Chandigarh may not be as big and popular as Mumbai or Delhi but ask those who live here and you’ll know it is not just another small town. It ’s welcoming, cosy, homely and it’s beautiful. We enjoy the rush of a metro city (sometimes) and the calm of a serene retraites’ paradise. From places for an epic weekend getaway to Monday hangovers, we have it all.
So, here is a list of a few (of many) things that make us proud Chandigarhians –
1. Clean and Green City
Let me start with the most commonly known fact, Chandigarh has always been popular for its greenery and cleanliness. It is even referred to as a ‘mini foreign country’, specially during monsoon. We are very proud of it and we like to make sure we keep our city clean and green.
2. India’s First Planned City
Chandigarh was the first planned city of independent India and was designed by the Swiss-French Architect Le Corbusier. It has been called the ‘only successful perfect city’ in the world by BBC. Be it the residential areas or the main roads, you won’t find traffic or markets to be chaotic. The roads were designed in such a manner that during most of the day, they would be under constant shadow. Chandigarh is known internationally for its design and beauty.
3. Nehru’s Dream City
‘Let this be a new town, symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past, an expression of the nation’s faith in the future.’– Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the post-independence India was the man behind the idea of a well-planned, designed city. When he first visited the town back in 1952, he said the quote mentioned above. He wanted this city to be a canvas that the citizens could paint upon, for the regeneration of the nation itself and creating a new identity.
4. Variety of Food
The variety of food you will find in Chandigarh is incredible. From typical Punjabi food to Mexican and Continental food, Chandigarh has it all. ‘Sector 23 ki Chaat’, ‘Pal Dhaba ka Butter Chicken’ and ‘StuC ke Rajma Chawal’ are all time favorite food items of all Chandigarhians. For midnight food craving, there is a ‘Night Food Street’ in Sector 14 where you get a variety of delicious food. My personal favorite at NFS is their Aloo-Paratha with Green Chutney and Chai.
5. ‘Kothiyaan, Caraan te Sector Sataara’
Yo Yo Honey Singh rightly summed up Chandigarh, although the city has much more to offer but yes, Chandigarh has the most beautiful mansions which are worth having a look at. Name the fanciest of cars, and you can find them in Chandigarh. Our beloved plaza of Sector Sataara (Sector 17) surrounded by trees and a beautiful waterfall which makes it a pedestrians paradise. That’s not all, if you’re lucky, you might even get to witness the musical laser show in the evening. It is a place for retail and recreational therapy!
6. Our Slangs
A sentence as short as ‘Haan vi kidaan’ is enough to know we are from Chandigarh. ‘Swag’ is our most used word even though nobody knows what it really means. 22 is not just a number to us, but an expression of how we show our love for our friends. ‘Gehri’ is our favorite pastime. ‘Kiney’ and ‘Bult’ is how we refer to our Activas and Royal Enfield Bullets.
7. Gardens and Lakes
Rock Garden has beautiful figures made from ‘best out of waste’ materials. Rose Garden offers a huge variety of roses(it was obvious from the name, wasn’t it?). Garden of Silence, where one can go for a peaceful evening stroll and Terraced Garden in Sector 33 with beautiful chrysanthemums. We don’t carry any baggage of history to our city, yet there are so many places worth a visit. Lastly, Sukhna Lake, the most preferred place for all our photo shoots, morning jogs and of course boating too!
8. Gehri Route 8-9-10 te 11
Gehris are our most favorite pastime in the evening, rather a must do. CITCO Gehri Route is every youngster’s favorite place for an evening gehri in the city. From modified cars to luxury cars, from Kiney & Bult to expensive motorbikes, you get to see it all here.
9. La Main Ouverte et La Tour de l’ombre
La Main Ouverte (The Open Hand monument) and La Tour de l’ombre (The Shadow Tower) were designed by Le Corbusier when planning the city. The Open Hand Monument is the symbol of the Government of Chandigarh. It symbolizes “the hand to give and the hand to take; peace and prosperity, and the unity of mankind“. The Shadow tower is a unique tower as it was built in such a manner that not even a single ray of sun enters inside it from any angle, especially during the summers.
10. Home of the Braveheart, Neerja Bhanot
Neerja Bhanot, Ashok Chakra was born in Chandigarh. She died while saving passengers on the Pan Am Flight 73 which was hijacked on 5 September 1986 during a stopover in Karachi, Pakistan. She received her early education from Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School in Sector 26, Chandigarh. Yes, she was a Heartian!
There is something really addicting about The City Beautiful. No matter which city we go to, what culture we witness, in the end we always want to come back to Chandigarh. We are proud to be Chandigarhians because it isn’t just an identity, it is an emotion!