Placed at the base of the Shivalik Ranges, Chandigarh is popular for being the first-planned city of the country. This fabulous city is the administrative capital of both Haryana and Punjab and is the perfect option to plan a weekend getaway from Delhi. Chandigarh is known for its urban design and architecture that was done by architects like Le Corbusier (team lead), Maxwell Fry, Pierre Jeanneret and Jane Drew. This clean city is dotted with a number of tourist attractions and receives a decent footfall of tourists, all round the year. The city has been after Goddess Chandi.
How to Reach Chandigarh from Delhi
The city of Chandigarh is well-connected by train to Delhi. There are frequent trains which ply between the two cities. Once at the railway station, you can hire a cab to go to your desired destination.
The domestic airport of Chandigarh is located at a distance of around 8 km away from the city centre. There is regular air service through daily flights between the 2 cities. Hire a cab to reach your desired destination.
Delhi and Chandigarh are two important cities, well-linked to each other by road. You can either rent a cab for Chandigarh or you can opt for Deluxe Volvo buses and semi deluxe buses are available from Delhi.
Attractions in Chandigarh
Founded in 1967 as Zakir Rose Garden, it is the largest rose garden in Asia. Spread in 17 acres of land, this park houses over 1600 plant varieties including all types of roses. Contrary to its name, it does not only have roses, but there are a number of rare medicinal plants as well including Harar, yellow Gulmohar, Camphor, Bel and more. This well-planned and well-maintained garden is open for public viewing from morning to evening. A major crowd puller, this park plays host to a number of cultural festivals and a rose festival.
Sukhna Lake is a man-made lake that lies at the base of the Shivalik ranges. This 3 km long artificial lake is quite popular as a picnic spot amongst locals as well as tourists. This lake becomes the venue of a number of activities such as water skiing, boating and yachting. Sukhna Lake is known to have the finest of channels, perfect for yachting and rowing and there it hosts Asiatic level Rowing Championships. Every morning people can be seen here enjoying the cool breeze, indulging in bird watching, taking a leisure walk and partaking in jogging.
Placed between the Capitol Complex and the Sukhna Lake in Sector 1, Rock Garden is a proof of human imagination and novelty. One of its kind, this garden is known to have sculptures that are made-up of industrial and urban wastes includes coal, clay, china ware, broken glass bangles and discarded fluorescent tubes. Created by Chandigarh’s former Road Inspector, Nek Chand is spread in 64 acres of land. This garden also hosts Teej festival every year.
Covering an area of around 100 acres of land, Pinjore Gardens is a must-visit as it is home to a number of attractions. Also known as Yadavindra Gardens, this garden has a mythological connection also, dating back to the days of Mahabharata. This garden comprises of a Japanese garden, a mini zoo, a nursery and a number of beautiful well-manicured lawns. The garden looks beautiful during the day with its descending terraces and during the night because of its colourful fountains. The yearly mango festival and Baisakhi festival are organized.
The Leisure Valley has come-up as one of the most sought-after picnic spots of Chandigarh. This garden is spread throughout the city, which starts from Rajendra Park in Sector-1 and concludes at the Bougainvillea garden in sector 3. The garden gets a curved twist when it passes the brink of Sector-23. This cluster of beautiful garden becomes the venue of a 3-day long affair in the month of February, which is a cultural delight.
History of Chandigarh
Before the partition of India, Lahore was the capital city of unbroken Punjab. However, when Lahore became a part of Pakistan, Punjab had no capital. In addition, there was the migration of people of western Punjab to the eastern part of India. Thus, it became necessary that a place in the Shivalink ranges should be made that would become Punjab’s capital. Later, a committee was formed to pick an apt site keeping in mind several factors like climatic conditions, military vulnerability and so on. At last, a site was chosen and the city’s master plan was charted out by a team of architects- Mayor, Whittleslay, Glass and Nowicki. A problem came-up when after the demise of Nowicki, the team refused to work. The committee found another team of architect and finally in 1951, a team under French architect Le Corbusier, started working on the project. The project was completed in two phases, keeping in mind considerations like traffic, pollution, tourism, environment into consideration. The city got its name from the Goddess of Power, Chandi with the combination of word Garh that means fortress. This is how India’s first planned city was formed.
Culture of Chandigarh
Chandigarh is a cosmopolitan city with no dearth of temples, shrines and attractions. This city is home to people of every religion including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism and therefore, it is a blend of several cultures. The main languages spoken here are Hindi and Punjabi. This city attracts people from all around the country and a major chunk of the population of Chandigarh is service-class people. This city is known for housing the latest in technology, fashion, IT and studies. The people of Chandigarh love their food and are extremely friendly.
Shopping in Chandigarh
Chandigarh is known for housing a number of shopping venues that offer a variety of products. The city has a mix of traditional kinds of local markets, shopping complexes and shopping malls. This city offers an interesting mix of traditional stores and contemporary outlets. If you love shopping, you have unlimited options. There are handicrafts from Haryana and Punjab including Phulkari items, durries, jutties, parandis, colorful dupattas, interesting knick-knacks and much more. In Chandigarh, you can get clothes and accessories of most of the international brands. Some of the shopping centres are also nice places to hang out as they include cafes, eateries, fountains, sculptures and trees. Shopping complexes of Sector 17, 35, 22, 14 and 19 are some of the popular ones.
- Distance from Delhi- 256 km
- Travelling Time: 4h, 30m
- Distance from Shimla- 128 km