Chandigarh is one of the most amazing cities in North India; a joint capital of Haryana and Punjab, known for the vibrant and hospitable people and the amazing food! Here are the ten places one can visit in Chandigarh.
How to Get There
- By Air: There is the Chandigarh Airport and there are many flights to other major cities in the country.
- By Rail: Chandigarh Junction and Chandi Mandir and are well connected via regular trains to many cities in the country.
- By Road: There are regular buses from many cities in the country to Chandigarh and is very well connected within Haryana and Punjab.
Best Time to Visit
During summer (March to June), Chandigarh experiences hot and humid weather with occasional showers and during monsoon (May to mid September), there are heavy showers and traveling to Chandigarh is best avoided. Winter is the best time because the weather is really pleasant and is great for sightseeing.
1. Sukhna Lake
Beautiful and vast area of water body, a nice long jogging track, ducks quacking and the distant, amber sunrise is what the Sukhna Lake is all about. Located in Sector 1 in Chandigarh is this beautiful Lake which is a perfect place for an early morning walk or a long evening stroll. Boating facilities, voluntary activities taken up by the people and the membership based Lake Club which gives opportunities for people to have a pleasant time is just remarkable. One must make it a point to visit this lake when in Chandigarh.
2. Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Art from scrap is how one can summarize the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. This renowned garden has a vast land which is completely built of scrap, industrial waste materials. Located very close to the Sukhna Lake, this garden has the most intriguing base materials used to build waterfalls, monuments, sculptures, such as glass, recycled ceramic, bottles etc. Recycling materials and putting up beautiful displays and the most intriguing lost kingdom layout of the garden makes this place worth a visit.
3. Open Hand Monument
A small insight into the symbolic emblem of Chandigarh’s Government and into its history is what the Open Hand Monument is all about. It is symbolic for being a centre for social and civic change. The saying ‘Open to Give-Open to Receive’ inscribed and the rotating hand in accordance with the wind are all snippets of symbolism that highlight the strong intent behind its construction. The high security zone owing to the presence of Vidhana Sabha, High Court gives one a sense of responsibility towards this beautiful place.
4. Chattbir Zoo
If one has to see the true essence of Chandigarh, then one cannot afford to miss the wildlife it preserves! The Chattbir Zoo which is at a distance of about 17km from Chandigarh is a vast land with a beautiful lush green backdrop. It is famous for the Royal Bengal Tiger, the reserve of Asiatic Lions, colorful birds, rare mammals and reptiles such as Muggar Crocodile, Gharial, Indian Python, and large parks amidst the jungle make it perfect for a weekend getaway.
5. Tower of Shadows
Located in Capitol Complex in Sector 1 is the architectural marvel called Tower of Shadows. As interesting as the name sounds, this monument is a beautiful representation of Le Corbusier theories and understanding of sun control. This monument is located between the Parliament and the High Court and is a source of sheer amazement to see the shadows which form in accordance to the movement of the sun.
6. Mansa Devi Mandir
Located at a distance of 8km from Chandigarh is the Mata Manasa Devi in Panchkula. The pure white, tall exterior and the orange flag on the top with trees in the background including the holy Peepal tree is just as simple as it can get. The main deity is a form of Shakti, Manasa Devi and is one of the most important Shakti temples in the region. The Navaratri festival is one of the best times to visit for the whole temple comes alive with pomp and celebration!
7. Parrot Bird Sanctuary
In a bustling city life, a day spent enjoying the beautiful view of parrots and the sweet sound in the calm backdrop is certainly refreshing. The City Bird Sanctuary located in sector 21 is a haven for bird watchers and the parrots residing there. There are plenty of trees mottled with the unique green color of the parrots where hundreds of parrots live and there is a park adjoining it where people can take a stroll on a weekend morning! Photographers would have a time of their life here and the rest is just magic.
8. Leisure Valley
Like the Amazon for mother Earth, Leisure Valley is considered as the lungs of Chandigarh city; a vast expanse of lush greenery, fresh air and peace. There are various theme gardens and the valley is about 8km long, the very first park is located in Sector 1 and is the Rajendra Park, the next is the Bougainvillea Garden in Sector-3 and is a colorful, floral paradise. There are many more such as Hibiscus garden, Children Traffic Park and so on. One can take long walks, photograph, meditate and rejuvenate in this beautiful place.
9. Government Museum and Art Gallery
Situated right in the centre of the city is the historically important Government Museum and Art Gallery. It is known for its exquisite and unique collection of artifacts, Gandharan sculptures, and those beautiful murals and miniature Mughal and Pahari paintings and the fact that they were retained by India after the partition is what makes this place so significant. The Chandigarh Architecture Museum which houses original documents owing portraying the different phases of Chandigarh’s formation and the Natural history museum makes this place worth a visit.
10. Zakir Hussain Rose Garden
Located in Sector 16 is the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden which basically is a botanical garden. Named after Zakir Hussain, a former President of India, this is Asia’s largest garden which has a variety of plants in addition to roses; trees and plants of medicinal value like bel, camphor and yellow gulmohar can be found.
The Rose Festival which is an annual rose festival is a celebration of the beauty of roses; joyrides, cultural activities, food and drinks, landscaping and gardening are some of the activities which come into the fore. This place is amazing for a weekend visit with family and friends!
Chandigarh is a harmonious, beautiful and a diverse region with regards to the geography and the places to visit. The food, people and the environment here is just awe inspiring, ergo is one of the most important cities in Northern India when it comes to tourism.