Capitol Complex

Top choice notable building in Chandigarh

Image by ullstein bild ullstein bild via Getty Images

At the epicentre of Le Corbusier’s planned city are the imposing concrete High Court, Secretariat and Vidhan Sabha, shared by the states of Punjab and Haryana. All three are classic pieces of 1950s architecture from the proto-brutalist school, with bold geometric lines and vast sweeps of moulded concrete. You can't visit the complex on your own; you must be part of one of the three group tours (10am, noon and 3pm; 1½ hours; free) that are run daily.

Register with your passport at the High Court Tourist Office 15 minutes before your tour starts. At weekends the tours don't enter any of the buildings, but just tour the grounds.

The tours include a visit to Le Corbusier’s unmistakably mid-century Open Hand sculpture, the city’s official emblem, signifying that the people of Chandigarh are always ‘open to give, open to receive’. On the approach road to the High Court, the small High Court Museum displays assorted judicial memorabilia including original Le Corbusier sketches, a signed copy of the Indian constitution and several pieces of evidence from notable court cases, including handcuffs worn by Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin. Like the sculpture, this can be visited unaccompanied.


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