Best Places To Visit in Chandigarh
At a distance of 4.5 km from Chandigarh Bus Station, Rock Garden is a sculpture garden situated in Sector 1 near Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. The Rock Garden is one of the prime attractions of Chandigarh and also one of the must visit places in Chandigarh. Also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden, the park was opened to the public in 1976. Spread over an area of 25 acres, the Rock Garden has been designed as an open-air exhibition hall using urban and industrial wastes by Nek Chand, a former Road Inspector in Chandigarh. Nek Chand started the garden secretly near Sukhna Lake in 1957. The site where the rock garden stands today was a dumping ground and from here Mr. Nek Chand picked many waste materials and eventually shaped them into some amazing structures of humans and other forms. It was discovered by the authorities in 1975 and might have been demolished on the grounds of being illegal, but was saved by popular public opinion. Nek Chand was then put in charge of the park and given a team of 50 labourers to work on his project. This garden has several interlinked man-made waterfalls, puddles and various sculptures made from scrap like plastic bottles, auto parts, clay, coal, marbles, forks, frames, tiles, ceramic pots, electrical waste and accessories like bangles. The sculptures mostly resemble animals and humans, but some are great examples of abstract art. This garden is a vision of the kingdom of Sukhrani, started by Nek Chand. This make-believe kingdom has 14 chambers representing the Durbar, Royal poets and musicians' chamber, swimming pool meant for the queen, pavilions and other areas for royal leisure.
Teej Festival is a festival celebrated with lot of pride by women at Rock Garden Chandigarh.
Timings: 9 AM - 6 PM (October to March) & 9 AM - 7 PM (April to September)
Entry Fee: Rs. 30 for Adults and Rs.10 for Children
At a distance of 5.5 km from Chandigarh Bus Station, Sukhna Lake is a beautiful manmade lake situated at the foothills of Shivalik range in the city of Chandigarh. This is one of the most picturesque man-made lakes in India and also one of the top tourist places in Chandigarh.
Sukhna Lake is created by Le Corbusier in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream flowing down from the Shivalik hills. It had a depth of 18 feet originally and was spread across 3 sq. km. The name Sukhna means a wish - fulfilled, the lake is a perfect destination for solitude seekers. At the entrance, there is a Corbusier proclamation 'The creator of this beautiful city of Chandigarh has also created this eye-catching man made Sukhna Lake and also a dam that makes this city even more beautiful. The area around this lake is very calm and peaceful'.
The lake is enclosed by a golf course on the south and the famous Rock Garden on its western end. The Sukhna Lake is also the habitat of a number of fishes and migratory birds like cranes and Siberian ducks. It has also been declared as a reserved national wetland by the Government of India. The promenade on the shores of the lake is often crowded by a stream of joggers and walkers. The scenic beauty of the lake serves as a true delight for the photographers and artists who love to capture the mesmerizing view. It is the best place to view both Sunrise and the Sunset.
Chandigarh Sukhna Lake serves as a great picnic spot and an apt place for pursuing water sport activities like boating, yachting and water skiing etc. The Sukhna Lake has the longest channel for rowing and yachting in Asia. The lake in the evening sees number of visitors who come to spend some enjoyable time with their families and loved ones.
The lake is also venue for many festive celebrations too. The favorites among the various festivals are the Mango festival where a large variety of Mangoes are exhibited.
Timings: 5 AM to 9 PM
Boating Fee: Rs. 100 per Person for four & Rs. 50 per Person for two
At a distance of 3 km from Chandigarh Bus Station, Rose Garden or Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is a prominent garden situated in Sector 16 of Chandigarh. Chandigarh Rose Garden is the largest of its kind in Asia and also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chandigarh.
