This beautiful city is an artful combination of splendid architecture and greenery

Photo of This beautiful city is an artful combination of splendid architecture and greenery by Amrita

Chandigarh has always been a special place. Being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, the beautiful borderline city has the best of both the states. Chandigarh is one of the most well planned cities having splendid architecture as well as greenery in its parks and gardens. It is like a blend of both the worlds where you get the grandeur of the modern architecture coexists with the gorgeous gardens with the mountains looming in the distant horizon.

Chandigarh is known as the “City Beautiful” and is very aptly named so. The city has a number of tourist attractions along with an active nightlife. And who can ever deny the culinary delights of Punjabi food. So here is a guide to spend 72 hours in Chandigarh that will give you the best of the city. As you marvel at the incredible architecture, also admire the natural beauty of the city.

Sukhna Lake | Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Day 1

The day always starts with having a hearty breakfast. So after your arrival at the City Beautiful, you would probably be looking for some place for having some good breakfast. You can head towards Oven Fresh at Sector 35 for the aroma of fresh bakes and some great pizzas in town.

If you are fond of the nostalgia of Indian Coffee House, then you can head towards Indian Coffee House at Sector 17. It serves great food at cheap prices. The third option is the Backpackers Café, a place perfect for travellers where food meets travel. The place serves gourmet European breakfast and great coffee.

So after a hearty breakfast, you are now ready for exploring the city.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of This beautiful city is an artful combination of splendid architecture and greenery by Amrita

Marvel at the creativity at Chandigarh Rock Garden

Start your day by visiting the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. This 40 acres garden is a visual splendor. The garden was founded by Nek Chand in 1975 and comprises of colourful mosaic of art pieces and sculptors created by household and industrial wastes. This was initially started as a hobby that has now turned into a major attraction of Chandigarh. The garden has more than 2000 sculptures all created from junk and debris and wastes such as industrial waste, scrap, bottles, bangles, broken ceramics, bottles and pipes. The garden has different phases demonstrating the various installations and structures in them. Phase one has terracotta pots and structures made from tiles, mirrors, broken bangles and other things. Phase two has a huge waterfall and the third phase has statues of elephants and camels.

Opening hours: All days of the week- 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM (April- September), 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM (October- March)

Photo of Rock Garden, Sector 1, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Courtesy: WIkimedia

Photo of Rock Garden, Sector 1, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Boating at the Sukhna Lake

The next in line should be the Sukhna Lake. This is a beautiful artificial lake located on the foothills of Shivalik Range. It is a rain fed lake and is created by pulling out the water of the stream there. This beautiful and serene lake is one of the most visited places in Chandigarh. The pristine blue waters of the lake and its peaceful surroundings are perfect for those looking for solitude. The lake also has a few water activities like boating, solar cruise and trampoline jumping. During the winter months, the lake also becomes the home for several migratory birds.

Photo of Sukhna Lake, Sector 1, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Pay a visit to the Mata Mansa Devi Temple

After spending some time at the Sukhna Lake, visit Mata Mansa Devi Temple, located about 15 minutes from the lake. The temple was built during 1811-1815 by Sh. Karam Singh, the then Maharaja of Patiala. Two temples are located in the Mansa Devi Temple Complex and is one of the famous pilgrimage sites of the area. The temple is also a fine example of the traditional architecture style of that era. The murals and paintings inside the temple are quite beautiful.

Day 2

A visit to the Leisure Valley

Start your day by visiting the Leisure Valley. Also known as the Lungs of the city, the Leisure Valley is a continuum of various themed gardens. Le Corbusier designed the gardens from the eroded valley of a seasonal rivulet and sculptured the place into a stretch of 8 km long park. It starts at Rajendra Park in Sector 1 and stretches at the southernmost edge of the city at Sector 53. The gardens include Rose Garden, Hibiscus Garden, Shanti Kunj, Garden of Fragrance, Bougainvillea Garden, terraced gardens, fitness trails and a few more.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Leisure Valley Park, Sector 29, Gurugram, Haryana, India by Amrita

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Leisure Valley Park, Sector 29, Gurugram, Haryana, India by Amrita

These gardens not only add to the beauty of the city, but also help in curbing the pollution. You can visit any of the gardens and walk around the well maintained pathways.

Zakir Hussain Rose Gardens

This is another must visit spots in Chandigarh. The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden in the largest rose garden in Asia and is spread across an area of 30 acres. The garden has as many as 1600 species of roses. Every year during February or March, Rose Festival is held here. so if you are in Chandigarh during this time, do not forget to pay a visit to the Rose Gardens.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Rose Garden (Chandigarh), Jan Marg, 16B, Sector 16, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Rose Garden (Chandigarh), Jan Marg, 16B, Sector 16, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Explore Capitol Complex and Open Hand Monument

The Capitol Complex in Chandigarh is considered to be one of the most impressive works of architect Le Corbusier who was assigned the task of redesigning the city and planning its architecture. Set against the Shivalik peaks, the grand structures are the seat of the government of the States of Punjab and Haryana. The three most pivotal architectures are the High Court, the Legislative Assembly, and the Secretariat.

Courtesy: Wikimedi

Photo of Capitol Complex, Sector 1, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

The most iconic structure however is the Open Hand Monument located at the centre of the complex. This structure is the official emblem of the city, which represents its ideology of ‘open to give’ and ‘open to receive’.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Open Hand Monument, Capitol Complex, Uttar Marg, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Shop till you drop at Sector 17

Anyone who has lived in Chandigarh has a fondness for Sector 17. Considered to be the Pedestrian’s Paradise. The Sector 17 market is the ultimate destination for the shopaholics and fun lovers. There are numerous shops and stores with a huge selection of dresses, shoes, and electronic goods and sports gears catering to the demand of the ardent shoppers.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Sector 17, Chandigarh, India by Amrita

Day 3

This day, travel to the outskirts of Chandigarh and take a day trip to Timber Trails.

Day trip to Timber Trails

Timber Trail is an amazing stretch of greenery in Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh. Located in the foothills majestic Shivalik ranges, the place is known for its cool climate and abundant natural beauty. The place is located only about 36 km from Chandigarh, but is totally away from the mad rush of the crowd. Apart from the natural beauty, there are a number of activities that can be done at Timber Trails. There is a ropeway ride trailing through the green mountains covered with the conifers that give you an escape to the tranquility of the nature.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Timber Trail Heights, Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, India by Amrita

Take a visit to the Pinjore Gardens

On your return from Timber Trails, stop at the Pinjore Gardens or Yadavindra Gardens. It is a Mughal Style Garden built by the ancient Patiala Dynasty. The garden is quite beautiful covering a total area of 100 acres. It has a mini zoo, plants nursery, a Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns.

Courtesy: Wikimedia

Photo of Yadavindra Gardens Pinjore, Pinjore, Haryana, India by Amrita

And while you are at Chandigarh, do try the delicious street food like Chaat, Chole Bature, Parantha, Rajma Chawal and many more.

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