November 2, 2021 10:06:44 am
On November 1, 1966, Chandigarh was declared a UT when Punjab was reorganised along linguistic lines into two new states—predominantly Hindi-speaking Haryana and Punjabi-speaking Punjab. Further, Chandigarh was made the shared capital of the two states and a Union Territory. This day is commemorated as the Foundation Day of Chandigarh.
The exhibition ‘Chandigarh-Down The Memory Lane’ by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, supported by the Le Corbusier Centre, brings together an assortment of vintage photographs that show the city in its nascent stages of formation.
These photographs reveal how far the city has evolved and developed from the plain barren landscape on which it was conceptualised.
As immigrants flocked the city in search of new moorings after being displaced by the traumatic Partition, the institutional, cultural, and residential buildings helped them to step out of the village life into a new, modern way of living.
The curated images capture the almost barren city before it started teeming with people and greenery.
The exhibition strives to celebrate the foundation of a city that embodied the dreams and aspirations of thousands of Indians looking for an identity post-Independence. It also acknowledges the contribution of many unknown photographers who captured rare glimpses of the city as it came up.
On display are more than 35 photographs which will take you closer to the making of the city and also give you a background of the many challenges that were faced to ‘make’ India’s first modern city. On display are photographs of the construction of the Assembly building – the hall and massive porch, a technical feat within the limited resources available, the KC theatre in Sector 17 with its unique dome shape in concrete which was a landmark and saw long queues especially on Fridays, and the Neelam and Jagat Cinema in Sector 17 that broke the monotony of the showrooms and exhibited the spirit of experimentation in concrete forms.
You can also see Panjab University with landmark buildings like the Gandhi Bhawan and Fine Arts Museum, which gave the much-needed intellectual boost to the city, the Old architects’ office (now Le Corbusier Centre), the fountainhead of the city where the planning and detailing of Chandigarh was done by a dedicated team of architects, and a double-decker bus which seems dwarfed in front of the Secretariat in Capitol Complex- the tallest building in Chandigarh with its ingenious articulation of the façade.
Many photographs showcase how bricks became the muse of architects for its cheap availability and ease of use, as a photograph of a curvilinear boundary wall in Sector 23 depicts. A picture of a row of white houses in Sector 22 shows how barren the site was before the green cover flourished, though services were put in place much before construction started. The exhibition is at CLKA Gallery at Underpass Connecting Sector-17 to Rose Garden from 10 am to 8 pm until November 14.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.