After the province of Punjab was split between Pakistan and India in 1947, the half located in India (East Punjab) chose Chandigarh as their new capitol. Famous Swiss architect, Le Corbusier, designed many buildings throughout India in the 1950s. He was chosen as the urban planer of Chandigarh. When visiting the city, it becomes clear that the people living there are very proud that Chandigarh is the home of so many Corbusier buildings. His name is everywhere and everyone knows of him. Early one morning we arrived at The Capitol Complex which consists of the Palace of Assembly, the Secretariat, and the High Court buildings. In these photos, the Assembly is the one pictured with the Secretariat in the background. We didn't know if we were going to be allowed inside even though my professor had previously gone through a complicated process of approval and lots of paperwork.
After about half an hour we were let inside the complex but we were told by guards carrying machine guns that we were not allowed to take photographs of the Secretariat. They slowly changed their minds, however, after they noticed how excited we were to be there but they still insisted that if we went inside the Secretariat, photographing would be strictly forbidden. We found ways around that...but that's for another post since this is about the Assembly building and the plaza outside of it.
Seeing it in books is one thing but experiencing this place in person leaves a different impression because of a variety of environmental factors coming together. The Indian atmosphere is so distinct. The Himalayas as a beautiful backdrop, the haziness of the air around you, and the color of the sun - those are the things I remember the most.
The Assembly's plaza was designed by Corbusier as a place for gathering but in its current state it is the complete opposite of what the architect had planned. It is closed off to the public. At certain moments I'd get an eerie feeling while walking around the empty and abandoned space but it was lovely nevertheless.
The road leading up the Secretariat.
The use of water to reflect.
A shot of the Assembly from the roof of the Secretariat.
The Secretariat in the back.
I want to touch that beautiful curved concrete.
So empty and quiet.
I have years of materials hiding inside of my external hard drives that I tend to forget exist. Thanks to this intense heat wave we've been experiencing in LA, I've been inside a bit more than I'd like during the day to escape. I figured this would be a good opportunity to look through memories from the past.
I'll make an effort to sort through and post my photos whenever I find free time instead of posting EVERYTHING at once since that would be a bit overwhelming. So this will be the first part of photographs revisiting Chandigarh.