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Best Time: Aug-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

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"India's first planned city"

Chandigarh Tourism

Chandigarh, a union territory that is the capital of both Punjab as well as Haryana, is an ideal definition of the word 'city'. With a culture that includes instances of both traditional Punjab as well as modernity, Chandigarh's food and gedi culture (a leisure drive or ride the city) is something that everyone knows of!

Located at a distance of 265 km from Delhi, Chandigarh is one of the favourite weekend road trip destinations of Delhiites. Any tour of "The City Beautiful" needs to begin with boating at the beautiful Sukhna Lake. The other worth-visiting attractions in Chandigarh are the Rock Garden, and the Leisure Valley & Rose Garden. Chandigarh's Rock Garden is very well known for having been entirely designed out of discarded industrial and urban waste while the Leisure Valley is an 8-kilometre-long well-maintained park which houses Asia's most extensive rose garden, a very popular draw among tourists and locals alike.

One of the most famous places to visit in Chandigarh is the Capitol complex, which is also often referred to as Le Corbusier Centre. Earlier used as Le Corbusier's base, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has now been converted into a museum, and tourists are free to visit it. The Capitol is also home to the state's Vidhan Sabha, High Court, and Secretariat.

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History of Chandigarh

Chandigarh, as we know it today, is one of the most thriving and cosmopolitan cities in India. With a highly integrated ancient and modern history, the city owes its name to Chandi temple and the adjacent fort. The word 'Chandi' is derived from the name of a Hindu goddess whereas the later 'Garh' means fort. Located in the foothills of the Shivalik range of Himalaya, it can mostly thank its colonial history for the rich blend of cultures and its unique identity today. Thousands of years ago during the antediluvian age, the city was covered by a large water body which was proven by the remains of marine amphibians during the geological study. Another fascinating historical fact is the inhabitation of Harrapans, one of the oldest civilization in the world. Traces of their existence found during some of the excavation work done during the 1960s. The modern history of Chandigarh has its roots down in 1947 when the former province under British rule was split into east and west Punjab. After the partition, Indian Punjab needed a new capital for its function which led to the carving out of this city. Glimpses of this historical moment are still visible in villages of Burial and Attawa where non-sectoral villages carry on their ancient traditions.

Chandigarh - A Planned City

Most planned cities aren't designed for their aesthetic view from the space. Creating incredible patterns on landscapes most often a necessity, laid out all at once and probably built from scratch. During the time of partition in 1947, the emergence of two new countries led to the division of Chandigarh. Lahore, the former capital of Punjab shifted to Pakistan leaving the Indian Punjab capital less. The aim was not only to create a capital for the state but to design a central and neutral location for the easy of its population. The layout was inspired by various elements of public support such as t maximise green space, optimise traffic flow, a bridge between residential and commercial space and cure the 'urban disease'. This project was highly valued not only because of the 'utopia' of a modernised city but also because of the special interest was taken by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The original plan was laid out by American Architect Albert Mayer, later on, joined by a French architect, Le Corbusier for the designer of several buildings in the city. He divided the entire city into sectors and also designed many administrative blocks such as Parliament house, courthouse and the most popular 'open-hand structure' which signifies "the hand to give and the hand to take; peace and prosperity, and the unity of mankind". The term 'planned city' is dedicated because of the grid pattern layout that is followed in the designing structure of the city. Named as the most 'remarkable ideal' city in the world by BBC, writer Jonathan Glancey has taken account of many aspects of the city that makes it one of the best cities to live in. According to two different surveys conducted in 2010 and 2015, the city is also marked the cleanest and happiest city in India. Also, it is the first smoke-free city in the country. Planning, architecture, neighbourhood and the exquisite combination of the traditional and modern touch has made Chandigarh the perfect city.


The City of Gardens

Nothing says Gardens like Chandigarh does! There are more than half a dozen special Gardens here that are famous throughout the country. Almost everyone has heard about the infamous Rock Gardens. Artificially made with rocks, this place boasts of sculptures, figurines, artificial waterfalls and magnificent structures of dancers and musicians, made out of rocks! The Pinjore Gardens, also known as the Yadavindra Gardens is here from the times of Mughals and interestingly shows a lot of Rajasthani influenced architecture. The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden has to its fame, the tag of the largest botanical (rose category) Garden in Asia that also houses a lot of medicinal herbs. The Terraced Gardens are the best loved by families, thanks to its emergence as a local picnic spot. And if you thought that was it, Chandigarh also has a Cactus Garden! It has been revered as the largest botanical (succulent category) Garden in Asia and has almost 3500 variants of cacti in its vicinity! There is also a Garden of Fragrance in Chandigarh and as the name suggests, most fragrant flowers are found here.

