The Capitol Complex here came under international media gaze for the second time in six months as Prime Minister Narendra Modi took part in the Yoga Day event on Tuesday. Modi had earlier visited the complex in January this year during the visit of French president Francois Hollande .
Experts and officials of the UT administration feel that the Tuesday event will boost complex’s chances of getting the heritage status, the application of which is pending with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The complex is one of the structures from India vying for the heritage status under the ‘transnational serial dossier’. A team of experts from the UNESCO had also inspected the buildings last year and the result on heritage status is expected by the end of this month.
The Prime Minister also mentioned Capitol Complex in his speech, saying, “I thought Capitol Complex to be the best place to host the International Yoga Day event. I am pleased to see the number of people performing yoga here.” Modi even asked Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was also on the dais, if he had ever seen such big a crowd at this place. “I have stayed at Chandigarh for about five years and its unique architecture always attracted me,” the PM said.
Chandigarh home secretary Anurag Agarwal said, “This is perhaps for the first time that an event of such a magnitude has been held at the complex. Prime Minister’s presence here will definitely boost complex’s chances of getting the heritage status.”
He said the heritage status will give a fillip to the city’s tourism and the UT administration will get technical assistance from international organisations for maintaining the buildings.
Spread over more than 100 acres, Capitol Complex in Sector 1 is an area comprising monuments and buildings. It houses the Open Hand monument, Tower of Shadows, Geometric Hill, and the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the legislative assembly, and the secretariat buildings. It is a pristine and prominent representation of the Chandigarh’s architecture designed by French arhitect Le Corbusier. With the Shivalik Hills in the backdrop, the complex looks serene and grand.