Chandigarh travel guide – Chandigarh Sightseeing
The City Beautiful, Chandigarh is located in the northern parts of India. It is a union territory and the capital of two states, namely Punjab and Haryana. The word Chandigarh means “fort of deity Chandi” and that is why it is believed that the city is dedicated to the goddess Chandi. A total population of about two million including the NCR (National Capital Region), that is, Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur is dwelling in this area. The majority of natives dwelling in Chandigarh speak Punjabi (State Language), Hindi (Indian national language) and English.
Chandigarh is India’s first planned city which was designed by Le Corbusier. Prior to the independence of India, Chandigarh was just another city in Punjab, but at the time of independence, when India got divided into two parts, the state capital Lahore was given to Pakistan. So, a new capital for Punjab was formed by the first Prime Minister of India, that is, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Pt. Nehru decided to design the city in such a way that the entire plan should accommodate not more than 5 lakh people, but slowly with the development, Chandigarh became a metropolitan area and the population also increased immensely.
One more state was formed after 1947 and that was Haryana. In this state also, majority of people spoke Punjabi and Hindi and moreover Chandigarh was the border city for both Haryana and Punjab. So it was decided to make Chandigarh a Union territory and capital for both the states. This was a major initiative taken by the government and now the same technique is implemented for many other Indian cities.
Chandigarh is a very well planned city with wide roads and lots of green vegetation all around. The city is also known to be one of the richest cities in India. In the present time, Chandigarh has slowly turned into an IT hub with several software companies coming up and most importantly, it has become a famous tourist destination for the people, these days.
Chandigarh experiences sub tropical continental climate with three major seasons, namely summers, winters and monsoons. Summers are quite hot with a temperature going up to 47 degree centigrade and winters are cold enough with a temperature dropping below 0 degree centigrade. The city receives good amount of rain fall during the monsoons.
Places of Interest
Chandigarh being India’s well planned cities has a lot to offer its visitors. It is located on the foot hills of Shivalik Ranges of Himalayas and comprises of stunning scenic beauty. There are lots of tourist places in and around Chandigarh including Rock garden, the open hand monument, Sukhna Lake, Leisure valley, Botanical garden, Rajendra Park, Topiary Park, National Gallery of Portraits and International Doll Museum to name a few. Some interesting tourist spots around Chandigarh include Cactus garden, Mansa Devi temple, Chattbir zoo, Morni hills and Kasauli.
Rock Garden: This unique garden of its own kind is a real treat to watch. Located in the northern part of Chandigarh, the garden is a perfect way to experience the hidden talent in Indians. If one wants to know how domestic waste can be managed effectively, then they must visit this garden. It is a perfect example of ‘Best Out of Waste’.
This garden is not a common park or something like that other ordinary gardens where there are flowering plants and trees. Rock Garden is solely made out of domestic waste like bottle tops, fluorescent lights, broken glass, building waste and many such things. The entire credit for making this fabulous piece of architecture out of waste goes to Nek Chand.
He was an ordinary employee of PWD (Public Works Department) who collected all these domestic waste and gave a new shape to his creativity. He has carved out dolls, birds, men, animals and many other things using the waste and has embellished them in a unique manner. The PWD of Chandigarh was so much impressed by his impressive work and creativity that they decided to make him the director of this park. The open air theatre with a center stage has now become a well known spot for the natives for organizing different kinds of cultural programs.
Sukhna Lake: Located in the northern part of Chandigarh, this beautiful manmade lake is spread over 3 sq kilometers of area. The lake was made by diverting Sukhna Choe which was a stream that flowed down the Shivalik ranges. The beautiful background of the hills and trees make this lake a perfect place to enjoy some peaceful moments with the loved ones.
The lake is also a great place for the bird watchers, especially during the months of December and February. Several birds from Central Asia, Siberia and many other parts of the world migrate to this beautiful lake. There is boating and yachting option where people can have a great fun. It is also is a great venue for Asian boat rowing championship. As the sun sets, the lights are turned on and the reflection of these lights on the lake water with an awesome view of the mountains and greenery all around make it a real treat to watch. Different cultural and other artistic programs are also held near the cafeteria region at the lake.
Things do to
Chandigarh is a great city with a lot of things that travelers can do during their vacation. To spend quality time with the family, the tranquilizing atmosphere at the lake and gardens is the best alternative. The main city hubs like Sector-17 and Sector-35 are a great place to enjoy drinking and dancing at nights, especially if you are a party animal. If you are a shopping freak, then you need not to worry, Chandigarh offers great options for both budgeted and branded shopping.
Transportation and Accommodation
Chandigarh has all qualities of a great metropolitan city and so it offers different alternatives for transportation like local buses, auto rickshaws and private taxi service. The city also incorporates several hotels for all class of people from different walks of life. Some of the well known hotels include Taj, Mount View, Shivalik View, Sun Beam, Piccadilly and KC Residency to name a few.