Chandigarh | India
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Chandigarh

Heart of Punjab

Chandigarh is India's first planned city, quite distinct from the rest of the country and considerably better organized. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab, but the city itself is not part of either state, being a union territory, i.e. administered directly by the central government.

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About

Le Corbusier's Open Hand The most striking thing about the city is the expanse of resplendent blue sky with the mountains in the backdrop. When you approach the city, you see the jagged skyline of the Shivalik Hills looming large over the city and the faint image of an old temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi (15 km from Chandigarh) from which the city got its name. Chandigarh may appear oddly familiar to Western visitors and idiosyncratic to the rest of India. Because of this, Chandigarh is a good place to visit if you need a break from the chaos of the rest of India. Chandigarh is also a very secure city. With the lowest crime rates in the country you can feel safe at any hour. Enjoy the planned city, with tree lined roads, large beautiful roundabouts, several gardens and on top - a great set of people. Chandigarh and Mysore are considered the cleanest two cities of India. History When India was partitioned, Punjab was split into two, with the western half going to Pakistan. Lahore, the historical capital of Punjab was also ceded to Pakistan and Chandigarh was conceived of as a symbol of India's freedom, and a new beginning for Punjab. The government of the state decided to build the new city at the foot of the Shivalik hills. Architects Albert Mayer and Mathew Novicki drew the initial plans in New York. When the latter died in an air crash in 1950, the work was entrusted to the French architect Edouard 'Le Corbusier' Jeanneret who created Chandigarh as a city of "Sun, Space and Verdure", to fulfill the basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit. Today, the city is home to more than 900,000 people living in harmonious conditions that are considered to be the best in the country. Le Corbusier's Secretariat Building One can see architectural genius in the neat geometrical design of residential quarters, reinforced concrete structures and self-contained area layouts. Chandigarh is divided into 47 self-contained sectors. Each sector of the city is designed with its own shops, academic, and health care buildings, and places of worship, open spaces, greenery and the residential areas. Chandigarh is one of the best planned cities of India. Roads are pretty wide and spacious. It hasn't grown in a haphazard way as some of other Indian cities have. The city is divided into four major work areas. In the north, the capital complex, consisting of the Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and High Court, with the hills as a background dominating the city. Sector 17, which is the city and district centre, houses the administrative and state government offices, as well as shopping malls, banks and other offices. The west contains the university, and institutions of engineering, architecture, Asian studies and medicine. The east zone is the industrial area of the city. In 1966, Hindi-speaking areas of Punjab were split from the Punjabi speaking areas of the state to form a new state of Haryana. Chandigarh continued to be the capital of both states. This was supposed to be a temporary measure. The plan was that in 1986, the city would pass to Punjab. But this has been indefinitely delayed because Haryana insists on getting some territory in return, and the two states have not been able to agree on the area that should go to it. Climate @media all and (max-width:720px){body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .climate-table{float:none!important;clear:none!important;margin-right:0!important}body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .climate-table .infobox .infobox{}} Chandigarh has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) with extremely hot summers and warm to mild winters. The rainy season is in the middle of the year, although the rest of the months are not completely dry.

