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Chandigarh The Capitol of Punjab & Haryana State
|The most striking thing about the city is the expanse of resplendent blue sky with the mountains in the backdrop. When you are approaching the city, you would 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, from which the city got its name.
Political position of Chandigarh is quite ambiguous for anybody not knowing the city well. It is the capital to two northern Indian states Punjab and
|Haryana besides being a union territory in itself. The birth of this modern, happening city was an act of anguish and drama that took place at the time of partition of India and Pakistan. Lahore, the earlier capital of Punjab merged with Pakistan and Chandigarh was conceived to be a symbol of India’s freedom. The task of designing the city fell on the shoulders of renowned French architect Edouard ’Le Corbusier’ Jeanneret who created Chandigarh as a city of ”Sun, Space and Verdure” to fulfil basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit. Today, the city is home to more than half a million people living in harmonious conditions that are considered to be the best in the country.
There are not many sites of historical importance in Chandigarh as this is one of the most modern cities in the country. A most important site in the city is the Rock Garden, the place that has been captured by millions of cameras. Rose Garden is another important landmark and a part of Leisure Valley, a garland of gardens that ornaments the city. Government Museum and Art Gallery displays some important stone sculptures of ancient India.
Shivalik ranges, the part of Lower Himalayas, offers many natural as well as man-made attractions around Chandigarh. Yadavindra Gardens is modelled after famous Mughal Gardens at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. Bhima Devi Temple is part of the Panchayatan group of temples. Bhakra Nangal Dam built over the river Sutlej was described as one of the ”Temples of Modern India” by the first prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru. Kasauli is a beautiful hill station visited by a large number of people every year. Nallagarh Fort, situated in the state of Himachal Pradesh has been converted in an outstanding heritage hotel recently. Morni Hills, as the name suggests is a beautiful hilly terrain that offers many adventure sport options in its sylvan surroundings. Kalka is not much of a tourist destination but a major train station for reaching the destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Sukhna Lake is the most favoured recreation spot of the people of Chandigarh.
THE ROCK GARDEN
An amazing creation of a road inspector Nek Chand, Rock Garden is the most important landmark of Chandigarh. The garden is spread over 64 acres of wooded land near the Capitol Complex. The major attraction of this garden is a large number of animal and humanoid figures made out of the discarded material. Attracting people of all ages and from all parts of the world, the garden is an unabashed realm of natural and manmade creativity.
Leisure Valley is a garland of gardens that ornaments the city from one end to another. Out of the many theme gardens that have been developed in this valley, the Rose Garden is perhaps most famous of all. The garden is located in the Sector 16 of Chandigarh and is spread over an area of 25 hectares. Containing more than a thousand varieties of roses, the garden is one of the largest in Asia.
GOVERNMENT MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
Located in Sector 10 of Chandigarh, the museum has a fine collection of stone sculptures of the Gandhara School of art. Other exhibits include prehistoric fossils and artefacts along with the works of modern art and miniature paintings.
Excursions for Chandigarh
Bhakra Nangal Dam
Situated at Bhakra village of Bilaspur around 116 kilometres from Chandigarh, it is one of the highest straight gravity dams in the world. The Gobind Sagar Lake built here is around 90 km long covering an area of about 168 sq km. The dam was constructed in the year 1963. From here, you get the fascinating view of the lake and the surrounding green jungles.
Bhima Devi Temple
This historic shrine related to the Panchayatan group of temples is located 22 kilometres from Chandigarh on the Pinjore Kalka Road. Here one can find the idols that date back to 11th and 14th centuries.
An important railway station for train journey to Himachal Pradesh, Kalka is located at a distance of 25 kilometres from Chandigarh. The place is also the end point of toy train running from Shimla.
Situated in the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh at a distance of 77 kilometres from Chandigarh, Kasauli is a small but delightful hill station. Some of the better known attractions here are Upper Mall and Lower Mall (two of the town’s main walks), the Central Research Institute for Vaccines, Christ Church, Dyer Meakin Brewery, and the Monkey Point.
|Morni Hills, a beautiful hill resort, is situated at around 45 kilometres from Chandigarh in the Ambala district of Haryana. The hills combine the best of an idyllic hill resort with many adventure and fun opportunities. The hills are located in the lower reaches of Shivalik Range of Himalayas and are an ideal base for trekking, rock-climbing, and adventure sports. The hill station has a tranquil atmosphere with cool climate and offers you overwhelming natural vistas and stunning views.
Once an integral part of the Hindur kingdom of Himachal, Nallagarh is one of the two forts located in the region. The fort was built lavishly and stands above an estate of forests and orchards. Located in the state of Himachal Pradesh at about 60 kilometres from Chandigarh, the fort offers you a splendid view of Shivalik range and Naina Devi Temple located in the region.
The lake has been built on a seasonal stream over a large area in Sector 1 of Chandigarh. It is one of the most favourite picnic and recreation spots of the fun and nature-loving people of the city. The promenade with its length of 2 kilometres along the lakeshore is the best place for strolling in Chandigarh.
Situated at a distance of around 24 kilometres from Chandigarh at Pinjore, the Yadavindra Gardens are laid on the lines of the Mughal Gardens of Delhi. The garden has a mysterious character with its grey-fringed palm trees, shapely cypresses, and dense groves of trees. The watercourses traipsing from level to level sparkle in the sunlight and reflect white shining pavilions and balconies etched high against the blue sky. There are some more attraction in Yadavindra Gardens like Sheesh Mahal, Rang Mahal, and the Jal Mahal.
• Area 69.63 sq. km
• Population 5,10,565
• Altitude 304–365 m above sea level
• Languages Spoken Punjabi, Hindi, English
• STD Code 0172