Known as the first planned city of India, Chandigarh is unique in every sense of the term. It is the capital of Haryana and Punjab, yet is not a part of either, and is a Union Territory. The places to visit in Chandigarh are all beautifully designed and strategically planned. Always ahead of the times, Chandigarh is a stunning example of contemporary living despite having deep-rooted traditions. Chandigarh takes tree plantation as a serious project and works on it diligently leading to this city being known as the greenest city of India. The fact that a little bit of greenery has a great effect on your mental well-being, rings true for Chandigarh, for this marvellous city has been recognised as the happiest city in the country. The places to visit in Chandigarh are famously known to be spotless clean and surrounded by greenery.

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Places to visit in Chandigarh: Parks, Gardens and Zoo


The Rock Gardens of Chandigarh

This garden is a stellar example of how beauty can be created from absolutely nothing. The Rock Garden is a huge 40 acre garden consisting of sculptures made from scraps and waste materials. Structures of humans, birds, camels and elephants—all made out of waste products—make this garden one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh.

Also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, this famous place was made from scratch by Officer Nek Chand in his spare time. Being illegally constructed, the Rock Garden faced demolition, but was rescued by its popularity among tourists and locals. This famous place to visit in Chandigarh is now an icon, receiving more than 5000 visitors per day. Not only sculptures, the Rock Garden boasts of a beautiful waterfall and an amphitheatre as well. The festival of Teej is celebrated here every year with a lot of pomp and show. Make sure the Rock Gardens tops your list of places to visit in Chandigarh.

Pinjore Gardens

Dive into the regal splendour of the Mughals with this luxurious garden designed by Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century. When Nawab Fidai Khan, the Governor during Aurangzeb’s rule, visited Pinjore, he was smitten by its beauty, and immediately wanted a royal garden constructed here. One of the finest places to visit in Chandigarh, Pinjore Gardens is a treat to the senses.

The Garden covers an enormous land of 100 acres and has a mini zoo within its premises. With various species of birds and animals, this zoo is quite the crowd puller. One of the best parts of this garden is its amazing collection of flowering and other plants. The greatest thing is, however, the fact that you can take back home some of these plants. Admire nature in the terrace gardens, enjoy local street food or have a little picnic of you own—Pinjore Garden is no doubt one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh owing to the various activities you can take part in when you’re here. Do not miss the annual Mango Festival hosted in the garden every year.

Japanese Garden

Chandigarh is well-renowned for its gardens. Among all the gardens, the Japanese Garden of Chandigarh is a true work of art. This unique garden covers 13 acres of land, covered with stretches of green grass, magnificent flowers and trees. What really attracts people in this garden is the display of Japanese culture, making it one of the most interesting places to visit in Chandigarh.

The Japanese culture has been well depicted through the statue of Buddha, water bodies with bridges over them, waterfalls and pagoda towers. The orange squares of the pagoda are stacked one on top of the other, signifying each of the five elements of nature (earth, wind, fire, water and sky). A dragon sculpture has been made to support a swing set for children to enjoy, and this is a perfect place to visit in Chandigarh for a rejuvenating morning or evening stroll. Shutterbugs will love the charming sculptures and flowers of the Japanese Garden.

Rose Garden

Also known as the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, this place is an absolute delight for nature lovers. As the name suggests, the Rose Garden in Chandigarh displays a large variety of roses. In fact, there are about 900 varieties of roses here, making it one of the largest rose gardens in Asia. This garden is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh if you’re a lover of flowers.

Built in the year 1967 under the guidance of First Chief Commissioner M.S. Randhawa, the Rose Garden is a national treasure. You may also educate yourself on the different types of medicinal shrubs and herbs grown in this garden, all maintained by seasoned horticulturists. This garden is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh during the months of February and March, when the annual Rose Festival takes place. With over 20,000 visitors every day, the Rose Garden is undoubtedly one of the finest tourist places in Chandigarh.

