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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What places can one explore around Chandigarh?

Benazir Khan DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

It’s really the places around Chandigarh that is a potent lure for most visitors. Gateway to Himachal, the wide, spaced roads of Chandigarh lead right into the lap of the Himalayas and nature. Lets walk through some of the incredible places you could explore:

  • Pinjore Gardens

Just as you reach the outskirts of Chandigarh driving on NH22, Pinjore falls your way 20 km away. As you enter the place, you will realise that you have truly left Chandigarh behind and entered the typical countryside with its rich legacy that stretches centuries back. Also known as Yadavindra Gardens, Pinjore Garden was established in the 17th century by architect Nawab Fidai Khan during the reign of Aurangzeb and was later refurbished by Maharaja Yadavindra SIngh. The garden is laid out in seven terraces and as you come in through the grand entrance you will step onto the first terrace with the palace built on Mughal style. Stroll along the stretch of water and water fountains, heavily lined cypress and palm trees and flowerbeds, and you can actually experience firsthand what it must have felt like to be a king or a queen proudly approaching your palace. There’s a mini-zoo in the lowermost terrace, stress on the word ‘mini’. The garden is massive and quite a walk to explore on foot. You can always board the heritage train that takes visitors to all monuments and gardens in the complex. Alternatively, you could refuel on snacks being sold along the way by hawkers or outside the gardens where there is a cozy outdoor dining place, set amidst a blooming garden.

If time allows, visit the garden at night to experience its true magnificence. The massive palace is lit up golden and midnight blue and as its reflection falls on the stretch of water bed fronting it, the inky blue water turns incredible shades of violet, orange and gold, all blending together at one point.

  • Parwanoo

As you continue further along NH22 towards Himachal, you will cross the industrial town to Parwanoo. Often overlooked, this town offers incredible combination of natural beauty and luxurious relaxation in the form of Timber Trail. A resort, Timber Trail often becomes the choice for rest stops for most on the way to real Himachal. Cosy and elegant, the place has incredible dining options with its multi cuisine restaurants Mezza 9 and Terrazo. Dine at their open air restaurant, surrounded by lush green hills and pristine, chill laden mountain air wafting your way. To top the experience, sip your way through their amazing wine collection at their Terazzo Bar. The place is excellent for a rest stop when you are travelling at night and their restaurant is open well into the night; 11pm to 11:30 pm. Now for the actual USP of the place-the resort connects the other side of the Shivalik range with a cable car. As you go in the transparent cable car, you will be at a height of 5,000 feet and can see the Kaushalya river meandering below. This aerial view of the Himalayas is an incomparable experience. The resort has their place at the the other side called Timber Trail Heights. Do indulge in the unique experience of taking a dip in their open air swimming pool. Here you will be swimming in the midst of the Shivalik range-an experience you are unlikely to come across soon. The distance is about 35 km and taking a little more than 30 minutes to cover the distance between Chandigarh to Parwanoo by car.

  • Kasauli

Words fall short when it comes to describing the beauty and experience of Kasauli. 60 km away, Chandigarh and Kasauli pair up nicely for a getaway that’s all about sun-soaked activities and connecting with nature. Offering greenery, breathing space and trekking opportunities, Kasauli is a sleepy Himalayan town that offers a true retreat far from the maddening crowd. Having an army and airforce base works to the advantage of tourists in that there isn’t much crowd to jostle through and only people seeking utter relaxation can be found there.The vegetation covering the hills of Kasauli are usually painted a riot of colours with the wildflowers blooming-blue, pink, red, yellow. Sparkling green through the ever present mist, Kasauli beckons travellers with fun filled adventures. The distance is about 58 km and it takes around 30 minutes in a Chandigarh to Kasauli car.

Explore the surroundings of Chandigarh, and discover one of the best things about living in Chandigarh; how easy it is to escape the city and within an hour and a half you can be in a forest, hill station, 17th century or in complete wilderness.

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