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Tourism of India

Citylife

Chandigarh

Chandigarh, situated at the foothills of the Shivalik hills, is designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. It is a Union Territory, but also the capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh owes its name to the goddess Chandi Devi, whose temple is situated in the foothills near the city.

Covering an area of 56 square kilometres, Chandigarh is the first 'planned' city of India. The city site was selected in 1948 after a careful survey, including an aerial reconnaissance. The architectural style of the city is represented by the use of unfinished concrete, exposed brickwork and 'brise-soleil' (a lowered screen) that replaces the conventional verandah to keep sunlight away from walls and windows. Le Corbusier retained the eroded valley of a seasonal rivulet on the original site of the city and sculpted it into a linear park, now over 8 kilometers long, running through the whole of Chandigarh. The city has neatly laid out roads and parks, and wide boulevards lined by endless rows of trees. Most of the buildings are closely spaced and laid out in continuous rows. This is called 'terrace housing'.

Only industries powered by electricity are permitted so that atmospheric pollution is minimized. No personal statues are allowed to be erected. Commemoration of persons is confined to suitably placed bronze plaques.

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Climate

Summer (March to June) - Cool and Pleasant
Winter(November to February) -Chilly to Very Cold

Clothing

Summer - Cottons
Winter - Woollens.

Languages Spoken:Hindi, Punjabi, English

Getting there

By Air

There is a daily flight from Delhi to Chandigarh.

By Rail

Chandigarh is well connected by rail. There is a Shatabdi Express service that connects Chandigarh with Delhi.

By Road

Chandigarh is 250 kms from Delhi by road. The road is an excellent four-lane system.

Best time to visit

The best months are October to April. However, the weather remains cool most of the year due to the Shivaliks.

What to See

Capitol Complex

Though all of Chandigarh carries Le Corbusier's stamp, Capitol Complex, presently the administrative hub of two States, contains the best of his talent. The High Court, Legislative Assembly, Secretariat, Open-hand Monument, Geometric Hill, Tower of Shadows are all part of the complex at the northern-end of Chandigarh.

Rock Garden

This unique garden consists of art objects fashioned from industrial and urban waste: rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, broken glass bangles, building waste, coal and clay. Situated between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1, it covers some 20 acres of woods.

The creator of the Rock Garden, Nek Chand, was a Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project. Since the site where Rock Garden stands today was also used as a dumping ground, Nek Chand took pieces of waste and shaped them into human, animal or abstract forms.

The layout of the Garden is based on the fantasy of a lost kingdom. An unpretentious entrance leads to a variety of doorways, archways, vestibules, streets and lanes of different scales and dimensions, each one opening into a new chamber. The Rock Garden has 14 different chambers, all juxtaposed to create a dream world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The open-air sculptures and concealed gateways separating them are enhanced by a waterfall, pools, open-air exhibition hall, and open-air theatre. There is a miniature maze.

During the teej festival the Rock Garden comes alive with music and dance.

Sukhna Lake

This picturesque man-made lake, in the foothills of Shivalik range, is an idyllic resort for communing with nature and for water sports such as boating and water skiing. Sukhna is also a sanctuary for many migratory birds like the Siberian duck, Storks and Cranes. A golf course and mini zoo are to the south.

Leisure Valley

It traverses the heart of the city as a continuum of various theme gardens. Along the Valley, various parks like Rajendra park, Bougainvillaea Park, Fitness Trails and the Flower Garden, Shanti Kunj, Children's Traffic Park, Hibiscus Garden, Garden of Fragrance have come up.

Bougainvillea Park

This 20 acre park is popular for its vibrant colours.

Rose Garden

30 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens contain nearly 1600 varieties of roses. The Rose Festival is held here during spring.

Terraced Garden

Spread over 10 acres, seasonal flowers are grown here in terraced parterres. The garden has a wealth of material for students of botany.

Topiary Park

Many animals shaped out of creepers and bushes form the Topiary Park. A large variety of ornamental plants add to the park's curious charm.

Chandigarh Golf Club

The 18 hole, par 72 course, of manicured fairways and greens, is designed to be a challenge for the most adept golfer.