|Rock Garden||Located in Sector 1 between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake Highlights|
|Sukhna Lake||Located beside the celebrated Rock Garden in sector 1 of Chandigarh|
|The Capitol||Located in sector 1|
|Open Hand Monument||Situated inside the Capitol Complex in sector 1|
|Chandi Mandir||Located about 15 km from the centre of the city|
|Mansa Devi Mandir||Located at Panchkula, nearly 8 kilometers from the heart of the city|
|Nada Sahib Gurudwara||Stationed about 15 km from Chandigarh in Panchkula district|
|Amb Sahib Gurudwara||Located in Mohali district in phase 7|
|Koohni Sahib Gurudwara||Located on the way to Mansa Devi temple d|
|Government Museum & Art Gallery||Located in the sector 10 of Chandigarh|
|International Dolls Museum||Positioned at the Bal Bhavan in sector 23|
|Mohali Cricket Stadium||Just 8 kilometers from downtown Chandigarh|
|Pinjore Gardens (Yadvindra Gardens)||Stationed about 20 kilometers from the heart of Chandigarh|
|Rose Garden (Zakir’s Rose Garden)||Located in Sector 16|
|Botanical Gardens||Located in sector 1|
|Bougainvillea Park||Located in sector 3|
|Terraced Garden||Located in the sector 33 of the city|
|Cactus Garden||Located about 8 kilometers from Chandigarh city|
|Fitness Trail & Flower Garden||Located in the sector 10|
|Leisure Valley||Located in Sector 1|
The effigy of Chandigarh and the paradigm of creative imagination and innovative dexterity, the Rock Garden is a must visit destination here. This exquisite artwork and an embodiment of demiurgic chimera is positioned in sector 1 of Chandigarh between Capitol Complex on one side and Sukhna Lake on the other. This peculiar garden doesn’t cultivate flowers but it serves as a bed to innumerable sculptures of musicians, dancers, sport statues, animals, memorials, and many more stupefying marvels of art.
The fascinating Rock Garden of Chandigarh bears an equally intriguing background. A Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project - Nek Chand undertook an ingenious experiment which resulted into the making of this never before garden. In the year 1957, Nek Chand thought of framing a clandestine garden for himself where he used to place sculptures contrived by him. Those sculptures were formed using discarded waste materials that he could found at hand: like metal wires, frames, auto parts, mudguards, handle bars, play marbles, china ware, porcelain, fluorescent tubes, forks clay, broken bangles, coal, etc. After completing the day’s office work, Nek Chand used to secretly work in his garden at night and sculpt statues. Slowly the garden advanced and hundreds of sculptures made out of industrial and urban waste covered several acres of land.
Actually this charismatic garden was illegally set up in banned land. When local government officers discovered this outlawed garden, they were completely flabbergasted and overwhelmed. Nek Chand feared that his creation will be demolished but to his surprise they encouraged him in his creative endeavor. He was endowed with the emoluments and a group of 50 labors to assist. Today, the gargantuan Rock Garden covers an extensive area of approximately 64 acres.
The incomparable Rock Garden of Chandigarh is now put up in the framework of an open air exhibition hall. Terracotta walls, statues made of waste material, mazes, canyons, waterfalls, puddles, sire an aura of dreamland. This unparalleled garden also serves as the venue of annual Teej Festival. Tourists can visit this garden from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. It follows a weekly off on Thursdays and it is closed on all public holidays as well.
Located beside the celebrated Rock Garden in sector 1 of Chandigarh, Sukhna Lake, a 3 kilometers long man made lake is one of the most favorite picnic spots here. This artificial reservoir perched at the footings of Shivalik Mountain Ranges was set up in 1958. A seasonal stream named Sukhna Choe that flows down the Shivalik Mountain Ranges in monsoon was embarked and this dam created the well known Sukhna Lake of Chandigarh.
Rejuvenating morning breeze and the glory of the rising sun beckon people to flock around the lake at dawn and bask in the tender beams. Many health enthusiasts can be seen jogging and doing exercises beside the lake and making health. The milieu here is very serene and unflappable and the melodious chirping of birds and cool breeze blowing over the water renders it even more pleasant and appreciable. In the evening people gather here to have a stroll along the banks or to sit back and relax for a while. The sparkling waters of the pristine Sukhna Lake and the migrant birds like Storks, cranes and many more that flock hitherto yield this a pictoric site. The peerless beauty of the cosmos is sure to leave you dumbfounded here.
