Top Chandigarh Places to Visit For Travellers!

Planning for a fabulous trip to Chandigarh? Here’s all you need to know about the best places to visit in Chandigarh.

Tourist Places to Visit in Chandigarh

“A City of Beauty” – CHANDIGARH unswervingly ‘WOW-s’ at first sight, with A-1 arrangement of

… wide & arterial roads,

… lush & loveliest gardens,

… posh & classy ‘sectors’,

… handsomely paved footpaths,

… broad & circuitous cycling tracks,

… fancy upscale shopping streets,

… exclusive & expensive restaurants,

… trendy & utopian housing,

… well-appointed & modernist buildings!!!

The city which started blooming under the master planning of Le Corbusier {a Swiss-French architect} in the 1950s; is now a Union Territory serving as the capital of Haryana and Punjab. On that account, it should be of no surprise to find shared government building spaces for offices of both states like the High Court or the Civil Secretariats.

Well, Chandigarh is bang on, the place where gourmandizers can indulge in plates of Punjabi sarso da saag & makki di roti, dahi bhalla, and creamy lassi; and yes, also binge on dishes of Haryanvi meethe chawal, mixed dal and kachri ki chutney.

This is also the place where aficionados can commingle into both cultures to learn the folk dance Bhangra as well as the Phulkaari embroidery art!

Deriving its name from the ancient Chandi Mandir in Panchkula, it has very many magnificent Gurudwaras for its followers of Sikhism.

Chandigarh is on top-of-the-line, ideally for one day picnickers from nearby cities like Delhi and also for long trippers from anywhere else who have a yen for a pleasant getaway for a few days. In recent years, it is among the chosen districts to move into with families, especially for those who admire the high-end quality of life that it offers; if truth be told, it is the silken nest to many thousands of millionaires of our country!

From being developed with a superior foresight to keep it much ahead of times, to bagging the reputation of one of India’s most spic-n-span, ‘Chandigarh – The City Beautiful’ with its systematic grid-pattern and boxed-in ‘Sectors’, talks big of its crowd-pulling foci as listed out below:

Rock Garden [Sector 1]

Rock Garden Chandigarh

An adventurous and splendorous creation made with rocks and stones! – Just by the unusual imagination of one talented man named Nek Chand!

Welcome yourself into the world famous ‘Rock Garden’, and feel lost in 40 acres of thick, eerie, stony maze! Surprises abound – (i) unexpected room enclosures with countless man-made figures of animals, birds, children etc., entirely fabricated with scrap materials like ceramic tiles, clay, terracotta pots, broken pipes and glass pieces; (ii) narrowly walled passages and a series of stairs suddenly open up to airy & spacious areas with waterfalls and tiny bridges; (iii) a dolls’ museum comprising of 200 rag dolls; (iv) tree and root sculptures; (v) chambers filled with prettified walls; and so on…

When you come out of this fascinating artspace which is a spellbinding mosaic of a redefined art form, you not only feel a great sense of respect and admiration for Mr. Nek Chand, but also want to come back and get in there for more!!

Sukhna Lake [Sector 1]

Sukhna Lake Chandigarh

Veneer-clear, silvered, tranquil and refreshing; the man-made and rainfed Sukhna Lake is of high-priority to the people of Chandigarh owing to the following:

  • Water sports – boating, yachting, skiing, sailing
  • Sanctuary for migratory winter birds like Siberian ducks and cranes
  • Mango festival held during monsoons
  • Asian Rowing Championships
  • Lake Club with indoor games, golf course, swimming pool, gym, tennis courts

Residents and tourists love strolling, roller-skating and relaxing along the promenade, after which they are often seen thronging the fast-food joints during the evenings.

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Capitol Complex [Sector 1]

Capitol Complex Chandigarh

The Chef-D’Oeuvre of Le Corbusier’s stints in Chandigarh, the Capitol Complex is such an outstanding architectural model that it has earned the tag of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The 100 acre premise, hedges-in the three main government institutions – a) Palace of Assembly/Legislative Assembly, b) Secretariat Building, c) the High Court and a lake. Other symbolic masterpieces within the same Complex include:

  • Open Hand Monument – a gesture to represent peace and reconciliation
  • Tower of Shadows – to trace paths of sunlight (solar cycle) through shadows cast by an open, airy building
  • Geometric Hill – made with construction waste
  • Martyrs’ Monument – to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Partition of Punjab

Cactus Garden [Sector 5]

Cactus Garden Chandigarh

‘National Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden and Research Centre’, is the largest (7 acres) and top-graded of its kind in the whole of Asian continent! With more than 3500 species, it is a galaxy of pleasingly odd-looking, spiked, thorny, thick, rubbery, rigid and variegated cacti!