Named after India's former President, Zakir Hussain, this beautiful garden was set up in 1967 with the support of Chandigarh's first Chief Commissioner, late Dr. M S Randhawa. Spread over an area of 30 acres, the park exhibits some of the rarest and exquisite varieties of roses and is said to be home to 1600 varieties of flowers. The rose plants have been planted in carved-out lawns and flower beds. The place is a sight to behold when the flowers are in full bloom.
The other major attraction of the garden is more than 32,500 varieties of trees and medicinal plants. Some of the medicinal plants that can be spotted here are bel, bahera, harar, camphor and yellow gulmohar. The garden is designed like a park and contains long stretches and curves of walking path which makes it comfortable for people who are jogging and exercising.
The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden serves as the venue for hosting an annual festival called Festival of Gardens, a major cultural event in Chandigarh during February or March. It receives visitors from all over the country in a very large number. Exhibiting the finest of roses, it also offers lots of competitions, cultural events and other celebrations.
The best time to visit the Rose Garden is from February to March. During this season the garden becomes colourful with variety of roses and the mesmerizing fragrance has an enthralling effect.
Timings: 6 AM to 8 PM
Entry Fee: Free Entry
Government Museum & Art Gallery
At a distance of 3 km from Chandigarh Bus Station, Government Museum & Art Gallery is a popular museum situated at Sector 10 of Chandigarh. This is one of the prominent museums of India that speaks well of the history and partition of India. It is one of the top places to visit in Chandigarh. The museum has also been declared a Grade-I heritage building by the Chandigarh Administration within the ambit of the Chandigarh Master Plan 2031.
The Government Museum & Art Gallery was established in 1947 to preserve the Gandharan sculptures, Pahari and Rajasthani miniature paintings. Before the partition in 1947, the collection of art objects, paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, were housed in the Central Museum, Lahore, the then capital of Punjab. On April 10, 1948, the division of collection took place by which sixty percent of objects were retained by Pakistan and the remaining forty percent collections consisting mainly of Gandharan sculptures and Indian miniature paintings fell in the share of India. Received in 1949, this collection was first housed in Amritsar then Shimla, Patiala and finally shifted to Chandigarh.
The present extensive campus of the Museum was inaugurated by Dr. MS Randhawa, then chief commissioner of Lahore in 1968. The museum is well known for its unique architecture designed by Le Corbusier. The beautiful campus of the museum is surrounded with selective trees and some contemporary sculptures. It is part of the series of three museums of Unlimited Growth designed by Le Corbusier, the other two being Sanskar Kendra, Ahmedabad and Museum of Western Art, Tokyo.
The museum is briefly divided into four sections which comprise an Art Gallery, Natural History Museum, Chandigarh Architecture Museum and National Gallery of Portraits. The Natural History section of the museum exhibits the evolution of man, dinosaurs in India, and the ancient manuscripts. The National Gallery of Portraits displays the photos of the freedom fighters of Indian independence movement. The Chandigarh Architecture Museum displays the original documents of the planning and evolution of the city. Visitors can also find some rare plans, sketches and photographs of the City in this section.
The Art Gallery displays the sculptures of the ancient India, Medieval India, Gandhara period, etc. The major attraction of the museum is 627 Gandhara sculptures and about 4000 Indian miniature paintings particularly belonging to the Pahari School of Art. In addition, there are about 200 Medieval Indian Sculptures found from nearby sites of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. There is also a representative collection of Indian Gold, Silver and Copper coins. The museum also has a spacious reference library to meet the intellectual needs of scholars and students.
The museum also organizes a sound and light show on every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7.30 PM.
Timings: 10 AM - 4.30 PM, Closed on Mondays & National Holidays
Entry Fee: Rs.10 for Adults
At a distance of 23 km from Chandigarh Bus Station, Pinjore Gardens, also known as Yadavindra Gardens, is a historical garden located at Pinjore village in Panchkula district of Haryana state. Situated on Ambala-Shimla road, Pinjore Garden is one of the top places to experience Chandigarh Tourism. Located on the foothills of lower Shivaliks, Pinjore Garden was created in the 17th century by architect Nawab Fidai Khan during the early reign of his foster brother Aurangzeb. After it was initially built by Fidai Khan, the garden was refurbished by Yadavindra Singh and restored to its former splendour, since it had grown into a wild jungle due to long years of neglect. The name Yadavindra Garden is given as a symbol of honor to Maharaja Yadavindra Singh of the Patiala dynasty, the former royals of Chandigarh.
