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Of planned and unplanned cities March 25, 2007

Posted by topedgemonk in Travel.
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Recently, I went on a trip to Chandigarh. Chandigarh is the capital of Haryana and Punjab and is locked on all sides by these states. It is one of the well planned cities in India. Any kid who knows elementary mathematics can find his way around. Cool.

The entire place is divided into sectors and sectos are laid out like neatly arranged pieces of a puzzle. All roads intesect at right angles and all buildings look the same. You are not allowed to exercise your creativity on the outside of your building. Net result- your house in Chandigarh looks like a smaller version of the Taj hotel there. Great!

When I’m in Bangalore, I pride myself in knowing the small roads on which I can avoid traffic, in knowing where I can get the best kebabs in Delhi, the best biriyani in Hyderabad, knowing where to get great fish in Goa or a peaceful scenic place in kerala. Call it chauvinism, but half of the pleasure of going to these places is the untold knowledge that others would have to take some trouble finding their way here. The feeling of exclusivity. The quiet feeling of being contended with oneself. These cities have evolved, with streets and junctions named after people, events and villages. And that is where you feel you are part of the culture of that place in knowing all of it.

But never did I get that feeling in Chandigarh. Is it the lack of this common bonding feature in evolution that causes the hot headedness of people there?