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Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh

Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh is part of the Tentative List in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the State Party


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
In those times (year 1989) I traveled free of charges around India boarding the carriages of the train reserved for the sadhus, or religious pilgrims.
I had just visited

I reached Kurukshetra by train and asked the sadhus for the place of the battle of Kurukshetra. They sent me to Jyotisar, about 7 kilometers further. I walked there and stayed three days and nights with the sadhus in an ashram with a pool. I was one more of them. Every day the faithful Hindus brought us food and sweets as prasaad for the pujas.
The battle of Kuruksetra,between the kauravas and the pandavas, is described in the epic poem Bhagavad Gita, written by the rishi Veda Vyasa

According to my sadhus friends, a sacred banyan tree that was standing in the ashram was eternal, and the only surviving witness of the battle of Kurukshetra between the kauravas and pandavas, that lasted 18 days, like the chapters of the holy book.

Jyotisar is for the Hindus as Jerusalem is for the Christians, Mecca for the Muslims or Etchmiadzine for the Armenians.

Then I returned to Kuruksetra and boarded the first available train to Shimla, but the train was too slowly (it took eleven hours for 100 kilometers!), the carriage was so crowded, sitting on the floor with two sadhus sleeping on my legs and shoulders, that in one of those long stops, in Chandigarh, resolved to get off the train and wait for another faster train.
There was another train at night, so I had the whole day to visit Chandigarh, a city, as soon discovered thanks to the information that supplied me the sadhus of my wagon that was designed by Le Corbusier, in the style of Canberra or Brasilia.
From the railway station to the downtown there were 6 kilometers that I walked.
Chandigarh consisted on blocks, about forty, so I was told, all symmetrical, at mathematical distances, and with about one million inhabitants.
I did not like that city, I found it too programmed, no natural, and there were few sadhus around, which is a bad symptom.
In the evening I walked back to the railway station and boarded the sadhus wagon in the fast train to Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh.
Date posted: July 2013

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Site info

Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh
This site is part of the Tentative list of: India

Nominated for 2016

Site History:
To develop "a common notion of Outstanding Universal Value of the site"
2006 Tentative list
Submitted as tentative site by State Party

News and links:
» Le Corbusier Foundation to assist nomination of Chandigarh in 2013 (15-08-2012).
» Chandigarh’s decision to give a cleaner look to buildings in Sector 17, the commercial hub of the city, by painting outer surfaces has led to a raging debate in the city (16-01-2010).
» World Heritage Site nomination is Chandigarh’s last hope (30-08-2008).
» Chandigarh missed Feb. 1 deadline but hopes to get included in 2009 anyway (04-08-2008).

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