%. This is probably because of rapid urbanisation and development in neighbouring cities. The urban population constitutes of as high as 97.25% of the total and the rural population makes up 2.75% as there are only few villages within Chandigarh on its Western and South-Eastern border and majority of people live in the heart of Chandigarh.

Religion

Religion in Chandigarh
Religion Percent
Hinduism 74.78%
Sikhism 21.11%
Others 4.12%

Hinduism and Sikhism are the prominent religions of Chandigarh followed by 74.78% and 21.11% people respectively. Minorities are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jains.

 

Skill Test

1. What is the Regional language of Chandigarh?
2. What is the telephone code of Chandigarh?
3. Who is the Mayor of Chandigarh?
4. In which year Chandigarh was established?
5. What is the population density of Chandigarh (people/area)?
6. What is the Area of the Union Territory Chandigarh?
7. State the date on which Chandigarh was established?
8. What is the rank of Chandigarh in terms of Population in India?
9. Who is the Administrator of Chandigarh Union Territory?
10. What is the rank of Chandigarh in respect of the total area in India?
11. What is the official language of Chandigarh?
12. According to the census of 2011 what is the total population of Chandigarh?
13. What is the Literacy of Chandigarh according to the census of 2011?