The Charm of Chandigarh
As the first planned city in India post-independence, Chandigarh stands tall as the capital city of the states of Punjab and Haryana. It has been regarded as among the most perfect cities in the world in terms of architecture, culture and economic growth. The city is believed to have been a hub of civilization as long back as the Harappan Age. Today, with its many acres of greenery and natural landscaping, the city is home to wildlife and vegetation like no other commercial capital in the world is. Here’s a compilation of the city’s best.
- Rock Gardens
Spread across 40 acres, The Rock Gardens is a maze of stone exhibition, art and artificially created landscapes. Its founder Nek Chand was a road Inspector for the Government of India. During his many travels, he collected stones of various shapes and designs and curated them into an imaginary empire of Sukrani in the vicinity of Sukhna Lake. Although developed as a hobby, the ‘empire’ was discovered after 18 years when it had spread over 13 acres of interlinked courtyards in the midst of dense forest land.
- Sukhna Lake
A reservoir made from a seasonal stream called the Sukhna Choe, the Sukhna Lake lies at the foothills of the mighty Himalayan ranges. A perfect getaway for an evening with family, friends and loved ones, the Sukhna Lake offers beautiful views of a soothing sunset. Nature lovers are in for a treat as the Lake is home to several species of rare and migratory birds that include the Siberian duck, storks and cranes. It is also a popular venue for several celebrations and festivals.
- Zakir Hussain Rose Gardens
30 acres of greenery including 1600 species of roses, several medicinal trees and more than 50,000 rose bushes are sure to delight any heart. Credited with being Asia’s largest, this Garden designed by Dr M.S Randhawa is named after India’s former president. It hosts the annual Rose Festival – a celebration that not only acknowledges the beauty of the rose, but also celebrates it with food, drinks and many contests.
- Bamboo Valley
The Bamboo Valley makes for yet another delightful outing. Despite its name, this ‘valley’ is home to many species of trees that include amla, silver oak, mango and dek among others. However, the name is derived from a bamboo grove that co-exists with these trees. With close proximity to all hotels in Chandigarh, this valley is a favourite getaway among tourists from all over the world.
- Leisure Valley
A series of themed parks and gardens spread along a length of 8kms is an attraction like none other. It begins with the Rajendra Park that covers about 400 acres with trees that form dense canopies. It comprises many other themes like the Bougainvillea Gardens, the Rose Gardens, the Terraced Garden equipped with an illuminated musical fountain and the Topiary Park among many others. Ideal for a family outing, the Leisure Valley has created magic that cannot be replicated.