The garden contains Indian succulents and species obtained from other countries like Mammilarias, Opuntias, Aloe Speciosa, Echinocereus, Haworthias, Passifloraceaes, Burseras and Notocacti.

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Government Museum and Art Gallery [Sector 10]

Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh

An intriguing museum – protecting a valuable assemblage of Gandhara sculptures of Lord Buddha, stone and metal sculptures, putatively rare coins, and a goodly compilation of Mughal, Pahari and Rajasthani miniature arts.

What piques the curiosity about this museum is that it holds a ‘share’ of the total possessions, which were originally kept in the Central Museum of Lahore as they were declared as belonging to India after the Partition in 1947.

There are two other museums located within the same campus:

  • Natural History Museum {Museum of Evolution of Life} – details evolution of life on Earth and also 5000 years of Indian history starting from the Indus Valley Civilization
  • Architecture Museum – displays the evolution of the city

Rose Garden [Sector 16]

Rose Garden Chandigarh

Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is a royal spectacle with more than 50,000 rose bushes in the finest of all possible colors – pinks, whites, oranges, reds, yellows, purples and so many more hybrid varieties!

The spring season is the best timing when you feel gingered up to see the sweet-scented rose-beds in full bloom all at once; and so this is the venue where the ‘Rose Festival’ is famously celebrated during February or March every year.

This is not only a super attractive, cool and grassy picnic spot with fountains and jogging lanes, but also a trove of more than 32,000 trees and plants bearing special medicinal values like Bel, Camphor and Yellow Gulmohar.

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National Gallery of Portraits [Sector 17]

 

National Gallery of Portraits Chandigarh

A ‘journey’ in the National Gallery of Portraits is just what you need to know the essence of independent India! Portraits, sculptures, paintings, photographs and copies of original documents, thoroughly describe the ordeal of our freedom fighters, real scenes and incidents of struggle, and important revolutionary episodes such as the Swadeshi Movement and Do or Die.

A central library of books and recorded voices of Mahatma Gandhiji and Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, all the more explain the plight of victims who faced and also braved many phases of brutalities with a resolve derived out of absolute patriotism.

Le Corbusier Centre [Sector 19B]

Le Corbusier Centre Chandigarh

It is said that this is where Le Corbusier and his team including his cousin Pierre Jeanerret, sat to work on designing the city of Chandigarh. The centre still has his photos, old documents and archived plans; on top of that it also preserves his paintings, furniture and writings.

This museum building is a perfect tribute to the man who visualized and contributed towards urbanizing Chandigarh.

Parrot Bird Sanctuary [Sector 21]

Parrot Bird Sanctuary Chandigarh

Believe it or not! This is the first such bird sanctuary in India located well within a city. Thousands of green parrots naturally attracted to a park, flocked in to make it their permanent habitat and for breeding. It’s such a pleasure to watch a pandemonium of parrots perching on tree branches, chirping away their conversations and biting onto some small fruits and berries!

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International Dolls Museum [Sector 23B]

International Dolls Museum Chandigarh

Age is just a number, and there is no better idea than the International Dolls Museum to fully realize that! Call it entertaining/educational/cultural/social; this is where people from all stages and walks of life – whether children or adolescents or aged/ studying or working or retired – anyone can come here to find the whole colorful world collected under one roof!

Yes, that’s right! Dolls and puppets representing different ethnicities, histories, fiction tales and fairy tales from countries spanning all continents like Russia, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, USA, Korea, Malaysia and so on, have been exhibited in a captivating manner. Even ‘Indian’ dolls donning traditional drapes and jewelries, and others depicting mythological scenes are beautifully arranged here.

Quite an ingenious concept! Be sure that there will be no regrets about time spent in this unco museum.

Mohali Cricket Stadium [Sector 63]

Mohali Cricket Stadium Chandigarh

All fans of cricket, and also wannabe cricketers ought to make a visit here at least once! This is one of the largest, most beautiful, most well-facilitated and most well-maintained cricket stadiums in the country; where very many international/ domestic matches have been intensely played including the Indian Premiere League. The stadium has a comfortable seating capacity for about 26,000 spectators.

Phulkari {Punjab Government Emporium} [Sector 17]

Phulkari Punjab Government EmporiumChandigarh

Your tour in Chandigarh is not over without making a stop at ‘Phulkari’!

Managed by the PSIEC (Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation) to promote local craftsmanship, this is the best bet to buy simon-pure, fashionable, flamboyant, cool and up-to-date ‘Punjabi’ stuff like phulkari clothing, handicrafts, accessories, and souvenirs. The emporium also sells household crockery and furnishings.

Author: Sandhyaa Venkatachalam

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