Sukhna Lake is a popular hang out in Chandigarh. The walking path fringing the lake, a mini amusement park for kids, a cafeteria and various shops and venders around the lakeside multiply the tourist appeal. The shops here are famous for the souvenirs like coffee mugs and t shirts. A ride in paddleboat at the Sukhna Lake is really a delightful experience. As this is an arcadia of extrinsic migratory birds, it is a must visit location for the bird watchers. Sukhna Lake is also famous for the water sports like yachting, boating and water skiing that are enjoyed here. Asiatic level Rowing Championships are also held at Sukhna Lake.
The Capitol Complex, shortly known as The Capitol is the apex of the architectural grandeur of the city beautiful. This magnificent structure located in sector 1 of Chandigarh was designed by Le Corbusier. The architectural arrangement of this majestic building bears a twofold cover that creates an appearance of an outturned umbrella. Initially the Capitol Complex housed the headquarters of Punjab Government alone, but now it furnishes as the conjoint official seat of both Punjab and Haryana governments. The Capitol, the most visited tourist’s destination of Chandigarh is a handsome architecture that houses the three backbones of democracy of India - the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly.
They had even planned to build a forth building – Raj Bhavan, though the plan has not yet been executed. Most of the Capitol Complex is fenced due to the security reasons and except for the Open Hand Monument it is not easily accessible. If tourists want to explore the inside premises of the Capitol Complex, they need to obtain a prior permission from the Tourist Bureau. The Tourist Bureau of Chandigarh is located in sector 9 in the ‘Deluxe Administration building’. Getting a permission letter is a very long procedure and it consumes a lot of time and leaves you thoroughly tired. But then you will get three permission letters that will get you an access to the three edifices. Both the Tourist Bureau and the Capitol Complex remain closed on the weekends i.e. Saturdays and Sundays.
Open Hand Monument
The Open Hand Monument, situated inside the Capitol Complex in sector 1 is the official emblem of Chandigarh Metropolis. Acknowledged as one of the foremost monuments of the city, the Open Hand Monument was designed by Le Corbusier himself. This is a giant hand made of metal sheets and coated with baked enamel. The hand rotates like a weathercock and also indicates the direction of wind. This enormous hand is 14 meters tall and around 50 tones in weight. “Open to give & open to receive”- this is the message of peace, unity and fraternity that the monument conveys.
The hand that is pointing towards the sky looks like a bird. Some speculate that it stands for the map of Haryana. The Open Hand monument is built near the ternion (the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly) inside the premises of Capitol Complex, quite away from the entrance. Though tourists need to acquire official permission to visit the Capitol, the Open Hand Monument is not restricted and tourists can visit this place without any formalities or entry fees. The Open Hand Monument, the most significant landmark of Chandigarh also furnishes as the venue for various public gatherings, public demonstrations and debates.
Located about 15 km from the centre of the city on Chandigarh - Kalka road and approximately 10 kilometers from the famous Temple of Mansa Devi, Chandi Mandir is dedicated to the Goddess Chandi – the Goddess of power. The city Chandigarh receives its name from the name of this very Goddess. The temple of Goddess Chandi is believed to be a Siddh Peeth i.e. a place where wishes come true. This is one of the must visit destinations of Chandigarh. During the Navaratri Festival, this temple is in its full bloom with thousands of devotees queuing to pay homage to the Goddess Chandi.
Mansa Devi Mandir
Located at Panchkula, nearly 8 kilometers from the heart of the city, and about 10 km from the renowned Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Mandir is dedicated to Goddess Parvati. According to a Hindu Myth, when Lord Shiva was carrying the half burnt body of Devi Sati towards Kailasa, after her self immolation at the Daksha Yagna, her head had fallen at this place. That’s the reason why this shrine of Mansa Devi is acknowledged as one of the Shakti Peeths of Goddess Parvati.
The temple complex of Mansa Devi Mandir houses two shrines. The one which is placed near the parking area is believed to be the original one. This temple was built in 1815 by the King of Mani Majra - Maharaja Gopal Singh. Here, Goddess Mansa is worshipped in the form of Pindi that is made of holy sand. Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Laksmi are also placed adjacent to Goddess Mansa in this temple. The structure of this temple reflects the typical Mughal style of architecture.
