Chandigarh Travel Guide
You can relish all type of cuisines from local Punjabi flavours to Continental cuisine.
Nearly all major Western fast food chains have registered their presence in Chandigarh.
* Barbeque Nation] - Sector 26
* Hot Millions - Sector 17, Sector 35 and also in Mohali, Panchkula.
* Nik Baker's - Sector 35, Sector 9.
* Backpackers - Sector 9
* Pizza Hut - Sector 26, Sector 35
* Oven Fresh - Sector 35, Sector 26
* Domino's Pizza - Sector 17, Sector 34.
* McDonalds - (Fun Republic) Manimajra, Sector 35.
* KFC - Sector 8, Sector 35.
* Subway - Sector 17 and Sector 35.
* Tehal Singh's - Sector 22. One of the best places to try the famous Butter Chicken of Punjab.
* Chawla's - There is a whole Chain of Chawla's, the better ones being in Sector 8 and Sector 22.
Apart from these, a variety of restaurants can be found in the Sector 35 market, ranging from traditional Indian sweet shops(Gopal's), Burger joints like Mcdonalds to formal dine-in joints.
There are plenty of Shopping Avenues in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is home to all leading brands and retail store chains.
Sector 17 is a fully commercial sector which houses all the major brands and shops that cater to wide array of taste and pocket.
Other popular shopping places are Sector 22, Sector 35 and Manimajra.
If you want to bargain hard for usual stuff try the Azad Hind Market in Sector 22. (Closed on Monday).
You can buy souvenirs in form of Coffee Mugs, Shirts etc. at the Sukhna Lake.
Get There and Around
Get there and around
Kingfisher Airlines , Indian Airlines , Jet Airways , GoAir and MDLR Airlines connect to the city.
Indian Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, GoAir and Jet Airways offer a direct flight from Mumbai and Delhi.
Chandigarh has a Domestic Airport about 8 km (5 mi) from city centre. The Airport shall be upgraded to an International Airport and work on that front has commenced since January 2008.
There is frequent service to and from New Delhi. The popular trains connecting New Delhi include 'Kalka(Chandigarh) Shatabdi Express' (twice daily) and the economical Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express(Una(H.P) to Delhi). Shatabdi Express is quite popular and it is better to have an advanced reservation at least 2-3 days prior to the journey.
Chandigarh is served by two bus terminals.
The Inter State Bus Terminus in Sector 43 ,provides connectivity to all major destinations in the neighbouring states Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttaranchal, Jammu, and Delhi(limited).
The Inter State Bus Terminus at Sector 17 offers connectivity to all major towns of Haryana (except those on Himachal Route like Kalka) and Delhi.
Places to visit
places to visit
* Rock Garden designed by Nek Chand. One day 36 years ago, Nek Chand, a humble transport official, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised of hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards. After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered. When they did discover the garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal - a development in a forbidden area. However, rather than demolishing the garden, they decided to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. The park is open daily from April to September between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m. Between October and March, it is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
* Sukhna Lake Located in Sector 1, the Sukhna Lake is an artificial reservoir. A popular place to hang out, one can expect to find residents of the city jogging or strolling along the banks. There is a walking path, a cafeteria, shops and a mini-amusement park and paddleboats. The Sukhna Lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream that flows down from the Shivaliks. Storks and cranes make migratory stops at the lake. The lake, incidentally, has Asia's longest water channel for rowing and yachting.
* Rose Garden: The city houses the largest rose garden in Asia. It also hosts annual rose festival which is quite popular among local population.
* The Capitol Most of the capitol complex is fenced off due to tight security, the open hand is accessible and from there you can see the main buildings, albeit in the distance. If you want a closer look at the Capitol, you need permission from the Tourist Bureau, in the ‘Deluxe Administration building’ in Sector 9. Please note the capitol and bureau are only open on M-F. The tourist bureau is not well signed, you’ll need to ask. It’s in the single story building out the back. Bring your passport and prepare for the beginning of the most amazing experience in Indian bureaucracy. All in all I spent three hours in total of which 50 minutes was spent looking at architecture. The tourist bureau gives you three letters giving you permission to visit the three main buildings of the Capitol complex, The Secretariat, the High Court and the Assembly.
