Chandigarh, July 31 (IANS) Having had the reputation of a ‘sarkari’ city that goes dead at night, Chandigarh is all set to give itself an image makeover after darkness falls. The city’s administration is planning to promote night tourism by illuminating the city’s buildings and monuments.
“Chandigarh Tourism has planned to promote night tourism in the city to add a new dimension to its product. Architectural edifices and monuments of Le Corbusier (Chandigarh’s founder-architect) shall be illuminated keeping in view their prime importance in the city’s the history,” Arvind Malhotra, general manager-tourism, Chandigarh Industrial & Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO), told IANS.
The city’s ‘Capitol Complex’ in Sector 1, which houses the buildings designed by Le Corbusier and his team in the 1950s and 1960s, will see buildings like the Punjab and Haryana civil secretariat complex, assembly complex and the Punjab and Haryana high court complex being illuminated.
“Visitors and tourists would now be able to get an opportunity to marvel at the architectural edifices of Chandigarh during the evening and night time also. The illumination of these architectural buildings shall be done in such a manner that there will be a high visual effect. The illumination of these buildings would give a boost to night tourism in Chandigarh,” Malhotra said.
Chandigarh, a union territory (UT), is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana states. The city, with a population of nearly one million, attracts a lot of tourists since it is the gateway to states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
“Having evolved as a big commercial, educational and healthcare centre in this part of the country, Chandigarh gets a lot of visitors. Many foreigners come here to study the city’s architectural concepts and marvel at the city itself,” Vikas Handa, who runs a travel agency, told IANS.
To make the night tourism experience better, Chandigarh Tourism even plans to conduct evening sightseeing tours on the city’s double-decker ‘Hop on Hop off’ buses to the city’s tourist attractions and monuments.
The administration has already initiated a plan to landscape and light up entry points to Chandigarh on the peripheral routes at Mullanpur, Mohali and Panchkula.
Tourism officials say that they want to change the image of Chandigarh being just a transit getaway for visitors.
“They should come here and enjoy the city during the day and night. Chandigarh offers so much with the Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and Rose Garden, the beautifully landscaped parks and green belts, maintained roads, Panjab University campus and much more,” a tourism official said.
The administration has also decided to enhance the ambience of the Rock Garden, a unique place created by Nek Chand from waste materials like broken bangles, ceramic items, broken lights and switches and other discarded material, with a plan for lighting up of the famous attraction.
“At present, there are no activities during the evening hours and illumination of Rock Garden shall attract a large number of foreign and domestic tourists to this tourist spot. We have proposed to illuminate the Rock Garden and have activities there in the evening,” Chandigarh’s secretary (Tourism) Ram Niwas said.
“The union ministry of tourism has sanctioned Rs.5 crore as central financial assistance for illumination of the Rock Garden,” Malhotra said.