Cactus Garden

Located in the Panchkula side of Chandigarh, the cactus garden was founded in the year 1987. If you think thorn-bearing and prickly cacti are not attractive, then think again—because this garden is about to change your views once and for all. This park covers an area of seven acres and is known as one of the largest succulent botanical gardens of Asia. One of the most interesting places to visit in Chandigarh, the Cactus Garden must definitely be a part of your trip.

There are about 3,500 different species of cacti here, all well maintained and beautifully displayed. The main purpose of this garden was to preserve and protect the diverse species of cacti, and to educate people on them. From Mexico to Yemen, the cacti found in this garden come from different parts of the world, including some endangered ones. The Cactus Garden is a delightful place to visit in Chandigarh, especially in the month of March when the annual cactus show is held.

Garden of Silence

Those of us who live in the city, are always looking to escape the wild noises, and crowded spaces.These things often cloud our thoughts making us want to break free. The Garden of Silence in Chandigarh is one such place where the clamouring city is unable to touch you. As the name suggests, the Garden of Silence is a calm meditative space, where you can unwind. This is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh if you want to stay away from the noise of the city.

Right in the middle of the park will you find a statue of Buddha. Surprisingly, you will be washed with a sense of serenity when you look at it. There are circular stairs around the statue, serving as the seating area. Rustic and calm, the charm of the garden is heightened by the bougainvillea flowers and the green trees. There is a beautiful play area for kids too. The Garden of Silence is undoubtedly one of the greatest places to visit in Chandigarh when you want to reclaim your peace of mind.

Garden of Fragrance

Away from the hustle bustle of the city lies a quaint little garden that is filled with the aroma of sweet-smelling flowers. The Garden of Fragrance is one of the most interesting places to visit in Chandigarh because of the fragrant flowers that grow here. The concept to dedicate a garden solely to aromatic flowers in itself is unique.

Founded in 1988, the Garden of Fragrance not only satisfies your olfactory senses, but is a treat to the eyes as well. Green and filled with vibrant flowers, this garden, on the whole, is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh. You may catch a whiff of the sweet-scented Night Queen, Damask Rose, Jasmine or Mehendi while you are here. This garden is a delightful spot to enjoy picnics, with open areas provided for various games. Go for a walk or a jog here early in the morning to rejuvenate your mind.

Chattbir Zoo

Covering an area of 202 acres, the Chattbir Zoo is the largest zoo in North India. There are about 80 species of rare and endangered animals, birds and reptiles in this zoo. This wonderful place to visit in Chandigarh is made more attractive by the presence of magnificent Royal Bengal tigers.

The Chattbir Zoo gives you the opportunity to get a peek into the lives of lions in their special lion safari, which cannot be missed at any cost. To intrigue you further, the zoo is also home to a number of magnificent white tigers. There is a spectacular variety of vibrant birds, all well taken care of by the zoo authorities in their near natural enclosures. This is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh if you want to go for a picnic amidst nature.

 

Places to visit in Chandigarh: Museums


Government Museum and Art Gallery

One of the most important museums of the country, the Government Museum of Chandigarh was established in the year 1947 after the partition of the country. When the artefacts from the Central Museum in Lahore needed to be relocated after the partition, this museum was created to shelter the invaluable heritage of India. This is one of the greatest places to visit in Chandigarh if you wish to experience and explore the heritage of our country.

Designed by the famous Le Corbusier, this museum is home to magnificent miniature paintings of the Pahadi and Rajasthani lifestyle, sculptures and artefacts, all indicative of India’s colourful heritage. Not on that, the art gallery here promotes the value of art by providing a prestigious platform to new artists. This interesting place to visit in Chandigarh boasts of a gigantic library with over 5,000 books, providing a lovely corner for bookworms and history buffs. A matchless tourist place in Chandigarh, a visit to the Government Museum is guaranteed to fill your heart with immense pride and joy.

Le Corbusier Centre

Chandigarh is brilliantly designed, and is famed as one of the most advanced cities of the country. All the places to visit in Chandigarh are well-planned and thoughtfully constructed. The mind behind the creation of the city’s design and structure is no one other than the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier. The Le Corbusier Centre is a tribute to the man who breathed life into Nehru’s dream of a planned city. Earlier, this place was used by him as an office where Chandigarh’s design was conceived. Now made into a museum, the Le Corbusier Centre showcases the life and works of the talented architect. This is definitely one of the greatest places to visit in Chandigarh to know more about the city, and admire it.

