Famous as ‘The City Beautiful’, Chandigarh is the first planned city of India. Designed by French architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, popular as Le Corbusier, it is the only city that serves as capital for two states – Punjab and Haryana.
Renowned across the world, the city stands as a symbol of planned urbanisation. Chandigarh is also famous for its gardens like the Rose Garden and the Rock Garden. Contrary to popular perception of cities being noisy, Chandigarh is calm and peaceful.
Chandigarh has a dense cover of greenery. Forests which provide sanctuary for various animal species surround the city. Sukhna Lake is the home to a variety of birds including migratory ones.
Chandigarh has given India some of the best sportsmen in hockey, wrestling, cricket and other sports. There are some well-equipped Sports Complexes in Chandigarh run by the Chandigarh Administration. A 12 km track was made in 1999 for hosting the Bicycle Safari. Bicycle events are conducted on this track on regular basis. The Punjab Cricket Association stadium at Mohali, at the outskirts of Chandigarh is an international cricket stadium. The Chandigarh Golf Open Championship is one of the most prestigious golfing events in the country.
In and Around
The name refers to a sculpture garden located near Sukhna Lake. The Rock garden is also known by the name Nek Chand’s Rock Garden after its founder. Nek Chand was a former government official who started cultivating this garden secretly in his spare time. He kept it hidden from the government authorities for 18 years, till 1975. The garden features several interlinked causeways that run along the waterfalls of the Sukhna Lake and is landscaped with pottery and sculptures of dancers, animals and musicians.
It is spread over an area of 30 acres the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is the largest botanical garden in Asia that is dedicated to roses. The garden is named after Zakir Hussain the former President of India. Apart from roses the garden also features several verities of medicinal herbs.
It is known as the Yadavindra Gardens, the Pinjore gardens were created by a Nawab under the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The garden was expanded and reconstructed by the Maharaja Yadavindra of the State of Patiala. The garden houses several palatial structures that display a distinct blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles of architecture.
International Dolls Museum
The Dolls museum of Chandigarh contains dolls and puppets from over 25 different countries. The museum was established in 1985 and is managed by the Indian council of Child welfare. The prime attraction of the museum is the Indian section and the toy train.
A perfect picnic spot, the Terraced garden is spread around an area of 10 acres and is a well maintained botanical garden at the foothills of the Himalayan Shivalik Range. The Garden was established in 1979 and is best visited during the evening hours to experience the cool breeze and tranquil environment.
It is also known as the Mahendra Chaudhry Zoological Park, the zoo houses a huge number of exotic and wild animals, birds and reptiles. The thing to watch out for at this zoo is the famous lion safari.
The largest succulent botanical garden in Asia, the Cactus garden covers an area of 7 acres. The garden features more than 3500 different species of cacti and was established in 1987. The garden attracts a huge number of tourists and botanists each year.
Museum and Art Gallery
The massive art Gallery is located in sector 10 and is one of the most interesting places in Chandigarh. The museum contains antiquities from the Indus valley civilization to different paintings and coins from the ancient and historical times. The gallery also contains the dinosaur fossils which were excavated in the region.
A picturesque botanical garden, located between the Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1 stretches to about 88 acres. The main attraction of this garden is its rock formations, small lily-pools and rare species of plants kept in the green house. There is another botanical garden in the Punjab University. Cacti, succulent, ever green and exotic plants are arranged in each corner. This is the only place in Chandigarh where beautiful lotus flowers can be seen. One more botanical garden is being created in Chandigarh covering an area of 117 acres which include medicinal, exotic and indigenous plants species.
Hundreds of bougainvillea varieties adorn the garden spread over 20 acres in Sector 3. The creepers cover a wide assortment of arches, pavilions and arcades. The garden, popular for its vibrant colours, was opened in 1976. The annual Bougainvillea Show is held here.
Le Corbusier Centre
The office was named after and used by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier used the building as his office during the time he was commissioned to plan the city of Chandigarh. The center has now been converted into a museum dedicated to the architect and displays the life and times of Le Corbusier.
Shanti Kunj (Abode of Peace) in Sector 16 is situated between the Rose Garden and the Cricket Stadium. This park, a completely noise free area, has a good pathway for walking, under shades and through grass land. Spread over 18 acres of land, the park has different kinds of trees and medicinal plants. The natural stream running through this garden divides the park into 5 areas. There is also an open air stage in Shanti Kunj.
