Well, it is my first visit to Chandigarh and I will be honest, it is one of the most beautiful cities in India. Chandigarh was a pit stop for me on my vacation to Manali. The journey started from Pune with a direct flight to Delhi. I got a good cab deal from Make my trip to Chandigarh which took around four and a half hours. You can also take a direct flight, train or opt for government or private buses to reach Chandigarh from Delhi. We reached Chandigarh by evening and checked into the OYO Prime hotel in Sector 43. The stay was excellent and relaxing. Since I already had a packed next day, it was time to call it night.
Next morning it was time to get going. We took a Zoomcar from the Sector 43 ISBT parking. Chandigarh is the first planned city in India and one of the greenest & cleanest of all. It was designed by Le Corbusier with sprawling open spaces that provide a natural respite from its concrete buildings. Its gardens, parks and lakes make it an ideal city for exploring the great outdoors.
Our first stop was the famous Rock Garden in Sector 1.
An epitome of creativity, imagination and innovation, Chandigarh’s rock garden is one of its kind which consists of various art objects. The best part about the rock garden is that each of its artwork has been made by using industrial & urban waste. The garden was founded by Nek Chand in 1957 and spreads over 40 acres. The sculptures mostly resemble animals and humans, but some are great examples of abstract art.
Close to Rock Garden is Sukhna Lake which is around 5-10 minutes’ drive.
The unique thing about the lake is that it is a man-made. The lake is 3 km long and was created in the year 1958. People visit this place in the morning to enjoy the cool breeze and the beauty of nature. It serves as a great picnic spot and an apt place for pursuing water sport activities. There are a lot of eating options including the famous pani puri with different flavours.
Next stop was the famous Open Hand Monument which was around 3.5 km from Sukhna Lake on the other side of Rock garden.
Designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, the Open Hand Monument is the city’s official emblem. This was a symbol of “peace and reconciliation. The giant hand is made from metal sheets that rotate like a weathercock, indicating the direction of the wind.
Just close by is the Capitol Complex which is famous for its architectural and structural beauty.
It is also referred to as Le Corbusier Centre. This place was used by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier & now it has been converted into a grand museum open for the tourists. Next stop was to witness the beautiful gardens of this city and we started with the grand Rose Garden in sector 16.
Rose garden is a place to relax amid nature at its best. Park exhibits some of the rarest and exquisite varieties of roses which is spread over 30 acres of land, with 1600 different species. The garden not only has roses but also trees of medicinal value. It hosts an annual rose festival, a major cultural event in Chandigarh during the February March timeframe.
Close to Rose Garden is the Government Museum & Art Gallery. All the art lovers get ready for a delightful experience at the Government Museum and Art Gallery. It has exquisite pieces of artwork and some remarkable creations that will leave you spellbound.
Next on the list was a 10 mins drive to the International Doll Museum in Sector 23. Founded in the year 1985 by the Indian Council of Child Welfare, the museum contains a wide collection of fascinating dolls and puppets brought from various countries that stand beside the huge Indian collection.
Well, it was a long day and we finally went to the largest mall in Chandigarh. This is the Elante Mall.
Elante is considered to be one of the largest malls in northern India. We got a glimpse of the Chandigarh locals and also enjoyed the food and ambience around before we started our overnight bus ride to Manali.
As we only had a day to explore we were not able to cover all the points. For your planning, you can also include attractions like the terraced garden, leisure valley, musical fountain and many more in your travel itinerary and make the most of your visit.