The other temple, known as Patiala Temple is relatively newer. It is supposed to be constructed by the King of Patiala. The inner walls are adorned with impressive murals and the ceiling exhibits beautiful floral designs. A beautiful garden encompasses the auspicious Mansa Devi Temple. During the nine days of Navaratri, the temple is very much crowded by the devotees who come here from long way to pay homage to the divine Goddess. The fun fair held at the temple during Navaratri multiply the attraction of this religious hamlet
Nada Sahib Gurudwara
Nada Sahib Gurudwara is one of the most revered worship places in Chandigarh that is held in much esteem by the Sikh citizens there. Stationed about 15 km from Chandigarh in Panchkula district, this Sikh Temple is located on the banks of the Ghagar River. Nada Sahib Gurudwara is believed to be the very place where Guru Gobind Singh and his fellow Sikh warriors had halted after returning from the victorious battle where they defeated the mighty Mughal army. That’s why this place bears a special significance in the hearts of the followers of Guru Gobind Singh.
As per the legend, when Guru Gobind Singh halted here, an ardent follower of his named Nadu Shah gave a warm welcome to the victorious troop. Guru Gobind Singh was pleased with his hospitality and blessed Nadu Shah saying that in future countless people will arrive here and pay homage to him. Thus, the Gurudwara was named ‘Nada Sahib Gurudwara’ in the honor of blessed Nadu Shah. Multitudinous Sikh devotees alight here on the full moon day every month and pay homage to Nada Sahib Gurudwara. It is also said that this Gurudwara is set up at the very place where the sacred cadaver of Guru Tegh Bahadur was placed while being carried to Anandpur Sahib for cremation. Every year in the month of September a fair named Jor Mela is held here. This Mela is the annual event of Nada Sahib Gurudwara when thousands of people flock both to worship and to enjoy.
Amb Sahib Gurudwara
Amb Sahib Gurudwara located in Mohali district in phase 7, is another preeminent pilgrim terminus in Chandigarh that too holds much historical significance. It is said that the 7th Guru of Sikhism - Guru Har Rai visited this place in 1659 to meet his disciple Bhai Kooram. The Gurudwara is named Amb Sahib Gurudwara after a miraculous mango tree that is grown here. The tree gets loaded with mango fruits even in winter. It is believed by the Devotees that this wondrous phenomenon occurs due to the blessings of Guru Har Rai.
The Gurudwara is named Amb Sahib Gurudwara as a symbol of this marvel. The mangos of this tree are distributed as the holy Prasad here. In January at the time of Sankranti Festival, the Sankranti Fair, an annual event of this Gurudwara, is organized here in the honor of Guru Har Rai. Thousands of devotees arrive here at that time and it is believed that your wishes come true if you pray at this Gurudwara. The peaceful ambience of this Sikh temple serves as an ideal place for meditation too.
Koohni Sahib Gurudwara
Another distinct Sikh pilgrim place that carries an explicit historical significance is Koohni Sahib Gurudwara. Located on the way to Mansa Devi temple from Chandigarh, this Gurudwara was initially known as Bageecha Sahib Gurudwara. Guru Gobind Singh, along with his victorious fellow warriors while returning from the battleground where they discomfited the Mughal Army had stayed at this place for a week. The belief is held that Guru Gobind Singh had specially halted here to meet Mata Raj Kaur. She was the wife of Ram Rai of Dehradun who had left her husband and came to dwell at this place as Ram Rai supported the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb against Sikhs. Guru Gobind Singh during his stay here used to rest on his elbow i.e. Koohni. Supporting this story, the Bageecha Sahib Gurudwara was later renamed as Koohni Sahib Gurudwara. On 26th January every year and on the death anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, a fair called Jor Mela is held at this renowned Gurudwara.
Government Museum & Art Gallery
Designed by Le Corbusier himself, this famous museum and art gallery is located in the sector 10 of Chandigarh. Set up in the year 1968, The Government Museum and Art Gallery is planned based on gridiron system of columns and beams. The main building is divided into various sections like a large visiting room, temporary exhibition hall, conservation laboratory, reserve collection storage, auditorium, lobby and cafeteria. The majestic museum is renowned far and wide for its Gandhara period exhibits and a rich collection of pre historic fossils, artifacts, coins, stone sculptures and so on.
The museum comprises several sections. They are: Hindu and Gandhara sculptures, Decorative Arts, Miniature paintings, Coins and a contemporary art gallery. The main attraction of this art gallery lies in its wide collection of miniature paintings, artifacts and decorative arts reflecting the glorious heritage as well as exhibiting the creative works of contemporary artists. Apart from this, the museum also houses a huge library with a wide collection of over 6000 reference books on art and culture. It is very much exalted amongst the intellectual class of scholars and students. The museum is open from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. It remains closed on all the public holidays and it follows a weekly off on Mondays.
