POP makes life easier for British Indians planning a traditional wedding
The Punjabi and Gujarati communities in both the UK and India have a long history of maintaining strong family connections
Chandigarh is the capital of the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. Commissioned by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in the years after Independence, Chandigarh was designed to be India’s first planned city, and is internationally known for its architecture and urban design. The master plan of the city was prepared by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier on earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and the American planner Albert Mayer. The Capitol Complex, with some of the most iconic buildings, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Central to the original design of the city is the belt of greenery connecting different sectors of the city. Dotted around the city are some of the most beautiful gardens perhaps the most famous and unusual being the Rock Garden secretly started by Nek Chand Saini in his spare time with connecting waterfalls and sculptures made of industrial waste and discarded items. Saini somehow managed to keep his illegal garden secret for 18 years! The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden has one of the largest collection of Roses and Medicinal plants in Asia and there are also a Japanese Garden, a Garden of Silence, a Botanical Garden, a Terraced Garden, a Garden of Fragrance and many more.
The urban designers also managed to include lakes such as the huge Sakhna Lake for the 'care of the body and spirit' of the inhabitants. Nature lovers mix with water sports enthusiast, fitness fanatics with children on roller skates, families enjoying the fresh air and lovers watching the sunsets. With its adjoining Forest Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, Sakna is a home to a wild biodiversity of deer and birds some migrating from from as far afield as Siberia and Japan.
A 2015 a survey ranked it as the happiest city in India and it has one of the highest per capita incomes in the country. It was ranked 4th in the top 50 cities identified globally as "emerging outsourcing and IT services destinations" ahead of cities like Beijing.
Less than 3km from the city centre IXC is one of the most convenient airports. A brand new International Terminal at a cost of $240m was completed in 2015 with international flights starting in 2016.