Chandigarh is an Indian city, district, and union territory that serves as the joint capital of the adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh is bounded to the north, west, and south by the state of Punjab, and to the east by the state of Haryana. It is included in the Chandigarh Capital Region or Greater Chandigarh, which also includes Chandigarh, the city of Panchkula (in Haryana), and the cities of Kharar, New Chandigarh, Mohali, and Zirakpur (in Punjab).
It is 260 kilometers (162 miles) north of New Delhi, 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of Shimla, and 229 kilometers (143 miles) southeast of Amritsar. Chandigarh is among the first planned cities in post-independence India and is well-known for its architecture and urban design on a global scale. The city’s master plan was created by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who evolved from earlier plans created by the Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and American planner Albert Mayer.
The Chandigarh Capital Project Team, led by Le Corbusier, Jane Drew, and Maxwell Fry, designed the majority of the city’s government buildings and housing. In 2015, a BBC article named Chandigarh one of the world’s few master-planned cities that had succeeded in combining monumental architecture, cultural growth, and modernization.
Planning a visit to Chandigarh? Here’s a guide to places you must visit when in Chandigarh!
Best places to visit in chandigarh
Government Museum and Art Gallery
The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh are among India’s most prominent museums, speaking of Indian history and partition. The museum, which opened in August 1947, is well-known for its vast collection of paintings, artifacts, and sculptures. Furthermore, its one-of-a-kind architecture, designed by Le Corbusier, is highly regarded. Dr. MS Randhawa, the then-chief commissioner of Lahore, dedicated the museum on May 6, 1968.
This institution’s mission is to encourage appreciation of the values embedded in art and to bring it closer to people’s lives via the inference of its rich collection and innovative programs. It is located in the town center and has a vision of the Shivalik ranges in the background. Its visit will provide you with in-depth knowledge of Gandharan sculptures, Pahari, and Rajasthani miniature paintings.
Its collection is housed at the Government Museum and Art Gallery-
The museum is divided into seven sections, each of which showcases a different section of the history collection. The sculptures of ancient India, medieval India, and the Gandhara period are on display at the Government Museum and Art Gallery. It also exhibits artifacts from various historical periods, such as Indian miniature paintings, metal sculptors, decorative art, and contemporary Indian art. The museum’s natural history section displays the evolution of man, dinosaurs in India, and ancient manuscripts. The National Gallery of Portraits exhibits photographs of Indian independence fighters dating back to the year 1857. Some of them are mentioned further below:
- Painting in Miniature: The museum houses an incredible collection of miniature paintings from the Pahari School of Art, displaying the Rajasthani idiom, as well as various paintings related to Sikh Art. It is home to magnificent and rare paintings. Many of them are portraits of rajas who supported several Pahari schools. The names of the painters are inscribed on the paintings so that the visitor knows who owns them.
- Sculpture of Mediaeval Indians: Padmavati, the largest and most attractive of all, was carried from Solapur. Other sculptures include the Vijaynagar Jina Figure and Brahminical faith statues from various locations in Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Agroha, and Haryana.
- Indian Contemporary Art: It contains works by Anis Farooqui, Amrita Shergil, Bireshwar Sen, Raj Jain, Jatin Das, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, J. Sultan Ali, Jaya Appasami, Manu Parekh, and others.
- Gandhara: The 627 Gandhara sculptures are those that fell into the Indian region after the 1947 partition. The sculptures come in a variety of styles and sizes. There are a few large images of Bodhisattva and Buddha. The main draws are Panchika and Hariti. These are ancient relics. Scholars will be very interested in this collection.
To get to the museum, which is located in Chandigarh’s 10C sector, you can take a private taxi or an auto-rickshaw.
The Rock Garden, located in Sector 1 of Chandigarh, is a nice open exhibition hall that exhibits sculptures made from urban and industrial waste that was designed and accomplished by Nek Chand, a former Road Inspector in Chandigarh. It is situated between the renowned Sukhna Lake and the Capitol Building and is a must-see! This sprawling 40-acre garden, also recognized as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, is a vibrantly colored mosaic of art pieces and sculptures. If you’re taking a cab, the rock garden is located on Uttar Margin Sector 1, 1.5 kilometers from Sukhna Lake. Buses and auto-rickshaws are also readily available.
The Rock Garden exhibition area is divided into three phases, each with a different type of installation and embellishments. Each phase focuses on a different type of installation, and walking through them is a true pleasure. Mr. Nek Chand, the creator, has truly redefined art and craft using terracotta pots, light fixtures, and even broken toilet bowls! Officer Nek Chand built the Rock Garden in his spare time in 1957 and it has become a long-standing symbol of imagination and novelty in the city.
The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is a true example of ‘Best From Waste,’ with approximately 5,000 statues within its boundaries. Every year, Chandigarh’s Rock Garden hosts the Teej festival, which is celebrated here with zeal. This festival commemorates the monsoon and is primarily observed by the women of the house.
These women are elegantly dressed and have stunning henna designs on their palms. Various cultural programs, such as singing and dancing, are held here for the enjoyment of all. During this festival, giant decorative wings are a special attraction. Teej celebrations in the Rock Garden create a sense of harmony and mutual well-being in the community.
Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is a lovely spot, nestled at the foot of the Shivalik Hills. Sukhna Lake is a 3 square kilometer man-made lake that is the only one of its kind in the city. It was created in 1958 by damming the seasonal Sukhna Choe (Stream) that runs down the Shivalik Hills. The lake’s pristine blue water attracts a steady stream of morning joggers and walkers who can also enjoy the fresh air.
