Located at the foothills of the Sivalik Mountains, Chandigarh was the dream city of independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1952, Nehru commissioned the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier to design Chandigarh. Scholars often locate in Corbusier’s plans an urban modernity that required a break with the past. Moving away from such scholarship, this article will argue that Chandigarh marked a climactic moment in Le Corbusier’s career when he tried to weave together modern architecture with tradition, and through it, human beings with nature. A careful study of the cosmic iconography of Chandigarh clearly reveals that nature for Le Corbusier was more than a vast expanse of greenery: it was organized in symbolic ways, as a cosmic form emblematic of Hindu mythologies. I will argue that in addition to local conditions – economic and cultural – that impacted the actual execution of Le Corbusier’s plans, cosmic iconography shaped a modernism profoundly reliant on Hindu traditions. This iconography also inspired a new generation of Indian architects like Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi (1927 – present). Doshi played a key role in authoring the postcolonial architectural discourse in India. Following Le Corbusier, he advocated an architectural modernism anchored in sacred Hindu traditions.