Spreads over an area of 100 acres, Pinjore Garden is built in the typical Mughal style. The garden has been laid down comprising of seven broad terraces. The main gate of the garden opening into the highest first terrace, which has a palace built in Rajasthani style. It is called the 'Shish Mahal', palace of glass, which is adjoined by a romantic 'Hawa Mahal'. The second terrace has beautiful arches and leads to the Rang Mahal or the Painted Palace. The third terrace has cypress trees and flowerbeds leading to dense groves of fruit trees. The next terrace has the Jal Mahal with a square fountain bed and a platform to relax. The next terrace is full of picturesque groves and the lowermost terrace has an open-air theatre, which is designed as a disc-like structure.
Built on a slope, the entire garden is decorated with numerous fountains. There is a channel that runs in the middle of the garden. There are walkways on the sides of the channel which are beautifully lined with lush green trees. A huge pavilion lies at another end of the channel, which has a terrace. From there, one can have the spectacular views of the garden. There is also a small zoo here. The gardens are brightly illuminated at night.
The Pinjore Baisakhi festival in April and the Pinjore Mango festival in June and July are major attractions at the gardens. Special programs are organized in the garden during the festivals which attract visitors from every corner of the country.
Timings: 7 AM to 10 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 20 for Person
Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park
At a distance of 20 km from Chandigarh, Chhatbir Zoo, initially called as Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, is a zoological park situated on Chandigarh-Zirakpur-Patiala route close to Zirakpur, India. Chhatbir Zoo is one of the largest zoological parks in North India and also one of the must visit places in Chandigarh.
The zoo was inaugurated in 1977 by the then governor of Punjab Mahendra Mohan Chaudhary, and it was christened as Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park. Initially the zoo was populated by a small number of animals brought from Guwahati Zoo, Assam. Sprawling over an area of 505 acres, the Chhatbir Zoo is the largest zoological garden in North India now. It is located on the right bank of river Ghaggar with Shivalik hills in the background. The open countryside all around the zoo provides vast opportunity to the naturalists to take a close look at nature and natural resources in original form.
Chhatbir, once shooting reserve of the Maharaja of Patiala, is today a wildlife heaven and is home to hundreds of reptiles, mammals and birds. The zoo comprises of around 1240 animals as well as birds which belong to around 103 species living in over 100 enclosures. The Asiatic Lion reserves and the Royal Bengal tiger are the major point of attraction of this place. Tourists are carried in an incarcerated motor means of transportation to the Royal tiger's shelter to relish its attraction. The sight of Royal Bengal Tiger roaming freely in its near-natural habitat makes your visit worth it.
The Zoo has a magnificent deer safari where Sambar, Spotted Deer, Black Buck and even Hog Deer roam together in a habitat. The Deer Safari is spread over an area of 12 hectors. Lion Safari gives a thrill of life to the visitors where king of the jungle roams freely. The Lion Safari is spread over an area of 8 hectors of natural forest having lion houses on edge. A Large number of Peacocks also roam freely inside the lion safari which gives an added attraction to the visitors. An artificial lake in the zoo is a unique feature and attracts large number of migratory birds during the winter months.
Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM, Closed on Mondays and on National Holidays
Entry Fee: Rs. 50 for Adults, Rs. 20 for Children, Rs. 50 per person for Lion Safari, Rs. 100 for Camera & Rs. 250 for Car / Jeep
Electric Car: Rs. 50 for Adults & Rs. 25 for Children
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