Chandigarh is located near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in northwestern India. It was declared a union territory in 1966.
Loosely translated, the name Chandigarh means 'the fort of Chandi'. The name Chandigarh was coined from an ancient temple near the city called Chandi Mandir, devoted to Goddess Chandika, the goddess of power.
Area and Borders:
This union territory covers an area of 114 square kilometres and is bordered by Punjab and Haryana.
Hindi, Punjabi and English are the main languages spoken.
Learn To Speak Punjabi:
- What's your name? : Tera naan ki ai?
- Where are you from? : Tussi kithe dey ho?
- What did you do? : Tussi ki kitta?
- What do you want to do? : Tuhanu ki karnachaida hai?
Chandigarh has a sub-tropical continental monsoon climate characterised by hot summers, cool winters and unreliable rainfall. During the winter, frost may occur between December and January.
The average annual rainfall is 1,048mms. It also receives occasional winter rains.Agriculture: Out of 1,300 hectares of cultivated land, 1,285 hectares are irrigated. The main sources of irrigation are deep-bore tube wells. The farmers keep a large number of cattle and have taken to hay cultivation to cater to the demands of cattle. The main food grain is wheat. Chandigarh depends on outside help for the supply of fruits and vegetables.
The economy of this union territory is centred on small scale-industries. The union territory is home to manufacturing units for paper, basic metals and alloys, machinery, food products, sanitary ware, auto parts, pharmaceuticals and electrical appliances.
- The Government Museum and Art Gallery was designed by Le Corbusier and has furniture designed by the famous Indian designer, Ratna Mathur. The exhibits at the museum include 619 Gandhara sculptures, 92 ancient sculptures from other periods and 447 miniature paintings. The museum also has a small collection of artefacts in stucco, terracotta, metal, ivory, lacquer, ceramic, enamel and fabric.
- The Rock Garden has been built with industrial waste and thrownaway items used in daily life. These materials have been used to create life-size sculptures of dogs, bears, birds, elephants and mythological and hybrid creatures.
- The Open Hand is the bestknown structure of Chandigarh.This 85-foot-tall structure was designed by Le Corbusier and is made of metal coated with baked enamel in orange, green and white. The open hand signifies peace and openness to give and receive.
- The International Doll Museum was set up in 1985 and houses over 350 dolls from 28 countries. The museum was created by R K Saboo, who brought back a doll for the children of Chandigarh from every country he visited.
Arts And Crafts:
Chandigarh is known for its pottery.
For celebrations and ceremonies, the traditional male attire is the sherwani, which consists of a knee-length shirt with body-hugging churidar trousers. Sherwanis can either be plain or embellished with designs and embroidery. The women wear the lehenga-choli or ghagra-choli. They also accessorise their clothes with kundan and gold jewellery.
Punjabi food forms a major part of the cuisine. The staple diet consists of wheat-based rotis, paranthas and naans. People prefer wheat items to rice. The main feature of Punjabi food is the extensive use of butter, cream, ghee and cheese. Meals usually consist of pulses cooked on a slow flame with the traditional Punjabi tadka. Some of the popular dishes are makke di roti, sarson da saag, shahi paneer, sheer korma and chhole.
The Chandigarh Craft Mela is an annual event that showcases the best handloom and handicraft traditions of the country.The Chandigarh Festival of Gardens is one of the most popular festivals of the union territory. This three-day festival is held in the last week of February and was formerly known as the Rose Festival.Teej is an important festival in Chandigarh and is celebrated in the month of August.
- Sabeer Bhatia co-founded the e-mail service called Hotmail. He later sold it to Microsoft for $400 million. Hotmail now has over 5 crore registered users.
- Nek Chand Saini is a self-taught artist, famous for building the Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
- Kapil Dev is a former Indian cricketer. He captained the Indian cricket team in the 1983 Prudential World Cup, which India won. Wisden named him the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002. He was also India's national cricket coach for 10 months between October 1999 and August 2000.
The Union Territory is Famous for:
- The Bhakra Nangal Dam, which is the world's highest straight gravity dam. This dam is constructed across the Sutlej River.
- The Chrysanthemums Show, which is a famous flower show that is hosted annually in the month of December. Various competitions are held as part of the show.