Chandigarh

Planning a Trip

1 Get in 1.1 By plane 1.2 By train 1.3 By car 1.4 By bus By plane Air India, Jet Airways, GoAir and MDLR Airlines connect to the city. Indian Airlines, GoAir and Jet Airways offer direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi. Tickets cost around ₹3,000 (from Delhi, including taxes) for most of the airlines. AirAsia has recently started a direct flight from Bangalore. 30.67472276.7905561 Chandigarh International Airport (IXC IATA) is an attractive and pleasant airport about 8 km (5 mi) from the city centre. By train There is frequent service to and from New Delhi. The popular trains connecting New Delhi include Kalka (Chandigarh) Shatabdi Express (twice daily) and the economical Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express (Una (H.P) to Delhi). Shatabdi Express is quite popular and it is better to have an advanced reservation at least 2–3 days prior to the journey. Popular long-distance trains include the following: Paschim Express (daily) to Mumbai Kalka Mail (daily) to Howrah Dehradun-Chandigarh Madras Express (Monday) to Chennai Kerala Sampark Kranti (Wednesday) to Kochuveli ( Kerala) Chandigarh Lucknow Express (daily) to Lucknow. Chandigarh-Jaipur Garib Rath to Jaipur. 30.7024576.8214932 Chandigarh Junction railway station (ਚੰਡੀਗੜ ਰੇਲਵੇ ਸਟੇਸ਼ਨ) is the main station and is located 8 km east of the city centre. It is however well connected with local buses as well as numerus taxis and rickshaws. By car Chandigarh has an equally good connectivity via road. It is a 4-5 hour drive from Delhi, the road comprising mainly of NH 1 is quite good. Chandigarh serves as a gateway to the state of Himachal Pradesh. Important Distances : New Delhi - 260 km (160 mi) Shimla - 110 km (68 mi) Manali- 320 km (200 mi) Dehradun - 175 km (110 mi) Amritsar - 250 km (155 mi) There are many car rental companies available in Chandigarh like Gagan Taxi Service, Mehra Tour & Travels, Guru Taxi Service Chandigarh, SuperCabz RS Taxi Service Chandigarh etc. If you are traveling from Delhi, you can book a cab from a number of travel agencies present in various nooks and corners of the city or you can book a cab just a call away. Traveling by smaller vehicles like Indica is the most common mode of cab transfers on this route. The highway is pretty scenic. While it is good to take the cabs for travel on this route in summers, it should be avoided in winters due to heavy fog. Dec -Feb are winter months in India. Chandigarh, being situated in laps of mountains, faces heavy fog in night and early morning. Sometimes the visibility on roads get reduced to less than six feet in such times By bus Chandigarh is served by two bus terminals. The 30.71646476.7441561 New Inter State Bus Terminus, in Sector 43, ☎ +91 172 2624413. provides connectivity to all major destinations in the neighbouring states Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Jammu, and Delhi (limited).  The Inter State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 offers connectivity to all major towns of Haryana (except those on Himachal Route like Kalka) and Delhi. Delhi is extensively connected with bus service every 15 min offered by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Haryana Roadways, Punjab Roadways and Himachal Roadways. Volvo A/C buses are also run on Chandigarh-Delhi section and offer connection to the Airport and towns like Gurgaon. The fares of Volvo buses are usually comparable with the Shatabdi Express. The timetable for Haryana State Transport Volvo Buses can be found here [dead link]. Chandigarh Transport Undertaking offers a comprehensive connectivity between the two bus terminals with air conditioned and normal buses plying throughout the day between the terminals.

