One of the best known cities in the country, Chandigarh is one of the most commercialized and fastest growing in the country, too. Serving as the capital for two states, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh is famed as the first planned city in the country. It is considered as one of the greatest experiments in urban planning and modern architecture of the 20th century.
A manifestation of a dream of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and well-renowned architect Le Corbusier, the city derives its name from Chandi Mandir located in the vicinity of the site selected for the city. Chandigarh is also known as a cultural capital of the region and is home to many prominent artists and writers. The frequently held exhibitions, and performances by singers, dancers, musicians and actors here, have inculcated among city residents a desire for the best in performing visual and plastic arts besides literary encounters.
Rock Garden is a major attraction here and holds its own charms for the visitors. It's a collection of exquisite artworks, sculptures and art objects made from industrial and urban waste and discarded materials like frames, mudguards, metal wires, play marbles etc. A beautiful man-made lake, the Sukhna Lake is an ideal place for pursuing water sport activities, meditating or spending a leisurely evening. It consists of an eating place and a children's park. The Open Hand is the city's official emblem and a major landmark too. This 14 meters high monument has been designed in the form of a giant hand, made from a metal sheet that rotates, indicating the direction of wind. This Capitol Complex is the most important area in the city. It consists of three main edifices, namely the Secretariat, the Legislative Assembly and the High Court. The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh tops the itinerary of tourists. It houses a very rich collection of Gandhara sculptures and miniature paintings from Pahari School of Art and also has a good number of miniatures of Rajasthani Idioms. The Shopping Centre located in Sector 17 is a prime area in the city. A perfect venue to shop, lounge around or simply go around the various fashion houses located here. Big showrooms and excellent departmental stores cater to the needs of avid shoppers.