Chandigarh is a city and a union territory in India that serves as the capital of the two neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab. The city is unique in that it is not a part of either of the two states but is governed directly by the Union Government, which administers all such territories in the country.
Chandigarh is bordered by the state of Punjab to the north, the west and the south, and to the state of Haryana to the east. It is considered to be a part of the Chandigarh capital region or Greater Chandigarh, which includes Chandigarh, and the city of Panchkula (in Haryana) and cities of Kharar, Kurali, Mohali, Zirakpur (in Punjab). It is located 260 km (162 miles) north of New Delhi, 229 km (143 miles) southeast of Amritsar and just 116 km (72 miles) southwest of Shimla.
It was one of the early planned cities in post-independence India and is internationally known for its architecture and urban design. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, which transformed from earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. Most of the government buildings and housing in the city, were designed by the Chandigarh Capital Project Team headed by Le Corbusier, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry. In 2015, an article published by BBC named Chandigarh as one of the perfect cities of the world in terms of architecture, cultural growth and modernisation.
Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex was in July 2016 declared by UNESCO as World Heritage at the 40th session of World Heritage Conference held in Istanbul. UNESCO inscription was under “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement”. The Capitol Complex buildings include the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Punjab and Haryana Secretariat and Punjab and Haryana Assembly along with monuments Open hand, Martyrs Memorial, Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadow.
The city has one of the highest per capita income in the country. The city was reported to be one of the cleanest in India based on a national government study. The union territory also heads the list of Indian states and territories according to Human Development Index. In 2015, a survey by LG Electronics, ranked it as the happiest city in India over the happiness index. The metropolitan area of Chandigarh–Mohali–Panchkula collectively forms a Tri-city, with a combined population of over 2 million.