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Location : Haryana
Languages : Hindi
Major Attractions : Rock Garden, Leisure Valley
Best Visiting Time : Months between October and March
The capital city Chandigarh is a well planned town resting in Himalayan foothills. The city's chief architect Le Corbusier laid down the foundation of this beautiful city. Sprawled over an area of 114 square kilometers, the city has a plethora of tourist places that attract the visitors from different parts of the country. If you want to have a whiff of fresh air or want to relax among the lush green surroundings, this is just the right place for you.
Beautiful Backdrop : Chandigarh is located amidst the majestic backdrop of Shivalik mountain ranges. Everywhere you will see lovely gardens and greenery in the form of trees. It is due to its charming surroundings that it is called "City Beautiful". Unlike other metropolitan cities for which pollution is a common thing, this city distinguishes itself for being one of the cleanest one. The salubrious weather which is the highlight of the place will let you enjoy the beauty to the fullest. Rejuvenate your energies while relaxing amidst the beguiling and pleasurable beauty.
Rock Garden : A brilliant example of man's creativity and artwork, the Rock Garden of Chandigarh is famous both in India and abroad. You will be surprised to see that most of the artworks have been created from the urban waste and efflux from industries. Nek Chand is credited with the creation of this exquisite project. The garden has been laid down in the form of an exhibition hall. The waste materials used for the construction of the garden houses include auto parts, forks, bangles, metallic wires, and mudguards. Just have a look at this unique piece of art and you will not the leave the place without admiring it.
Sukhna Lake : This picturesque lake forms the boundary of the city; this idyllic place is famous for its water sports like skiing, boating etc. This beautiful water body was the creation of Le Corbusier and is a great place to hang out. Go for the romantic walks here and enjoy the tranquil environment. Every year, several rowing championships are held here. Apart from all this, this lovely haven is a must see place for bird watchers.
Rose Garden : Another picturesque place that abounds in natural beauty and calm surroundings is Rose Garden. Being Asia's biggest garden of rose, it attracts the tourists in large number from all over world. This well carved garden is rich in flower beds. If you happen to visit the place in the month of February, don’t miss the opportunity to attend the famous Rose Festival which is the main highlight here. It is at this time that various cultural programs and competitions are held. As you will notice, the festivities are attended by thousand of visitors.
Government Museum : A museum cum art gallery at Chandigarh is a place worth visiting. The gallery houses a number of sculptures and paintings belonging to different historical periods. If you have interest in archeology, there is a whole lot for you to see here. The age old fossils belonging to early man have been preserved here. In addition, the earliest implements that have been recovered from the ground can also be been kept on display. The museum remains open on all days except Mondays and can be visited between 10.00 in the morning till 4.30 in the evening.
Science Museum : The enthusiasts of Anthropology will find this place interesting. You can know about the evolution of life that started on earth millions of years ago. Don’t forget to visit a cyclorama gallery that introduces the visitors to several aspects of geology and astronomy.
Child Art Gallery : This unique gallery showcases the works of young artists. From time to time, many workshops are organized here and depict the art works of students. The gallery remains closed on Mondays and other public holidays.
Leisure Valley : This picturesque destination of Chandigarh is one of the most sought after tourist attractions. It is famous for its long walks and a set of lovely gardens. Everywhere you will see well laid gardens, plants of rises and bougainvillea. You can spend time here doing yoga and other exercises. There are different types of theme parks that you will be able to see here. Sprawled over a number of different sectors, the valley is covers an area a distance of about 8 kilometers.
Starting from Rajendra Park in sector 1, the valley's southernmost point lies in sector 53. It was Le Corbusier himself who laid down the foundation of the park. At Rajendra Park, you will see an area of 400 acres covered with lush greenery and foliage. You can enjoy morning walks or have a lovely horse ride. At sector 10, fitness trails have been made to let the visitors enjoy beauty of the nature. Roam about in the Flower Garden half area of which is laden with fragrant flowers while the remaining half comprises of sculptures carved out by the artists.
At Shanti Kunj, you will experience peace and tranquility; the area is completely noise free and is divided in several parts by a natural stream. These parts have been set aside for growing different types of trees. Bougainvillea Garden at sector 3 abounds in myriad varieties of this flower. A Traffic Park present at sector 23 is meant for children who want to learn cycling; they are taught road safety rules by means of miniature traffic lights. The other attractions of Leisure Valley include Botanical Garden, Smriti Upvan, Terraced Garden, and Topiary Park.
