If there is any city that combines scenic beauty and architectural brilliance and enjoys the privilege of being the capital of two states, it is the city beautiful- Chandigarh. While you may argue that the city does not provide the serenity that is experienced in the hills or the relaxation that is felt by lying down in the sand on a beach, yet the city is capable of giving you a memorable holiday.
Located on the foothills of the Shivalik Hills, the city shares its borders with the states of Punjab and Haryana. Designed by the master architect Le Corbusier, the city is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Chandi. The city sustains a forested ecosystem with dense eucalyptus and banana plantations donning its streets, making it the perfect place for having a long drive and experiencing the cool breeze at night with minimal traffic and noise. Excited already? Read ahead and discover the plethora of things you can do in this small yet grand city.
This beautiful city hosts a number of gardens, shopping malls and other major tourist attractions. One of the places Chandigarh is known for is the famous Rock Garden. Sprawling over an area of forty acres, this magnificent garden is built entirely out of scrap and waste materials like bottles, tiles and ceramic pots, with artificial waterfalls adding to its visual brilliance. This one of its kind sculpture garden attracts a whopping tourist population of five thousand on a daily basis!!! Other gardens in Chandigarh include the popular Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, which boasts of being the largest rose garden in Asia and houses about 1600 varieties of the lovely flower. If you like the spiny kind, the place for you is the Cactus Garden, largest succulent botanical garden of Asia. It has very rare and endangered species of succulent plants, with some of the cacti taller than many of us!!! These stunning gardens are every photographer’s dream and even after a whole day at any of these places with the camera, the photographer is bound to go back for more.
If you don’t want to sit and relax in one of the gardens and go on a wild shopping spree, Chandigarh is the city for you. Here, you avail the benefit of bargain shopping in the markets of Sectors 9,19, 22 where you can get clothes, funky jewelry and trendy footwear at reasonable prices that can be negotiated. However, if you don’t mind shelling out money from your pocket and enjoy donning brands, the Elante Mall is the place for you. It offers you four floors of luxury and exuberance, with all the major brands like Zara, Mango, Allen Solly, Louis Phillip, Arrow, Nike, Puma….and the list is endless. After a tiring day, you can pamper yourself at the spa. If not shopping, you could go there for watching a movie or bowling.
If there is one place many people associate Chandigarh with, it is the renowned Sukhna Lake. The lake provides facilities for boating, yachting and is home to species of ducks and geese and also attracts migratory birds from parts of Siberia and Japan in the winter season. The picturesque beauty combined with the cool breeze makes it the perfect place for a morning walk. After a round of boating, one gets to enjoy the delicious eats, thereby making it the haven for rejuvenation. Fringing the lake is the Golf Course, which can be visited in case you love the sport.
Chandigarh also preserves and showcases history in its museums. The City Museum contains the original sketches, models, plans, photographs and all such documents that explain the evolution of the city from the stage of rough paper sketches to its realization. The displays that are stored at the basement explain the story of India’s partition and the need to build the new capital city of Chandigarh. The International Dolls Museum in Chandigarh stocks about 250 splendid dolls and puppets gathered from all over the world and serves like an amusement park for the children. Not lagging behind when it comes to culture, the Kala Gram is the cultural centre of the city and showcases various dance and music events from all over the country.
Chandigarh is the city that provides ample opportunities for leisure, escapades and shopping. It combines beauty, luxury, history, culture and adventure. So the next time you plan a holiday, do keep the city beautiful in mind!!!