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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular places for sightseeing in Chandigarh?

Rupali Khanna DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Chandigarh’s vibrant, multifaceted personality attracts people from all over the world. Heading over to Himachal maybe on the top of the to-do list of many, but the city itself is a fascinating assemblage of multicultural neighbourhoods and travel experience and should not be overlooked. Considered the mecca of urban design, the city’s man-made brilliance never seems to dim and going by the city’s attractions, it seems to have branched off to even more fascinating creations. Some of the popular ones are:

  • Rock Garden

A fantasyland created out of industrial waste, rocks, concrete, Rock Garden is an artistic splendour. A living monument to Picasso’s adage “Everything you can imagine is real”, the breathtaking Rock Garden is place of superlatives. Designed and established on a conserved land, Rock Garden was creator and artist Nek Chand’s own secret garden that he worked on in his spare time, beginning 1957, and it was about 2 decades before anyone discovered its existence. He would collect stones from the foothills of Shivalik hills and waste items like bottles, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, electrical waste, etc as he cycled his way through the city. His vision of the divine kingdom of Sukrani is the blueprint of Rock Garden’s design. As you enter Rock Garden the path will lead you through a series of mazelike arches, tunnels and bridges, with passages leading into open-air galleries full of sculptures made out of broken glass bangles, ceramic pottery, wires, etc, each even more striking than the one before.

  • Cactus Garden


One of the most cherished spaces of Chandigarh’s, Cactus Garden is really more of a sprawling landscape that has been lovingly created and planted into existence, cactus by cactus. Spread over 7 acres, the vision leading it was to develop a space for the preservation and conservation of endangered species of cacti and succulents. It has done that and more. Today you will come across a dazzling collection of over 2,500 species of cactus. It is Asia’s largest outdoor landscaped cacti and succulent garden.

A visit to this garden is really more a revelation, as you come to see and appreciate cactus in a new way. You will find cacti small enough to fit your palm and some towering at 11-15 feet. The garden is peppered with mounds of earth that are covered in different varieties of cacti, flowering in delightful colours. As you walk towards the other end of the garden, you will find greenhouses where baby cacti are being nurtured for the garden world outside. You are sure to find yourself wanting cacti for your garden back home. Well, you can get some from the garden itself. You could buy some of the baby cacti or small varieties as they are easy to carry and lightweight.

  • Sukhna Lake

By now it shouldn’t come as a wonder that the Chandigarh’s only and most famed lake is man-made too. It has been created by damming the seasonal stream that comes down from the Shivalik Hills, Sukhna Choe. Le Corbusier’s greatest creation, his vision for the lake still lives on. Carrying on his legacy, till date no motor boats are allowed in the lake and neither are any motor vehicles on the promenade. It is quite a sight to see well-built policemen patrolling the lake’s perimeter in Reva, the tiny electric car. Le Corbusier had predicted that people would be drawn to the lake for the care of their body and spirit. True to his words, even before the sun dawns over the lake and well after it sets, people of all ages can be seen walking, jogging, sprinting on the promenade, outlining the lake’s perimeter. Distances of 500 meter, 1 km and so on are marked on the promenade, so you can easily map the distance covered by you.

How inseparable a part of the city’s psyche Sukhna Lake is, can be guessed from the large number of people that turn up voluntarily from all walks of life to desilt the lake during summers. Every evening people throng the lakeside or simply sit on the steps leading to the lake water. On the other side of the promenade, running parallel to it is a lush green garden dotted with flowers, with benches places at regular intervals.

Yes, the lake has fishes. But fishing is restricted out here so check with the administration about it. With migratory birds like Crane, Stork and Siberian Duck having discovered the delights of Sukhna Lake, it has been declared a protected national wetland.

Do sit on the steps with your loved ones leading towards the lake water and watch the sunset as it gradually disappears behind the mountain ranges, with the lake water turning incredible shades of blue, violet and finally inky blue. It is an otherworldly experience.

  • The Capitol

Le Corbusier envisioned Chandigarh as a living, breathing being with the different centers representing and functioning as its body parts. Within this design analogy the Capitol was and is the city’s head. It consists of the city’s neural networks; the High Court, Secretariat and Legislative assembly. The buildings have been designed and executed with minute detail and grace natural to Le Corbusier, gifted architect that he was. You can see his architectural philosophy brilliantly weaved into the colossal yet graceful dimensions and arches of the buildings. An architectural splendour, prepare to be amazed as you walk its length and examine its nook and crannies. Being the hub of government activity, you will need to take permission to enter certain areas. Ask at the gate with respect to areas where movement may be restricted.

Soak in the sights and architectural extravaganza of Chandigarh and experience the gracious and spacious feel of the city with its wide roads, open sky and elegant post-modern architecture.

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