Mango Belt : Running diagonally from northeastern to southwestern direction, Mango belt is stretched over 4 kilometers. Here, you will see the different varieties of mango trees grown on either side of the road. There are about 5000 mango trees in this area; this belt of trees acts like a guard against pollution emanating from factories located nearby.
Forested Area : A major portion of Chandigarh is covered with forests. A wide variety of these is situated near Sukhna Lake. While on a tour to the city, you can relax at one of the Rest Houses that are laid amidst plush greenery. Apart from enjoying the lovely sceneries, you can also happen to see certain wild animals like jackals, leopards, antelopes and many more.
Capitol Complex : Another majestic work of the architect Le Corbusier is Capitol Complex. Concrete sculptures beautify this place. The complex is the seat of authority and comprises of three main government buildings including Secretariat, Legislative Assembly, and High Court. The imperial beauty of these monumental structures is worth admiration.
Secretariat : Standing tallest among all the three buildings of Capitol Complex, Secretariat is an eight storey structure. The grandeur of the building is depicted in its lofty appearance and corporate design. Visit to it can be a memorable experience for you.
High Court : Built in early sixties, the High Court building is a double-roofed one. It is shaped like an inverted umbrella. There are three piers that adorn the entrance. Building's façade is protected by a huge screen.
Legislative Assembly : It is another building of Capitol Complex that symbolizes magnanimity. The central porch of the building rests on a square shaped base. Just have a look at the parabolic structure of the cupola that embellishes the entire structure.
Open Hand Monument : Yet another important monument that adorns the Complex is Open Hand which epitomizes "open attitude" and is also a state emblem.
Kala Kendra : Run by Punjab Arts Council, this art academy of Chandigarh houses a nice collection of coeval art. Visit the gallery at any time between 10.00 in the morning to 5.00 in the evening.
National Gallery : This gallery of portraits comprises of a collection of several recordings dating back to the time of freedom struggle. There are also about books that are related to that period.
Religious Places : Apart from being a beautiful city, Chandigarh is also known for its religious centers. There are numerous temples and gurudwaras that are scattered through out. The temples of Hindu gods and goddesses are frequented by a large number of devotees. The popular ones are dedicated to Chandi Devi, Jayanti Devi, Lord Shiva, Mansa Devi, and Naina Devi. Gurudwaras like Anandpur Sahib, Dukhniwaran Sahib Nada Sahib are famous and are visited by thousands of Sikh followers.
Baisakhi : It is a festival of joy and merriment for the people of Chandigarh. It is celebrated with the advent of New Year (according to Indian calendar) and is marked with harvest season. Baisakhi is organized by states of Haryana and Punjab, of which Chandigarh is the capital.
Mango Festival : As the city is rich in Mango plantations, you can find here all varieties of mangoes. These are exhibited in the festival. Many competitions are organized and you can happen to see several hybrid varieties also.
Carnivals : Plaza Carnival and Chandigarh Carnival are quiet popular among youth. These are the occasions for showcasing the talent by them.
Festival of Gardens : Initially referred to as Rose Festival, this joyous occasion is celebrated by the organization of many cultural activities like folk dance, music, flower shows, and art exhibitions. A number of competitions are also organized and are participated by a thousands of people.
Nearby Attractions :
Cactus Garden : Situated in Panchkula, the garden comprises of a wide variety of succulents and cacti plants.
Mansa Devi : This temple lies at a distance of about 10 kilometers from Chandigarh. Built in North Indian style of architecture, this sanctified temple holds a special place in hearts of Hindu devotees.
Shimla : This summer retreat is located about 110 kilometers from the city. Known for its traditional bazaars, waterfalls, and old buildings, Shimla is a nice place to roam about.
One can't even think of visiting this salubrious city and return without doing spending a penny on shopping. Chandigarh has numerous shopping centers and departmental stores that attract big crowd. Most of these are amidst beautiful surroundings. The major crowd pulling areas are Sub Center at sector 34 and shopping complexes at sector 15 & 22.
In summers, light cotton cloths are desirable. During winter season, shawls, jackets, sweaters, and caps will protect you from the chill.
Both luxurious and budget hotels are available here. You can book different types of rooms depending upon your requirement. Hotel Regency, Shivalik View, Mount View, Aroma are some of popular names that offer major facilities to the customers.
The exceedingly beautiful city of Chandigarh welcomes you with its enamoring charm and pleasant surroundings.