Chandigarh was designed by Le Corbusier in the early 1950s. It is a beautiful city, filled with trees and parkland and has glorious views of the Shivalik Hills, a mountain range in the foothills of the Himalayas. Chandigarh is also a thriving and very busy place, and it is impossible to escape the sounds of the city. Some areas are quieter than others, such as the northside of Sukhna Lake, now a nature reserve.
In other areas the sound of birds can, partially, overcome the traffic, and this is another benefit of Le Corbusier and his team’s foresight. A large (8 km long) linear park that follows the route of a small stream was designated in his plan as a green space cutting right through the city; in his plan, Le Corbusier called this area the “Lungs” of the city.
After spending the morning recording at Sukhna Lake, I walked back to my hotel through sectors 3 and 10, in Leisure Valley. It was a Sunday morning and this also helped limit traffic noise.
Here I encountered a wonderful sound I have heard for years in Chandigarh, but never was able to determine its source. But this time I stopped frequently and craned my neck into the tree tops to try to catch a glimpse of this bird that make such a contribution to the park atmosphere of the city. Eventually I saw one; a middle-sized bird green like a parrot and with a large beak and a prominent eye. It is not particularly rare; they are hard to avoid in the city, but not easily seen.
Their call is a wonderful rich two toned piping, made it seems from high in the trees. For me it is a characteristic sound of the city.