In fact, Le Corbusier, the architect of Chandigarh, India’s first planned city, alleged that this lake would be the center of residents’ wellness pursuits. The esplanade at the front of the lake is popular with walkers and joggers who come here to get their exercise. It also has one of the longest growing channels in the country, where the Asian Rowing Championships are held. A lazy boating tour on Sukhna Lake is a great way to experience it. You can hire a boat for an individual or a couple for between INR 50 and INR 100.
Aside from being a delight for artists and photographers, the lake is also a great location for sports such as rowing and trampoline jumping, as well as the recent addition of a Solar Cruise. It is home to a variety of fish species as well as migratory birds like Siberian ducks and cranes. The lake, which is surrounded by a golf course and the famous Rose Garden, provides a captivating escape to its visitors at all hours of the day.
The best times to visit the lake are:
- From January to April: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- From August to September, the hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- From September to December, the hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Cost per person: INR 100 for four people, INR 50 for two people.
- Parking Fee: The parking fee for a school bus is INR 50 and for a private bus is INR 200.
The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking is in charge of the city’s bus service. It is a very efficient method to get to Sukhna Lake. If you are staying near the lake, auto rickshaws are an excellent option. Alternatively, taking a taxi is the best way to get to Sukhna Lake.
Rose Garden, located in Sector 16 of Chandigarh, is a blooming exhibit that features approximately 825 variants of flowers and 32,500 variations of trees and medicinal shrubs. This garden, also known as the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden after India’s former president, is spread across 30 acres and is adorned with an exquisite variety of flowers, making it popular among tourists and nature enthusiasts.
The Rose Garden in Chandigarh is best visited between the months of February and March when the flowers are in full bloom. The Rose Festival is also held throughout these months, making it the ideal time to visit. It is Asia’s largest garden of its kind, and it was built in 1967 under the supervision of the First Chief Commissioner, MS Randhawa.
Every year, the Rose Festival is held in the Rose Garden at the end of February and lasts until the beginning of March. It attracts over 20,000 visitors from across the country. It not only displays the finest roses, but also hosts numerous competitions, cultural events, and other celebrations. During the festival, stalls, decorations, and upbeat music take over the garden, making it a spectacle in and of itself.
The primary draw here, however, is the endearing roses, which are in full bloom due to the season. Various modes of transportation make it simple to reach the destination. You can take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to the garden, which is located in Sector 16. However, if you are traveling by private vehicle, you may have difficulty finding a free parking space. You can also ride your bike up to the park and park it in the designated bicycle parking area.
Chattbir Zoo, also known as the Mahendra Choudhary Zoological Park, is a zoological park located in Zikarpur, close to Chandigarh. A wide range of animals, birds, and reptiles can be found in the park. The zoo, which sprawls over 202 acres of land, provides an open enclosure for the animals to maintain their natural habitat environment. The Royal Bengal Tiger is the zoo’s star attraction. Chhatbir Zoo in Chandigarh is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Zoo is open 6 days a week and is closed on Mondays and all national holidays, including the 26th of January, the 15th of August, and the 2nd of October. For children aged 3 to 12, the entry fee to Chhatbir Zoo Chandigarh is approximately INR 25 per person. Individuals over the age of 12 are required to pay INR 60 per person, whilst also children under the age of three are admitted free of charge.
If a school wishes to take its students on an educational trip, it must pay INR 25 per student for Primary School students and INR 30 per student for High School students. Those who want to try their hand at still photography will be charged INR 150 per day, and those who want to try their hand at videography will be charged INR 250 per day. If the Chhatbir Zoo Chandigarh is required for a commercial shoot, it will cost approximately INR 40,000 per day.
The ferry vehicle costs INR 25 for children aged 3 to 12 years, while adults pay around INR 50 per person. Individuals over the age of three will pay INR 50 per person for a bus ticket to Lion Safari. Because of the readily available public and private transportation, getting to Chhatbir Zoo Chandigarh is not a difficult task. Take a look at all of the different modes of transportation that can be used to get to this location. Using roadways is the best and most efficient way to visit this Zoo. The closest railway station is the city railway station, which is about 16 kilometers away from the main destination.
From the station, one can take a taxi and cover a distance of about half an hour very quickly and efficiently. The closest airport to Chhatbir Zoo is Chandigarh International Airport, which is about 12 kilometers away. This airport is well-connected not only to the country’s major cities but also to the world’s major countries.
This International Airport serves a variety of flights, including IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara, Air India, and others. To cover the remaining distance between the airport and the zoo, one can easily hire a taxi or take the bus. This is the most efficient way to get to your destination. Chandigarh is a city that is well-connected by road to all of its major parts. Buses are easily accessible from major cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Shimla, and others.
Sector 17 Market
The most popular market in the city is Sector 17. The market, which is brimming with big-name stores, international outlets, food chains, and eateries, is popular with both children and adults. The market has something for everyone, from children’s clothing to fashion apparel to bridal stores and the like, and it is bustling with visitors all day.
International Dolls Museum
The Indian Council of Child Welfare founded the museum in 1985, and it houses a massive assortment of fascinating dolls and marionettes brought from countries such as Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Korea, and Russia, in addition to the large Indian collection.
Other attractions include a toy train and a ceramic fresco depicting the giant German railway station and other historical landmarks.
Elante Mall, located in Industrial Area Phase 1, is Chandigarh’s second-largest mall. The mall, which spans 20 acres of land, is equipped with cutting-edge technology in the retail space, parking, and PVRs. It has a large food court with numerous eateries, a large play zone for children, and several clothing, footwear, and cosmetics stores.
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