Human civilization has been long looking for utopic perfection.
From Akhenaten's Amarna to Venetian Republic's Palmanova, people have tried to construct a city which would be an epitome to human intelligence and perfection. But such perfection often lacks "the layers of history and culture of organic cities".
But in BBC's recent article, author Jonathen Glancey concluded that unlike other ideal towns which are best left on paper,
"Chandigarh is the only successful perfect city in the world."
In 1947, when India was going through its worst nightmare, Chandigarh was born to cradle dreams and hopes of a newly independent nation trying to recover from partition.
"Chandigarh was decreed the capital of Punjab. Not only would this be the capital of Indian Punjab, but it would be the very model of a modern city promising peace, democracy and a new social order free of bitter divisions."
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, came up with a scheme for the new city in the foothills of the Himalayas that fused Modern Movement and Garden City ideals. And after pursuing the best of the world, Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier was given the opportunity to make his dream of an 'ideal town' come true.
Credits: Sandeepa Chetan
"The Paris gallery and archive housed in the Palais du Chaillot, has put on a show that includes superb new photographs of life in Chandigarh, posing the question: did the architect succeed in shaping a truly habitable ideal city?"
Unlike failures of other ideal towns dreamed by Akbar, Venice, Akhenaten and others, Chandigarh stands flourishing with roots in history and every growing culture.
Le Corbusier might have been the one to lay out the plan and concertize his dreams, but it was the people of Chandigarh that breathed life into its streets and modern structures.
Credits: Kirk Kittell
Here's to the perfect city in the world!