Chandigarh (Punjabi ਚੰਡੀਗੜ੍ਹ Hindi: चण्डीगढ़) is a union territory of India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh, the dream city of India's first Prime Minister, Sh. Jawahar Lal Nehru, was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. Picturesquely located at the foothills of Shivaliks, it is known as one of the best experiments in urban planning and modern architecture in the twentieth century in India.
The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, in the city. In Sikh philosophy, 'Chandi' is derived from 'Chandi di Var', which is a Punjabi poem written by Guru Gobind Singh. This Var (ballad) is popularly sung by the Sikh soldiers on their way to battlefield.
The city has a pre-historic past. The gently sloping plains on which modern Chandigarh exists, was in the ancient past, a wide lake ringed by a marsh. The fossil remains found at the site indicate a large variety of aquatic and amphibian life, which was supported by that environment. About 8000 years ago the area was also known to be a home to the Harappans.
Since the medieval through modern era, the area was part of the large and prosperous Punjab Province which was divided into East & West Punjab during partition of the country in 1947. The city was conceived not only to serve as the capital of East Punjab, but also to resettle thousands of refugees who had been uprooted from West Punjab.
In March, 1948, the Government of Punjab, in consultation with the Government of India, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital. The location of the city site was a part of the erstwhile Ambala district as per the 1892-93 gazetteer of District Ambala. The foundation stone of the city was laid in 1952. Subsequently, at the time of reorganization of the state on 01.11.1966 into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pardesh, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital city of both, Punjab and Haryana while it itself was declared as a Union Territory and under the direct control of the Central Government.
It is occasionally referred to as The City Beautiful. Chandigarh Capital Region (CCR), including Mohali, Panchkula, and Zirakpur, had a combined population of 1,165,111 (1.16 million) as per the 2001 census. Earlier the Chandigarh Capital region was also called 'Tricity' because of Panchkula and Mohali as adjacent cities but with the mushrooming of other towns like Zirakpur, Kharar etc. As the first planned city of India, Chandigarh is known internationally for its architecture and urban planning.Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer.
The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with the highest per capita income in the country at Rs.99,262 at current prices and Rs.70,361 at constant prices (2006–2007).
As per a study conducted by Ministry of Urban Development, Chandigarh has emerged as the cleanest city in India, while also topping the List of Indian states and territories by Human Development Index.
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