Chandigarh and the New India


In 1947 post-partition, the historical capital of Punjab, Lahore, found itself on the Pakistani side of the border. A new capital was needed not only for Indian Punjab but to represent the modernization of India as a whole, and its capacity for self-organization and rule. Though not the original designer, Le Corbusier would be responsible for planning the city from its system of roadways to its architectural guidelines. Of course he had already envisioned an ideal city as described by Towards a new Architecture (1923) and The City of Tomorrow (1929) – but Paris in the 1920’s was not India in the 1940’s politically, technologically, economically or culturally. While some of the ideas behind his earlier books are apparent in Chandigarh (it must also be stated that his design also bears some relation to the earlier plan by Albert Mayer), the manner of execution is necessarily distinct and has created a particularly livable and modern city.


Drainage cover with plan of the city


Open hand monument