Nightlife in Chandigarh

Magnificent architecture and starlit crowds, Chandigarh is one of the most happening cities of India. While the city is much friendly in the daylight, moonlight brings out the nocturnal multitude of the city. Chandigarh is earning quite a reputation in with its clubs, bars, lounges and food taking over the night. From cheap streets to 5 stars, from velvet beer to smoky whiskey, Chandigarh is the city thriving in the wee hours.

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Restaurants and Local Food in Chandigarh

Chandigarh offers a rich variety of authentic Punjabi cuisine, and with eateries and restaurants at every street corner, Chandigarh boasts of a bustling food scene. The sparkling city of Chandigarh is brimming with options for food with some of the most popular and mouthwatering traditional Punjabi dishes as well as authentic and rich Continental cuisines. The town also has a number of pubs as well as a microbrewery. While in Chandigarh do try the Lachha Parathas, Butter Chicken, Amritsari Kulche, Chicken Tikkas, Chole Bhature, Tandoori fish, Kebabs and countless more. Also try the sweet treasures that the city offers such as Roh di Kheer, Jalebi, Baalushahi, Gulab Jamun, Kulfi and more.

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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1- Reach Chandigarh by noon, check into the hotel, relax and have a nice, extended lunch. Visit the Sukhna Lake in the evening to watch the sunset and have tea at the CITCO cafeteria while soaking in the beauty of the place. Go for a boat ride and lose yourself into the serenity and calmness of the eerie, yet beautiful lake.
Day 2- Head off to the Rock Gardens and explore the beauty of the man-made rock garden, take crazy pictures and explore the garden. Visit the various gardens the city has to offer and breathe in the clean, fresh air.
Day 3- Start the day on a more lazy note and explore the local markets of Chandigarh, especially the market of Sector-17, that happens to be the favorite among locals. Sample local food and go back to the hotel room to pack up and leave by noon. Return home after a nice weekend, or head to the nearest hill station for an extended holiday.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

First planned city in the country. The starting point for all hill stations in North India. Lots of open spaces. Less pollution.

What's Not So Great?

Slow pace of life. A little expensive.

For Whom?

Great for people looking for respite and a laid-back weekend. Makes the best destination for long drives with dhabas all over the highway. Ideal pit-stop for people looking for a stop-over on their holiday to the hills above.

Art and history lovers will be in for a treat at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, which is home to some remarkable pieces of artwork and creations that have been preserved through the ages. Coins and paintings from ancient eras and antique pieces from the Indus Valley Civilization are also on display here.

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How To Reach Chandigarh

Chandigarh has its own Railway Station by the name of Chandigarh Railway Station, which is a Broad Guage Railway Station. Also, Chandigarh has an International Airport. The place is very much accessible by road to and from various cities of North India.

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Chandigarh Reviews

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Surbhi Parashar 1 year ago
Chandigarh, a union territory that is the capital of both Punjab as well as Haryana is a subtle and ideal definition of the word 'city'. In a culture that includes instances of both traditional Punjab as well as a modernity, Chandigarh is a pretty town resembling a morning dream which is sure to flatter you with its innocence and pleasantness. Designed by the ace architect Le Corbusier consisting of 47 self-contained sectors, India's first planned city is known for its unique blend of urbane architecture and natural bliss. The sharp skyline of the Shivalik Hills and the faint image of an old temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi protectively looms over the city. The town is a beautiful blend of architecture, design, natural beauty, gardens, heritage and urbanization. Some of the places that a tourist must visit in Chandigarh include the Rock garden which is an absolute marvel of art and design, Rose garden, Pinjore gardens and the Government Museum and Sukhna Lake along with a few others.
Snehal Singh 1 year ago
I had the opportunity of visiting Chandigarh last year. We went to the Morni hills and the best part was going to the top of hill. We then went to Sukhna lake. We visited the biggest mall of the city, Elante mall. The locals there were very helpful, and we tried lassi and paranthe. The best thing about the place was the Gurudwara.
gauranshi srivastava 1 year ago
Just a few hours journey from Delhi, Chandigarh is a great weekend getaway, especially in winters. My favourite memory from this trip was the journey itself since the Chandigarh-Delhi highway has endless numbers of dhabas that serve great Punjabi food. The Rock garden, the Sukhna lake and the Rose garden are some of the best places that we visited. The Sector 17 market is a must visit place for shopaholics. November-March is the most suitable time to visit Chandigarh.
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