This beautiful place is one of the oldest buildings of Chandigarh, designed by Pierre Jeanneret. The sloping roof, stone pillars, and brick tiled floors of the establishment radiates a rustic yet artistic feel, perfect for creative minds. Photographs, designs, paintings and old documents of Le Corbusier are up on display for visitors to see and admire. A guided tour to this museum will be helpful for those who wish to stop by this amazing place to visit in Chandigarh.

Doll’s Museum

Relive the days of your childhood at the Doll Museum of Chandigarh. Situated at a relatively remote part of the city, the museum is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh if you wish to avoid the usual crowds of museums. There are 250 different types of dolls and puppets displayed here, brought in from various parts of the world, such as Germany, Spain, Korea, Denmark and the Netherlands. Out of all the places to visit in Chandigarh, the Doll’s Museum is definitely worth a visit if you are travelling with kids.

Established in 1985, the Doll’s Museum is especially popular among children who get to see and know more about the creation of puppets and dolls. However, it would be wrong to say that only kids would find joy here, for the skilfully made dolls are bound to charm adults as well. There are four main sections into which the museum is divided—Indian Dolls, International Dolls, History of Dolls and Activity Corner. There are Indian dolls from each of the states of the country, all dressed up vibrantly in their ethnic attires. Watch the kids enjoy their favourite fairy tale characters, such as Cinderella and Snow White, arranged as dolls. This museum should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Chandigarh. After all, don’t we all look for opportunities to cling on to our childhoods?

 

Places to visit in Chandigarh: Stadium


Mohali Cricket Stadium

Home ground of the Punjab cricket team, Kings XI Punjab, visiting the Mohali Cricket Stadium is an experience in itself. The vast cricket ground, and the deafening cheers of the enthusiastic spectators is what qualifies the stadium as one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh.

Inaugurated in 1993, the stadium is officially known as the Punjab Cricket Association I.S Bindra Stadium. The unique part of this stadium is the fact that the floodlights here are considerably low, to avoid disrupting aircraft flying to and from Chandigarh airport. If you are a cricket enthusiast, and want to be a part of the spirited crowd of the stadium, then this is undeniably the best place to visit in Chandigarh for you.

 

Places to visit in Chandigarh: Eateries


Bholey Di Hattey

Rajma Chawal is a signature dish that Punjabis absolutely love. Bholey Di Hattey is your dream destination if you want to relish a sizzling plate of Rajma Chawal. Served hot with plain jeera rice, Bholey di Hattey is one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh if you want to taste this unparalleled dish.

Pal Dhaba

One of the oldest eateries of Chandigarh, the Pal Dhaba is famous for their lip-smacking Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti. Try out any of their butter-laden parathas and you’re bound to forget your surroundings. A great place to visit in Chandigarh if you want a taste of the authentic flavour of Punjab. Quaint and inconspicuous, the Pal Dhaba has hosted some of the most popular Bollywood actors of all times.

Garg Chaat

When it comes to street food, Chandigarh has a plethora of tasty items. Head straight to Garg Chaat if you want to taste the best golgappa in Chandigarh. The crunchy golgappa filled with the sweet and savoury liquid is guaranteed to make you come back for more. Try the dahi bhalla, tikki, chaat and pakodi to get a better idea of the true taste of Punjab. Although there is usually a huge line of customers waiting, this amazing place to visit in Chandigarh cannot be missed at any cost.

Nik Baker’s

The amazing variety of desserts and baked goods here is guaranteed to make your sweet tooth tingle. Not only the taste, but the freshness of the items sold here is what makes Nik Bakers so special. Try out the shakes and smoothies, and do not forget to grab their delicious breakfast of ham and chicken omelette. This is one of the places to visit in Chandigarh that would make you want to come back to the city again and again!

 

Written by Baishali Dutta, an in-house Tripoto writer.




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