Touted to be India’s first planned city, Chandigarh is the capital of states Haryana and Punjab. The city as compared to any other city in India is much organized, planned and executed in terms of architecture. It is said that the foundation of the city was laid keeping in mind it’s existence after a decade. The city’s proximity with New Delhi, the national capital of India and Shimla which is another famous tourist place, attracts lots of tourists all-round the year.
While approaching the city, one can witness the lower ranges of Himalayas also known as the Shivaliks, hosting the temple dedicated to goddess Chandi thus giving the name of the city. If one has a couple of days in hand, the city provides a lot of things to do.
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One of the major attractions in Chandigarh is the well renowned, Rock garden. The rock garden demonstrates that a well determined effort can do wonders. The garden was built by Nek chand who thought to build a small garden by clearing the forest area. That is when he built some sculptures from the recycled and waste products and gradually people started acknowledging the efforts and the beauty of the garden.
Rose Garden: This is one of the biggest rose gardens in India and hosts the annual rose festival. The garden is well maintained and a perfect spot to be in if you are an admirer of the nature’s beauty.
Sukhna Lake: The lake was formed as part of water conservation project by building a dam across the seasonal water stream Sukhna that flows from the Shivaliks. It has gradually turned into a recreation spot for the local and a tourist spot for travellers providing a jogging track, amusement park, and cafeteria. Watersport lovers can enjoy rowing and yachting. People can also hire a bicycle and witness the beauty of the lake.
The Secretariat: The Secretariat building is an architectural beauty. Being a high profile place, the entry is restricted and only after proper verifications and security check you can get entry. These checks and approvals take from 30 – 50 minutes, so if you have some spare time with proper documents (can be obtained from the tourist reception center at sector 17) and are okay to wait for the security checks do visit the place.
The Capitol and the High Court: In addition to the Secretariat, the Capitol and the High court building are also accessible to the general public only after obtaining permission from the tourist center and security checks. Once you get the clearance the visitors can witness the well-built and heavily guarded buildings.
Pinjore garden: Also known as Yadavindra garden, it is situated approximately 20 kms from Chandigarh on Chandigarh-Shimla road. The garden is famous for its design inspired by the Mughal workmanship. The garden also houses a mini zoo, nursery and Japanese garden. The gardens are very popular for picnic amongst the local population.
Cactus garden: Cactus garden is situated around 8 km from Chandigarh and covering an area of around 7 acres. Cactus garden is known for its rare & endangered species of Indian succulents. The garden houses around 3000+ species of cactus. Since the inception in 1987 the garden has been drawing huge crowd year on year.
Museum and Art gallery: The museum is situated in sector 10 and is one of the major attractions in Chandigarh. The museum houses artefacts from various eras including relics, coins and sculptures from the Harappa era to the fossils of dinosaurs found in and around the area. The art gallery houses paintings of ancient and modern values.
The city is well connected from various parts of the country and some cities having direct flights to Chandigarh. In addition the travellers can opt for various bus services ranging from state transport buses to the private buses.
The visitors can also use the hop on hop off bus service to explore the city. Apart from the buses there are lot of other modes of travel available, take an auto rickshaw or a cycle rickshaw and enjoy the beauty of the city. There are some companies that offer cycle on rent.