Journey Two / Chapter 4

Delhi & Chandigarh

July 2016

The two capitals, yet unlikely pairing. The contrast between aged Delhi, the National Capital of India, and its busiest and largest city. VS Union territory Chandigarh, 250km north, the Capital of Haryana and Punjab, modern and India's only planned city developed by Le Corbusier.

As we move from Uttar Pradesh to Himalayas, we have to cross through 2 most noteworthy cities of India. First of them is National Capital Delhi, which with over 20 milion inhabitants is easily largest city in all of India. While nowadays its satellite towns like Noida or supermodern Gurgaon that are being most developed, its center still deserves most of visitors attention. The city has actually 2 centers. First one is Old Delhi, a mughal-build walled city with massive mosque and red fort that served as a capital of Mughal Empire. FUll of tiny maze streets serving as bazaars this is India's city in its most traditional busting flow. The newer part, which was build by british after occupying India and later served as capital of British Raj, is known as New Delhi. With wide avenues and colonial Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and being noticeably cleaner than the usual indian urban area, it still serves as a seat of India's government - President, parliament, governmnent with all the ministries are located just here.

Just 250km north of Delhi lies another capital in its own sense. Union territory of Chandigarh was established shortly after separation of Pakisan and India, as Punjab's capital Lahore was no more part of India. Serving as capital of both Haryana and Punjab, yet part of neither, Chandigarh has rightfully special status. The city was established in 1966 and is the India's first and only fully planned city, and just one of a few of its kind in the world. Envisionaged and developed by famous french architect Le Corbusier, it consinst of perfectly even grid of blocks of streets, known as sectors. While the city is full of prime example of functionalist architecture, gardens, monuments and public art, nowadays is even more known for its Rock Garden - 40 acre park of man-build waterfalls, mazes and roads etched with thousdants of statues made from waste and recycled materials.