Chandigarh City Guide – Chandigarh Travel Attractions
Chandigarh, the home of Chandi, gets is name form the Hindu goddess Chandi. It has the pride of being the first planned modern city of India. The architecture and urban planning of Chandigarh is of international fame. It serves as the capital of Punjab, Haryana, and the union territory of Chandigarh. This is a marvelous city full of gardens set against the backdrop of the fabulous Shivalik Mountains. It has a sub-tropical monsoon climate with hot summers and cold winters. The temperature varies form -1 to 46.5 °C. Former Indian Prime Minister Nehru commented on Chandigarh as “unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation’s faith in the future.”
The Rock Garden is not a garden of flora, but it is a showcase to a massive collection of natural rock forms and stones. It sprawls over 64 acres and hosts a spectacular show of dolls and figures of birds, animals, and human beings made out of waste materials like bottle tops, fluorescent lights, mud guard, tin cans, broken glass, building waste etc. This astonishing garden was the result of an idea conceived by Nek Chand, an ordinary employee of the public works department of Chandigarh. The garden also has an open air theater and a vast spectator area with a center stage for cultural programs. A nominal entrance fee is collected to visit this unique tourist spot.
This is a manmade lake spreading over three square kilometers. The amazing background of mountains and reserve forests adds beauty to this lake. The seasonal stream Sukhna Choe from the Shivalik Mountains is the water source of the lake. The shores of this lake covered with blooming trees are a perfect place for strolling and bird watching. One can see a number of migratory birds during the winter season, that is, December to February. One has easy access to the astonishing Rock Garden form the lake, which is located nearby.
The Capitol Complex
The Capitol Complex houses the Legislative assembly, the High Court, and the Secretariat. This complex in sector 1 was designed by Corbusier and has a number of monuments based on his personal philosophy. This beautifully designed group of buildings is a worthy sight. The highlights of Capitol complex are as follows: The Open Hand Monument which is a gigantic metal hand that rises about 85 feet from an excavated plaza known as the fosse de la consideration. Secretariat: The largest building of the Capitol Complex with a panoramic view of the city and the hills beyond, from the roof top. The Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha): The artistic grace of this building lies in the removable dome and a mural designed by Le Corbusier. The High Court: This building is a classic work of the contemporary architecture and the first monument to be built in the Capitol complex. Any tour to Chandigarh is incomplete without a visit to Capitol complex.
Morni Hill Station, which is located 45 km form the city and divides two lakes that are considered to be sacred. With a salubrious climate and a cover of pine trees, Morni is the best place for trekking. Other places of interest include Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, Saketri Shiv Mandir, Kasauli Hill Station, Chattbir Zoo, and Pinjore Gardens.
Accommodation and Transportation
Hotels like Mount View, Shivalik View, Park View, and Taj Chandigarh provide star comforts to tourists. Guest houses like UT Guest House, Panchayat Bhawan, Punjab Bhawan, Circuit House, and Kisan Bhawan provide decent accommodation. Economy class hotels include the following: Chanan Ram, Gulati Bhawan, Gujjar Bhawan, Indira Holiday Home, Jat Bhawan, and Khukhrain Bhawan
Local transport by bus is provided by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking. It also provides inter-state transport with regular bus services to Delhi and most major cites of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Rickshaws and autos provide limited transport. It has a small railway station and has regular trains to Delhi, and less frequent trains to Kalka, Ambala, Amritsar, Bhiwani, Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Trivandrum, and Sri Ganganagar. Both government and private airlines operate regular flights to Delhi and Mumbai.