International Dolls Museum
International Dolls Museum operated under the directions of ‘Indian Council of Child Welfare, Chandigarh’ aids as the apple of the eye of the city. The place that would entertain and interest both children and adults, the Dolls Museum is positioned at the Bal Bhavan in sector 23. This museum was set up by Chandigarh administration in association with the Rotary Club, Chandigarh in 1985. Acclaimed as one of the best museums in India, International Dolls Museum boasts of its baroque collection of peacockish dolls and stunning puppets gathered from every corner of the world.
An extensive collection of dolls picked from countries like Denmark, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Korea, Germany, etc. are exhibited in several galleries of this luxuriant museum. More than 250 types of dolls and puppets are housed here. The Indian section in this museum exhibits the dolls displaying various costumes worn by people in diverse Indian states. The dolls presenting colorful outfits worn by Indian classical dancers for Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam and Kathakali dances provide knowledge about Indian classical heritage along with fun. The fairy tale characters created with the help of fascinating dolls amaze the kids to no extent. And to top this, a toy train and a massive replica of a German Railway Station heighten the attraction of the museum. The International Dolls museum is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening. It follows an off on Sundays and all national holidays.
Mohali Cricket Stadium
‘The Punjab Cricket Association Stadium’, situated just 8 kilometers from downtown Chandigarh is widely reckoned as the ‘Mohali Cricket Stadium’. Established in the year 1993, this stadium serves as a home to Punjab Cricket Team and Kings XI Punjab. Constructed at the expenses of nearly Rs 25 crore, this stadium bears the capacity of accommodating approximately 30,000 viewers at a time. Mohali Cricket Stadium, the 19th Test Cricket venue is the youngest Test Cricket ground in India. On November 22nd, 1993, the stadium was inaugurated with a One Day International match between India and South Africa at the time of the Hero Cup series.
This stadium is counted amongst the largest cricket grounds in India and the pitch here is regarded to be in favor of pace bowlers. The first Test match on Mohali Stadium was held on 10th December 1994 between India and West Indies. Mohali Cricket Stadium recently came to limelight for hosting 3 matches of World Cup 2011 including the sensational second semi final between India and Pakistan. The present pitch curator at this stadium is Daljit Singh and Ar. Sufyan Ahmad is the design consultant.
Pinjore Gardens (Yadvindra Gardens)
Pinjore Gardens, also known as Yadvindra Gardens is stationed about 20 kilometers from the heart of Chandigarh at the footings of Shivalik Mountain Ranges. This garden boasts of a mythological background dated back to Mahabharata Era. It is said that once the five Pandavas during their exile rested here. Pinjore Gardens, covering the total area of approximately 100 acres is famous for housing several sections like a Japanese Garden, a mini zoo, a nursery and some historic locations. The construction of this magnificent garden that depicts an ornate Mughal Style is believed to have launched in 17th century. The gravitating terraces of the garden carpeted with verdant green lawns and embroidered with colorful flower beds render this plateau a popular hangout destination.
At night the kaleidoscopic flickering lights and irradiated fountains illuminate the garden and magnify its luster by the embellished landscapes. The annual Mango Festival that is celebrated in the month of June and Baisakhi Festival celebrated in April are organized at the Pinjore Garden. The grandeur of the garden turns even more eminent at this time of festivity when huddled with the enthusiastic folks making merry.
Rose Garden (Zakir’s Rose Garden)
Chandigarh Rose Garden, also acclaimed as Zakir’s Rose Garden is named after Mr. Zakir Hussain - the late president of India. The largest Rose Garden of Asia, ‘Zakir’s Rose Garden’ was established in 1967 by the support and encouragement of Chandigarh's first Chief Commissioner - late Dr M S Randhawa. This massive Rose Garden covering the vast area of about 27 acres boasts of its cultivation of more than 17,000 rose plants of around 1600 species. Other than the ethereal rose bushes prettifying the landscapes and creating a resplendent spectacle, the rose garden also subsumes medicinal and ayurvedic plants and trees like bel, bahera, harar, camphor, yellow gulmohar etc.
The annual Festival of Gardens celebrated in the month of February is hosted by Zakir’s Rose Garden every year. Divine vista of the Rose Garden ornamented with multihued rose florets and the rich redolence that titillates our senses beckon swarms of tourists to this Arcadia incarnated.