Chandigarh

Top Attractions

The Palace of Justice(Punjab and Haryana High Court) Sports in The Open Hand's shadow Pinjore Gardens Statuettes at the Rock Garden The Rose Garden Sukhna Lake 30.75884776.8044541 The Capitol Complex (Chandigarh Capitol Complex), Sector 1. Most of the capitol complex is fenced off due to tight security, the open hand is accessible and from there you can see the main buildings, albeit in the distance. If you want a closer look at the Capitol, you need permission from the Tourist Bureau, in the ‘Deluxe Administration building’ in Sector 9, or (which is much more convenient) to the new tourist office just nearby the high court. Please note the capitol and bureau are only open on M-F. The tourist bureau is not well signed, you’ll need to ask. It’s in the single story building out the back. Bring your passport and prepare for the beginning of the most amazing experience in Indian bureaucracy. The tourist bureau gives you three letters giving you permission to visit the three main buildings of the Capitol complex, The Secretariat, the High Court and the Assembly, but it may take hours for you to obtain the letters. It is one of 17 worldwide works by the architect Le Corbusier to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.    30.7481976.786892 Chandigarh Museum (Government Architecture Museum), Sector 10. This provides an interesting aspect on how Chandigarh was founded. It begins with the principles on which Chandigarh was built, selection of the Architects, the design for the people etc. The correspondence between the Punjabi officials overseeing the construction of the city, and the Federal Government in Delhi is fascinating, and well worth taking a few minutes to read. Close by is the Government Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Museum of Science and Natural History Museum..  30.7053676.80113 Elante Mall. Elante Mall at Chandigarh is among the largest malls in North India, which covers 20 acres of area. It is a mixed use development project which includes entertainment, hotels and business. Elante Mall has a retail space of over 1 million square feet. across "ground level and three upper levels". In the retail area, Elante Mall hosts various national and some huge internal brands like Heckett London,Apple ( eStore..Powered by Beyond Computers), Marks & Spencer, Brook Brothers, Rolex, Harley Davidson, Promod etc. Elante boasts of a great food court, a wonderful courtyard full of cafes, sports bars and has various clothing brands. In the entertainment section Elante Mall has PVR cinemas for entertaining large numbers of crowds.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.757376.80664 The High Court (Punjab and Haryana High Court also: Capitol High Court). The letter is fine for looking around the High Court; just show it to security at the entrance, around the back, but if you want to take photos you need to surrender your camera, and head in to fill out some more forms in the protocol office, and then take the forms back to security to get your camera back. It’s worth it as the building is amazing, and extremely photogenic. You can’t take any photos indoors.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.704476.784055 The Japanese Garden (Japani Garden). The Japanese Garden is a park located in Sector 31 in union territory of Chandigarh. Built in 2014 in 13 acres of Land, by Indian Government, it was inaugurated by Shivraj Patil on 7th November 2014. It consists of water bodies, pagoda towers, water falls and golden bamboos. This is first ever garden in Chandigarh with Japanese touch cost around ₹6 crore. (updated Mar 2015) 30.76102777777876.8032777777786 The Legislative Assembly (Palace of Assembly). This is the Assembly for both Punjab and Haryana. It's easy to run out of time, so make sure you have a whole clear weekday to appreciate all the capitol buildings.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.748976.787457 Museum and Art Gallery (Government Museum and Art Gallery) (Sector 10). The museum and the combined art gallery is an interesting place to go to. Artefacts range form Harappan period relics to paintings and coins from different areas and time periods. The Art Gallery has good collections of ancient and modern Indian art. Fossils of the local dinosaurs found in the region are on show in the adjacent natural history museum. The buildings that the Museums and Art Gallery are housed in are attractive.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.7933376.911698 Pinjore Gardens. Also called Yadavindra Gardens, these are 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh and 15 km (9 mi) from Panchkula, on the Chandigarh-Shimla road. Taxis and buses ply regularly between Pinjore and Chandigarh. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating gardens in the Mughal style are one of the most popular picnic spots in the region. A mini zoo, plant nursery, Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns await visitors.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.75285576.806519 Rock Garden of Chandigarh (Nek Chand's Rock Garden). One day 36 years ago, Nek Chand, a humble transport official, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised of hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards. After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered. When they did discover the garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal - a development in a forbidden area. However, rather than demolishing the garden, they decided to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. The park is open daily from April to September between 9AM-1PM and 3 to 7PM Between October and March, it is open from 9AM-1PM and 2 to 6PM ₹30.   (updated Oct 2018) 30.74599176.78206410 Rose Garden (Zakir Hussain Rose Garden), Sector 16. The city houses the largest rose garden in Asia. It also hosts annual rose festival which is quite popular among local population.    30.7612276.8005411 The Secretariat. You have to jump through some hoops to visit the Secretariat. First you need to find ‘Reception’, which is just a small building out the back, and show them your letter to get a visitor permit, then you need to see Security, who will let you in, then you need to see the main security officer inside, who will send you up to the Registrar, who will then send you back to the main security office. Thankfully you are escorted through most of this confusing, overly complex procedure, usually by a junior soldier with large machine gun. The whole process takes about 30 min. to an hour. Once it’s all clear you can go up to the roof, check out the geranium gardens and take in an expansive view of all of Chandigarh. Then they’ll let you have a look out the front, which is more interesting.   (updated Mar 2015) 30.74232476.81871112 Sukhna Lake (Sector 1). Sukhna Lake is an artificial reservoir. A popular place to hang out, one can expect to find residents of the city jogging or strolling along the banks. There is a walking path, a cafeteria, shops and a mini-amusement park and paddleboats. Shikaras are also available. The Sukhna Lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream that flows down from the Shivaliks. Storks and cranes make migratory stops at the lake. The lake, incidentally, has Asia's longest water channel for rowing and yachting. Visiting Sukhna Lake in the evening or early morning is a particularly pleasant experience.   

Chandigarh