Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Capitol Complex in Chandigarh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of three buildings, three monuments and a lake and is a government compound.

Palace of Assembly, one building that is part of Capitol Complex in ChandigarhPalace of Assembly, one building that is part of Capitol Complex in Chandigarh

Capitol Complex in Chandigarh is designed by the renowned architect, Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier’s architectural works across 7 countries are grouped together as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chandigarh Capitol Complex spread over an area of around 100 acres. The structures inside the complex consists of Palace of Assembly (Legislative Assembly), Secretariat, Palace of Justice (Punjab and Haryana High Court), Open Hand Monument (emblem of Government of Haryana), Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadows.

These structures were built around early 50’s, after Indian Independence. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the First prime minister of India, commissioned Le Corbusier to build a new capital city, Chandigarh, as the capital of Punjab and Haryana states.

Palace of Assembly is the state Legislative Assembly. Palace of Justice is the Punjab and Haryana High Court building.

Open Hand MonumentOpen Hand Monument, one structure that is part of Capitol Complex in Chandigarh

Open Hand Monument is a structure symbolizing peace, prosperity and unity of mankind. It is 26 meters or 85 feet in height and rotates during winds.

Tower of Shadows, one structure that is part of Capitol Complex in ChandigarhTower of Shadows, one structure that is part of Capitol Complex in Chandigarh

Tower of Shadows or ‘The Shadow Tower’ is a structure designed in such a way that sun rays does not enter it; specifically in summer.

Geometric Hill is a hill inside the complex.

Chandigarh is a Union Territory and is not part of Punjab or Haryana.

How Do I Go to Chandigarh Capitol Complex ?

Chandigarh Capitol Complex is situated at Sector 1, which is well connected by roads to other parts of India. NH5, NH7 and NH152 passes through Chandigarh. Chandigarh Junction railway station is the railway station here. Chandigarh Airport is connected to many domestic airports and to UAE. New Delhi airport is the nearest major International airport.

Birla Mandir and The Birla Family Tree

Birla Mandirs are a group of temples constructed by the Birla family (Birlas) across India. Birla Mandirs exists at New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Kolkata, Kurushetra , Shahad, Bhopal, BITS Pilani,Jaipur, Patna, Akola, Varanasi (2 Birla Mandirs at Varanasi), Renukoot, Nagda, Brajrajnagar, Gwalior and Alibaug,

Birla Mandir construction is still going on at some places and the family believes in continuing the work.

Birla Mandirs at Delhi and Bhopal

Laxminarayan Temple alias Birla Mandir at New Delhi
Laxminarayan Temple alias Birla Mandir at New Delhi, inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939

Birla Mandir at Bhopal
Birla Mandir at Bhopal

Birla Mandirs at Delhi and Bhopal were constructed to fill a void. i.e These cities had no big temples. Delhi temple confirms to Nagara style of architecture, even though it was built using modern technology.

Architecture of Birla Mandirs Other Than Delhi and Bhopal

Most of the other Birla temples are built using marble or sandstone, in either Chandela Style of Architecture or Solanki Style of Architecture, both of which existed in the 10th-12th centuries.

Birla Mandir at BITS Pilani

Birla Mandir at BITS Pilani campus is made of white marble and is a replica of the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple at Khajuraho. Gwalior Birla Mandir is a replica of the Konark Sun Temple.

Birla Group of Companies

Birla Mandirs across India are from Birla Family, who owns the Birla Group of companies. Birla family group is one of the leading business groups in India. Birla family members are the descendants of Seth Shobharam. Birlas belong to Pilani, a town in Rajasthan and are Marwari community, a community known for its business skills across India.

Birla Family Tree

Kumar Mangalam Birla, a fourth generation member of the Birla business family, currently heads the business after the demise of his father Aditya Vikram Birla in 1995. Aditya Vikram Birla is the son of Basant Kumar Birla ( Basant Kumar Birla is the grandfather of the current group head, Kumar Mangalam Birla and is currently the chairman of BITS Pilani) and grandson of Ghanshyam Das Birla. Ghanshyam Das Birla is the son of Baldeo Das Birla and grandson of Shiv Narayana Birla. Shiv Narayan Birla is the son of Seth Shobharam and grandson of Seth Bhudharmal.

Kurukshetra, Site of Battle of Mahabharata

Kurukshetra, Site of Battle of Mahabharata is in Haryana state in India. Kurukshetra or Dharmshetra means ‘the region of righteousness’.

Kurukshetra is a place of great significance in Hinduism. It is the place where the fierce ‘Battle of Mahabharata’ was fought. Jyotisar in Kurukshetra, is the place where Lord Krishna preached his philosophy of ‘Karma’ (Karma is a Sankrit word with meaning ‘deed’ in English) to ‘Arjuna’, as per the Holy epic of Bhagwad-Gita. Kurukshetra is spread over vast areas of North Eastern Haryana and consists of many holy places, temples, sacred tanks, etc. Geeta Jayanti festival is the main festival of Kurukshetra.

KurukshetraManuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra. Photo Source : Creative commons

Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit epic written by Vyasa, is believed to be written in the 8th or 9th century BCE. Oldest existing preserved parts of this great epic is believed to be from 400 BCE. Great Epic of Mahabharata is considered as the “longest poem”, consisting of 1.8 million words!

Brahma Sarovar, Sannihit Sarovar, Jyotisar, Jindal Park, Bhadra Kali Mandir, Krishna Museum, Kurukshetra Panorama and Science Centre, Bhishma Kund, etc, are some of the other places in and around Kurukshetra.

How Do I Go to Kurukshetra, Site of Battle of Mahabharata?

Kurushetra is well connected by road, train and airways. Kurukshetra can be reached from the link road from National Highway Number 1 through Pipli town.

The nearest railway station is “Kurukshetra Junction”, with station code ‘KKDE’. It is an important railway junction where most trains stops. There are regular bus services from New Delhi, Punjab and other neighboring states.

The nearest airport to Kurukhetra is at a distance of around 100 kilometers at Chandigarh. Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi, the capital of India, is at around 150 kilometers away from the Site of the Great Battle of Mahabharat.

Rock Garden of Chandigarh

Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a 40 acre  Sculpture garden built of industrial and home waste and scrap materials in Chandigarh, India.

Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Dancing girls at Rock Garden, Chandigarh

Rock Garden of Chandigarh is also called Nek Chand’s Rock Garden named after its founder Nek Chand.

Nek Chand secretly worked in his spare time, more than half a century back, collecting waste materials and placing them in park. 18 years later, this  was noticed by government officials in 1975. As the area was a forest, Nek Chand’s work was considered illegal and the park would have been demolished except for the public support. Due to public support Nek Chand was appointed as an Engineer in charge of the park with 50 workers at his disposal for continuing the work.

Nek Chand continued his work for another 20 years and when he left in India it was destroyed partially by vandals and now this beautiful Rock park is manned by the Rock garden society; a society set up for the maintenance of this garden park.

This Garden made of rocks in Chandigarh has many man made water falls which are interlinked near Sukhna lake.

This beautiful garden in Chandigarh is visited by more than 4000 people everyday and is a popular tourist destination.

How Do I Go to Rock Garden, Chandigarh?

Rock garden is in Sector 1 and is well connected by roads and train. New Delhi is the nearest metro city to Chandigarh.

Newly inaugurated Chandigarh Airport  is the nearest International airport to this famous garden. This airport is spread across a state and a Union Territory! Terminal is located in the state of Punjab while runway is in the Union territory of Chandigarh.