Chandigarh, the capital city shared between the two north Indian states of Punjab and Haryana is built on the lines of a blueprint of a prosperous, modern India and famed for its neatly laid out residential blocks, grid-planned roads and numerous gardens. Originally designed for a population of just half a million, the city is located between two seasonal streams, the Patiala ki Rao and the Sukhna Choe. The Shivalik range forms a spectacular backdrop to the city.
Over the past 45 years, the city of Chandigarh has grown substantially, with land prices shooting up fast. Though frequented mostly by visitors en route to Himachal Pradesh or other towns in Punjab, Chandigarh itself has some interesting sites worth visiting. This metro city also has many critics, who dub it a concrete jungle with huge building blocks unsuited to Indian weather conditions. However, it certainly is a landmark in modern town planning, with sprawling boulevards, neatly planned blocks of houses, green stretches, and parklands. Travel to Chandigarh and explore the various facets of this beautiful garden city of north India.
How to Reach Chandigarh?
By Air : Chandigarh is served by some airlines and is connected by air to Delhi, Amritsar and Leh. From the airport, one can get a taxi or auto rickshaw to reach your destination in the city. The city centre is 11 kms away from the airport.
By Rail : The railway station runs convenient trains from the plains, but is located away from the city centre. A half-hourly bus service runs from the station to the city centre, though it may be more convenient to take a pre-paid auto rickshaw or taxi.
By Road : Chandigarh’s Inter-State Bus Terminus, in the heart of the city at sector 17, is a busy focal point. Buses coming in from Delhi, Manali and Shimla also stop at sector 22. Chandigarh is the transit point for travellers going to Amritsar (6 hours), Pathankot (7 hours), Dharamshala (10 hours), Shimla (5 hours), Kullu (12 hours) and Manali (10 hours). Delhi is 248 kms away, (about 5 hours). One can also drive into Chandigarh from neighbouring states. The approach roads are all in good condition and driving can be a pleasant experience.
Best Time to Visit Chandigarh
The best time to visit Chandigarh is between November and March when the weather is pleasant and is conducive for sightseeing. Day time temperatures remain in the 20-30 degree C range with the minimum night temperature at the height of winter in January dropping to 2 degrees C.
The Chandigarh Carnival is celebrated with pomp and show in the city in November. Concerts, stalls selling interesting items and music and dance shows are part and parcel of this lively event. The Festival of Gardensis held in the month of February and the gardens are a very pretty sight indeed with the flowers in all shapes and hues in full bloom.
The summer months are scorching with temperature highs reaching above the 40 degree C mark. There are dry hot winds that blow in May and June, but there is respite in July when the rains come, cooling down the temperatures but sending humidity levels sky high.
Chandigarh, like other cities and towns in the plains of northern India, is hot in summer. Day temperatures go up to 44° Celsius during May and June. Between July and September, the monsoons bring some respite. Winters, however, are pleasant with night temperatures dropping to 2° C in January.
Things to do in Chandigarh
There are many things to do in Chandigarh as the city offers a rich blend of architectural sites and scenic beauty. The Capitol Complex holds significance because of its structural design. Rock Garden, Zakir Rose Garden, and Leisure Valley are major tourist spots well known for their theme parks. One can go shopping at Sector 17 and 22 for embroidered clothing and leather products. The Sukhna Lake plays host to a wide range of outdoor activities like boating, yachting, and water skiing. Chandigarh Carnival, Mango Festival, and the Festival of Gardens form the most important fairs and festivals of Chandigarh.
Hotels in Chandigarh – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Chandigarh ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.