Chandigarh, the city beautiful is uniquely festooned by two celebrated Botanical Gardens. One of them noteworthy for its wide range of timber varieties is parked in the campus of University of Punjab. This garden houses multitudinous species of lovely plants, cactus, exotic and evergreen plants and trees. All the trees and topiaries are systematically arranged in distinct sections according to their various categories and characteristics. Dazzling Lotus flowers amplify the charm of this Arcadia with their pictorial glimpse and ensorcelling appeal.
Another Botanical Garden is located in sector 1 sandwiched by the famous Sukhna Lake on one side and by no less renowned Rock Garden on the other. This immense garden covers a wide area of around 88 acres. Numerous species of exceptional plants and tress and beautiful water lilies enrich this garden. The plains of Botanical Garden gilded with enticing horticultural varieties and serene ambience of the surroundings offer an absolute niche to get back and relax to our own content.
Other than the two Botanical Gardens, one more park of such kind has been proposed which is presently under construction. This garden is positioned on the outskirts of Chandigarh near Sarangpur Village. It will canopy a prodigious area of 117 acres and cultivate indigenous species of exotic plants and trees in 10 distinct sections.
Chandigarh Bougainvillea Park, one of the prime tourists’ destinations in the city beautiful, is located in sector 3. The garden, spread over the total area of 20 acres was built in the year 1976. More than 65 varieties of multihued Bougainvillea shrubs are exhibited in this park. The Bougainvillea creepers are rooted in such an esthetic way that they form various decorative arches, bowers, arcades and pavilions. Sitting under one of these arches will surely give you a feel of Eden Garden. The yearly Bougainvillea show is hosted by the Bougainvillea Park of Chandigarh. The fitness tracks built inside the Bougainvillea Park seem to be crowded with the joggers and health enthusiasts in the morning who enjoy exercising amidst the colorful vicinity.
Another jewel in the prosperous casket of Chandigarh is the Terraced Garden. Set up in the year 1979, this garden is located in the sector 33 of the city beautiful. This spacious garden spared over a pervasive area of 10 acres appeals thousands of visitors every season. The most prominent attraction of the Terraced Garden is the musical fountains where water dances to the tunes of popular filmy and folk songs. Ornamented with beautiful flower plants, trees and lush green lawns blanketing the plateaus offer a perfect venue to spend your evenings in the lap of nature.
The soothing atmosphere of the Terraced Garden creates a mesmerizing effect on the minds of the visitors. This garden is one of the favorite hang outs and the garden is especially flocked on weekends. Terraced Garden serves as the venue of the yearly Chrysanthemum Show that is organized in the month of December. Distinct flower varieties are showcased and several gardening competitions are held at that time.
Located at Panchkula, about 8 kilometers from Chandigarh city, the Cactus Garden was set up in the year 1987. Spread over a massive area of about 7 acres, this garden is recognized as the largest succulent botanical garden of Asia. Celebrated world wide for cultivating and preserving rare and endangered succulent species, the Cactus Garden of Chandigarh summons thousands of tourists and botanists every year. Including the plants grown in the three green houses, this garden contains around 3500 different species of cactus.
Fitness Trail & Flower Garden
Fitness Trail & Flower Garden, the most popular garden in the city located in the sector 10 is a must visit place of Chandigarh. This massive garden is spread over the gargantuan area of nearly 95 acres. Out of that, 52 acres are carpeted with charming floral plants and the rest of the land is embellished by the flabbergasting sculptures created by the celebrated artists of the region. Making your health in the lap of beautiful Mother Nature is the theme of this Fitness Trail & Flower Garden of Chandigarh. This trail was built in 1965 in the already existing garden. Later, in the year 1985 the entire garden was renovated and made intensely beautiful. Many annual cultural events are held at this garden every year.
Leisure valley is a title not used for one particular spot but it stands for a group of several gardens intertwined in the form of a garland gracefully embracing the city. The Leisure Valley launches from Rajendra Park in Sector 1 and extends till sector 53 in south Chandigarh. The gardens that are included in this cluster are: Rajendra Park (S1), Smriti Upavan (S1), Bougainvillea Park (S3), Fitness Trails (S10), Botanical Garden (S14), Rose Garden (S16), Shanti Kunj (S16), Terraced Garden (S33), Topiary Park (S35), Hibiscus Garden (S36), Garden of Fragrance (S36) and so on.