Chandigarh, the present
capital city of the States of both Punjab and Haryana is the
first planned city of India. However, it does not belong to
either of the States. It is a Union Territory, administered by
the Government of India. The city is very modern and has derived
its name from a temple on the slope of the Sivalik hill, Chandi
Mandir (deity Chandi, goddess of power), and a fort or "garh"
beyond the temple, called Chandigarh.
The beautiful city of Chandigarh is worth visiting in itself and also acts as a base for further excursions in North India. A visit to Chandigarh is not complete without a visit to the temple of Goddess Chandi, which is located in Panchkula, 10 km away from Chandigarh. In fact, the name Chandigarh is derived from this temple.
The first thing that strikes one the visit of Chandigarh city is the expanse of resplendent Blue Mountains. The jagged skyline of the Shivalik Hills looms large over Chandigarh city that nestles happily below. The other distant element that catches the eye is the faint profile of the old temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, from which the city of Chandigarh takes its name.