A city I have called home for a few years, Chandigarh is nothing short of utopia. This self-contained city is beautifully tucked in the foothills of Himalayas and adorns a skillful blend of architecture and natural beauty with a generous coating of modernity to it. It is the first-planned city of India designed by French architect Le Corbusier, with wide roads revered with tree canopies, manicured gardens, beautifully planned roundabouts, and quiet colonies embellished by the melodic sounds of birds give you a glimpse into an unhurried way of living.
Unlike the metropolitan world, the city of Chandigarh exudes a sense of belongingness, it’s an escape from the rush, noise and pressure. It is like a forever-long love magnet embracing every newcomer with a lot of warmth, affection and scrumptious food. It is therapeutic in essence, it is people-centric. The residents are welcoming, their house always open for a cup of tea or a neat drink. Almost every house has a beautiful garden to soak in the natural light and the weather is beautiful all year round. This quaint town is filled with all the goodness you need to live a content life.
Chandigarh is culturally vibrant, happy and love- effusing. From the moment you enter the city, you feel as if you have stepped into a parallel universe, cleaner and more beautiful of course. Those square blocks with equal size buildings, tree cladded roads and pedestrian walkways for people to enjoy the leisure evening walk, this pensioners’ paradise is also new-gen-x wanderlust. Jannat Sethi, born and brought up in Chandigarh, moved to Delhi in her teens to pursue higher education. She also shifted her base to New York to pursue her interest in Makeup, but eventually came back to the City Beautiful. She says, “Chandigarh is home. The inexplicable bond is so strong within the community and the comfort is exhilarating.”
Filmmaker Tahira Kashyap also hails from Chandigarh. The cancer survivor is currently in her hometown and is enjoying every bit of the small city life. Cycling her way through the city, her Instagram page brings out the raw beauty of the nooks and corners of Chandigarh.
The earthen smells, cool breeze, rhythm of footsteps and laughter under the open sky with Kasauli Hills in the backdrop will surely make your heart sing and smile. Sukhna Lake is a natural paradise frolicked by the old and young alike. The man-made lake is a site to behold, especially in winters as it witnesses the beauty of migratory birds like the Siberian duck, storks and cranes.
If you are a foodie, Chandigarh will take your heart away. Every dish is bundled with love, butter and taste. From butter chicken to sarso ka saag, from richly flavoured traditional mutton curry to piping hot gulab jammuns, Chandigarh has something for the discerning palate. The city has also witnessed a gush of small, cute cafes and several five star hotels pleasing the vibrant crowd of the young city. Chandigarh has my heart.
Chandigarh is built on community-focused, environmentally conscious principles. It shows no discrimination and accepts everyone with open arms. It truly is India’s happiest city.