Celebrating Chandigarh’s Symphony of Seasons through treescapes - Hindustan Times
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Celebrating Chandigarh’s Symphony of Seasons through treescapes

May 03, 2023 11:07 PM IST

Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (CLKA) is holding a photo exhibition called 'Celebrating Chandigarh?s Treescapes' to display the trees of the city. The exhibition features the works of Prof Rajnish Wattas, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and aims to raise awareness about the need to conserve the city's tree species. Nearly 40 of Chandigarh?s trees are showcased in the exhibition, capturing their beauty through the play of seasons.

Showcasing the magnificent and ever-changing trees of the City Beautiful, seen during the various seasons, is a photo exhibition on the theme ‘Celebrating Chandigarh’s Treescapes’.

Some of the photographs on display at the exhibition (HT Photos)
Some of the photographs on display at the exhibition (HT Photos)

The exhibition, being organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (CLKA), has on display the works of Prof Rajnish Wattas, former principal, Chandigarh College of Architecture, and eminent author-photographer.

“With this exhibition, we are displaying Chandigarh’s symphony of flowering trees that commences in spring, beginning with the seemul trees that adorn crimson red blossoms in February. These are followed by white-pink flowers of kachnar and lilac-coloured flowers of jacarandas in March and April. Then bright reds of coral trees and golden specks of silver oaks are visible in the Leisure Valley; Jan Marg is a riot of yellow flowers with golden trumpet trees. And finally, tree flowering reaches a crescendo with the blazing orange flowers of gulmohars and yellow gold of amaltas,” says Wattas.

Eminent author-photographer Prof Rajnish Wattas, (HT Photo)
Eminent author-photographer Prof Rajnish Wattas, (HT Photo)

The aim is for to “take the trees to people”, especially the younger generations so that they can understand the need for conservation of these tree species. The government is doing its part, but the community also needs to become the custodian of nature, he adds.

On how his journey of capturing treescapes began, he says, “I started clicking pictures and collecting database in the ’80s. In fact, my thesis for my master’s degree was on trees being a part of the urban landscape.”

“There are days when I’m playing golf with my friends and I see a potential good frame. So, I stop the game and start clicking pictures despite getting an earful from my friends,” he shares.

“During my work in the field, I came to know that when Chandigarh was planned, its architect and planner Le Corbusier had included landscaping as an integral part of its layout. In association with Dr MS Randhawa, an eminent civil servant, and botanist, Corbusier had prepared a detailed tree plantation scheme for the city’s architecture, open spaces, and roads with shade, foliage, and colour. Each tree that was planted back then was first there on the drawing board, which is quite rare,” Wattas informs, adding that it is thus crucial to maintain that original concept.

“The plantations were based on a study of the movement of the sun in relation to the directions and scale of the roads, and suitable trees were chosen for different spaces as per their appropriate form, foliage, and flowering attributes,” he adds.

“All existing trees on the original site of Chandigarh were retained and their cutting was legally prohibited. And with this foresight, many old specimens of mango, jamoa, kikkar, palash, peepul, and gular trees can still be seen across the city, out of which 31 have now been accorded heritage status.”

This exhibition showcases nearly 40 of Chandigarh’s magnificent trees, capturing their beauty through the play of seasons, says CLKA chairman Bheem Malhotra.

CATCH IT LIVE:

What: Symphony of Seasons: Photo exhibition

Where: Sector 17 Underpass, Chandigarh

When: On till May 10

Timings: 11am to 7pm

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