* The High Court - The letter is fine for looking around the High Court just show to security at the entrance, around the back, but if you want to take photos you need to surrender your camera, and head in to fill out some more forms in the protocol office, and the take the forms back to security to get your camera back. It’s worth it as the building is amazing, and extremely photogenic. You can’t take any photos indoors.
* The Secretariat - To check out the Secretariat, it’s a little harder. First you need to find ‘reception’, which is just a small building out the back and show them your letter to get a visitor permit, then you need to see security who will let you in, then you need to see the main security officer inside, who will send you up to the registrar who will then send you back to the main security office. Thankfully you are escorted through most of this confusing, overly complex procedure, usually by a junior soldier with large machine gun. Whole process takes about 30 min. to an hour. Once it’s all clear you can go up to the roof, check out the geranium gardens, and take in an expansive view of all of Chandigarh. Then they’ll let you have a look out the front, which is more interesting.
* The Legislative Assembly (both for Punjab and Haryana) - Ran out of time, so make sure you have a whole clear weekday to appreciate all the capitol buildings.
* Pinjore Gardens - Pinjore Gardens, also called Yadavindra Gardens, are 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh and 15 km (9 mi) from Panchkula, on the Chandigarh Shimla road. Taxis and buses ply regularly between Pinjore and Chandigarh. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating gardens in the Mughal style are one of the most popular picnic spots in the region. A mini zoo, plant nursery and Japanese garden, as well historic palaces and picnic lawns await tourists.
* Museum and Art Gallery - Located in Sector 11, the museum and the combined art gallery is an interestin palce to go to. Artefacts range form the Harrapan Period relics to the paintings and coins from different areas and time periods. Fossils of the local dinosaurs found in the region.
The Chandigarh Museum, which is just next door, provides an interesting aspect on how Chandigarh was founded. It begins with the principles on which Chandigrh was built, selection of the Architects, the design for the people etc.
Chandigarh is a union territory of India, that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana (Since 1966). The name translates to English as "The Fort of Chandi". The name was coined from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi, present in the city's vicinity. It is occasionally referred to as The City Beautiful. Chandigarh Capital Region including Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur .
Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning, it is the first planned city of India.Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer.
After the partition of British India into the two nations of India and Pakistan in 1947, the region of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition. After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be infeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken.
Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city's strategic location as well as the personal interest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation's modern, progressive outlook, Nehru famously proclaimed Chandigarh to be "unfettered by the traditions of the past, a symbol of the nation's faith in the future." Several buildings and layouts in Chandigarh were designed by the French (born Swiss) architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Poland-born architect Matthew Nowicki. It was only after Nowicki's death in 1950 that Le Corbusier was pulled into the project.
On 1 November,1966, the newly-formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi speaking state, while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi language-speaking majority and remained as the current day Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states. It was the capital of Punjab alone from 1952 to 1966. Chandigarh was due to be transferred to Punjab in 1986, in accordance with an agreement signed in August 1985 by Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal of the Akali Dal. This was to be accompanied by the creation of a new capital for Haryana, but the transfer had been delayed. There is currently a discussion about which villages in southern districts of Punjab should be transferred to Haryana, and about which Punjabi-speaking villages should be transferred to Punjab. But analysts believe that now it is not possible as none of the State governments would like to give up their claim and Chandigarh would remain to be the capital of both states and a union territory.
On 15 July 2007,Chandigarh became the first Indian city to go smoke-free. Smoking at public places has been strictly prohibited and considered as a punishable act by Chandigarh Administration but as according to public opinion and according to a secret survey done by several prominent citizens of the U.T smoking still exists in Chandigarh and is not complete smoke free zone due to delaying in construction of smoking zones as promised to be built by administration. Recent developments also showed that Chandigarh had became the hub of drugs and a most spoiled part of north India. Speaking of Chandigarh police is recognized as most effective police in the region , also mostly free from corruption and high spirited officers serving officers first took the cause to make Chandigarh drug free , but failed to do so, the roots of drugs lie deep and area is becoming degraded in social terms, terming it as modernization , the term is used to cover the decaying values and manners for which the area was once famous.