Sukhna Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes and lies at the foothills of the Shivalik Hills. It is a man-made lake about 3 km long created during 1958. A stream called Sukhna Choe was dammed and thus gave rise to the Sukhna Lake. It is a peaceful spot with scenic waterfront and the calling of birds adds to the serene atmosphere. A number of water sporting activities like boating, water skiing, yachting are carried out here. Picnics during the morning and evening are common and it is a meeting spot for locals who want to relax after a long day.
The Open Hand Monument
Open Hand monument in the Capitol Complex in sector 1, is made of a metal sheet, 14 metres high and weighing 50 tonnes, rotate freely in the wind from a high concrete pedestal. The hand rises 85 feet from an excavated plaza termed the fosse de la consideration, the pit of contemplation, which is provided for debate on public affairs. The design of this giant hand emblem was conceived by Le Corbusier. Some times it resembles a bird in flight. The symbol stands for peace and unity – ‘Open to give – Open to receive’. It is the official emblem of the city.
One of the biggest amusement parks in India is the Funcity amusement park which includes games for fun seekers of all age groups. It has some of the best hi-tech hydraulic and water games set up in nearly 43 acres. It is situated about 20 km from Chandigarh but is worthwhile to spend a day enjoying all the rides and sights. One of the major attractions of the park is the 5D cinema theatre which takes viewers into a totally different world. The water rides in Funcity are popular and give a cool experience to all the visitors.
Garden of Fragrance
One of the must-visit places in Chandigarh is the Garden of Fragrance with its clean and intoxicating fragrant trees and plant varieties. It is one of the three major gardens in Chandigarh. The Garden of Fragrance is situated in Sector 36 south of the Hibiscus Garden. The Garden of Fragrance has an advantage of not being crowded most of the time and it has frequent health conscious individuals working out on the laid tracks. It is a well-known picnic spot and is visited by local people out on a picnic with their families during mornings and evening.
The Leisure Valley starts from the foothills in Sector 1 in the north and leaves Chandigarh at its southern most edge in sector 53. Sections of Leisure Valley are known by different names. This Valley contains the famous Rose garden, Rajendra park, Smriti Upavan, Shanti Kunj, Terraced garden, Bougainvillea garden, Traffic park etc.
Chandigarh has well defined seasons mixed with hot and cool climates. The best time for visiting the place is from September to March.
How to Reach
The city is well connected with Delhi, Leh and Amritsar via air. The airport is located at a distance of about 12 kms from the city center.
The city is well connected with major cities via train. There are two trains, namely, Shatabdi Express and Himalayan Queen that link Chandigarh with Delhi and the best part is that these trains run daily.
There is an excellent road network in Chandigarh. There are two national highways, namely, No. 21 (Ambala-Kinnaur) and 22 (Chandigarh-Leh) that serve this union territory by connecting it with other parts of the country. Infact, there are many pilgrimage spots and famous towns that are located at a motorable distance. There are several buses that link Chandigarh with other neighboring cities. Buses are of different kinds: air-conditioned, deluxe, semi-deluxe or ordinary.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Plot Number 15,
Industrial Area Phase 1,
Chandigarh , Punjab,160001
Park Plaza Chandigarh – A Sarovar Hotel
Block Number 10, Sector 17,
Chandigarh , Punjab,160017
Golden Tulip Panchkula
Morni Road, Near Nada Sahib Gurudwara ,
Chandigarh , Punjab,134109
Where to Eat
Eating out in Chandigarh is not a problem. Infact, the city provides a number of choices to choose from. Talking about what to eat in Chandigarh, we have the lip smacking Punjabi dishes consisting of Sarson ka Saag, Makki di Roti, Punjabi Chhole, Dal Makhni and not to forget the Lassi (a tasty beverage made from curd). Apart from the typical north Indian food, there are several fast food joints serving continental, Chinese and South Indian food. You can also find various chicken corners in the city.
Shop No. 322,
Sector 35-B, Chandigarh
SCO 47, Sector 17-E / SCO 409 & 410,
Sector 35 C, Chandigarh
Shop 165-166, Sector 28-D,