Yeah! you read it right. We explored the best of Chandigarh in just 6 hours. Do you think that was enough? May be not, however, we wanted to see as much as we can in this smart city with the little time we had in hand. We were returning to Chandigarh after exploring Shimla and Kandaghat. Little did we knew that we would explore the best of the city within few hours in hand before flying back to Mumbai after all unplanned trips are best.
Here's how we discovered the best of chandigarh in this short trip.
As known, Chandigarh, the capital of State Haryana and Punjab is the 1 st planned city, designed by the French architect, Charles-Édouard Jeanerette, popular as Le Corbusier. There's plenty to do in this city as it is famous for Gardens, Lakes, Valleys.
Fast Facts of Chandigarh:
Nearest Airport: Chandigarh Airport
Best Time to Visit Chandigarh: October-March
Currency: Indian Rupee
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi
We reached Chandigarh in the afternoon and from there we started to discover the best of Chandigarh.
Visit to Nek Chand's Rock Garden (approx. time 2-3 hours):
Rock Garden is a sculpture garden, also known as Nek Chand's rock Garden. It is spread over an area of 40-acres. A fantasyland created out of industrial waste, rocks and concrete and thrown away items like electrical fittings, rusting oil drums, broken tiles, shattered china and sanitary ware, glass bangles and other scrap, Rock Garden in Chandigarh is an artistic glory. The rock garden is designed to look like a lost territory. The rock garden is a complex tangle with paths, getaways, steps, waterfalls, courtyards, porches and buildings. It also includes a large waterfall, a canal, a miniature village and an open-air theatre, where plays, dance and music performances are held.
It is very artistic, amidst natural surroundings, great place to chill out if you are enthusiastic in photography and take creative things. Having a total of about 5,000 statues within its bounds, the Rock Garden is one of the prime attractions of Chandigarh and is a must visit.
As we entered in the Rock Garden, the path led us through a series of maze-like arches, tunnels and bridges, with passages leading into open-air galleries full of sculptures made from broken glass bangles, ceramic pottery, wires, etc.; each even more striking than the one before. The Rock Garden area is divided into three different phases which have different types of fittings and accompaniments in them.
Phase one is a maze of terracotta pots, chambers and places that have been decorated with tiles, mirrors, broken bangles, tube light pieces and even toilet fixtures. Statues of various animal, birds and human figures made of an array of waste matter are installed here.
Phase two of the Rock Garden has a huge waterfall and is a major crowd puller in the garden. This phase is quite picturesque with Amphitheaters, courtyards and intricate pathways which includes a miniature village as well. It is said that many cultural programs are held here during various months of the year.
Lastly, the Phase three is where life size statues of elephants and camels are being installed. It is huge and very artistic. You will see a small cafeteria in phase three to munch something and thereafter there's an exit.
As we strolled through the Rock Garden, we completely enjoyed the awe inspiring creation carved out of waste materials. It truly demonstrates how urban and industrial waste can be fruitfully recycled and used in creative pursuit.
Next on the radar - Sukhna Lake (approx. time 1-2 hour):
It is an artificial lake at the foothills of the Himalayas, the shivalik hills. This 3 Km rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the sukhna choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the shivalik hills. A peaceful water-body surrounded by plush greenery landscape of the Sukhna Lake, is the most popular visitor attraction of Chandigarh. We got to spend few hours in the evening by this pristine lake and watch the sun setting by its water.
The lake is bounded by a golf course on the south and the famous Rose Garden on its west. It is one of the most beautiful lake we have seen. It has a serene atmosphere with a scenic waterfront and chirping of birds makes it an ideal picnic spot for tourists. While we were spending time here, we saw number of visitors (locals) coming to spend some enjoyable time with their families and loved ones in the evening by the lake. The food court around the lake is another attraction since one can have all the variations of food from different stalls and street hawkers near the lake. Small amusement park is near the lake that kids can enjoy.
Lot of water-sports activities like boating, yachting and water-skiing are available at Sukhna lake. Sukhna lake has the longest channel for rowing and yachting in Asia. If that's not enough, Shikhara Ride is also available here, an absolute blissful addition to the boat fleet. You can also go a for Camel ride standing outside the lake area. The lake also observes many festivals that are rejoiced by the tourists as well as the denizens.
We took just a small walk at the shores of the lake and it relaxed our mind and provided immense peace. The promenade on the shore lines of the lake is often full by a many joggers and walkers who come there to relish the fresh morning air. The scenic beauty of the lake serves as a true delight for the photographers and artists who love to capture the mesmerizing view.
Timings: 5am to 9pm (All days of the week)
Last place on the list - Zakir Hussain Rose Garden: (approx. time - 1 hour):
Rose garden of Chandigarh, India is the largest of its kind in Asia.This garden contains more than 17,000 plants. There are nearly 1,600 varieties of roses over there. It is a spacious garden covering an area of 27 acres. Rose Garden is a blooming garden which showcases nature at its best. The natural beauty of this garden is only boosted by the presence of azure mountains in the background.
A beautifully laid down fountain is also placed in the Rose Garden. This garden is festooned with long stretches of green grass to walk on and several benches are placed under the tree for relaxing under the shade. February to March is the best time to visit Rose Garden as the flowers are in full bloom during this season.
The quality of life in Chandigarh has absolutely no match. We thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We couldn't explore the rest of the Chandigarh due to time constraint. But that gives us another reason to come back to Chandigarh and visit this immensely beautiful city again.
What is your favorite tourist spot in Chandigarh? Reply in comments.