Posted 07 October 2022

Planning a weekend getaway to Chandigarh? Here’s top tourist attractions to visit, The City Beautiful

Chandigarh is a big city and commercial centre second only to Delhi. Chandigarh has the distinction of being the best planned city in India and is a modern city with its own airport and major railway station. This city is at the crossroads of the states of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Chandigarh is also a tourist’s paradise and has several great sites both within the city and a 100 km radius.

There are so many places to visit in and around Chandigarh that even a 3- to 5-day vacation would not do enough justice to the top places to visit in Chandigarh. Good research of the places to visit along with a detailed itinerary would be a good way to plan a balanced and enjoyable vacation in Chandigarh

Experiences in Chandigarh

  • Visit the famous Rock Garden: Nek Chand, a government employee in Chandigarh, would never have imagined that the rock garden he had been sculpting quietly back in 1957 would go on to become a 40 acre attraction and a top place to visit in Chandigarh 50 yr Nek Chand chose a secluded spot near Sukhna Lake and began collecting scrap and unusable material from demolition sites.

    The gorge selected by this man was for forestry and land conservation but he went on crafting his vision of the ancient Sukrani kingdom into a 12 acre extravaganza before it was discovered by the authorities more than 18 yr later. By this time, the rock garden was too beautiful to be demolished and Nek Chand would go on to be officially appointed as a sub divisional engineer of his dream project.

    The beauty of Rock Garden is that it is built out of waste material such as broken ceramic fittings, tiles, bottles, glass, electrical waste and even discarded pipes. Amazing vision has transformed all the scrap into beautiful sculpture. Once Rock Garden became an official site, Nek Chand became a celebrity of sorts and was invited as a speaker in several forums to talk about his unique creation. Besides sculptures, the garden has man made waterfalls that are linked to each other and even a doll’s museum. This unique site is one of the most amazing places visited by over 5000 people every day.

    Further, Sukhna Lake adjacent to Rock Garden is a wonderful place to visit and relax at. This beautiful lake is known for boating and one can also witness sunrise and sunset.

  • Explore the mighty Timber trail: Another of the top places to visit in Chandigarh is the Timber trail which is a little outside Chandigarh and is close to Parwanoo and Kalka. The advantage of visiting Timber trail is that this tour can be combined with a visit to the lovely hill station of Parwanoo and then taking the toy train to Shimla from Kalka. The Timber trail consists of two great resorts in the hills that are connected by a cable car. It is a mini adventure cum expedition in itself.

    Tourists can even spend a few days in the resorts which are well equipped with modern amenities. There are options for adventure activities such as mountain biking. Many resorts also have business centres that are preferred by companies who look for an offbeat site for business conventions. This site is 35 km from the Chandigarh airport.

  • Shop till you drop: There are very few markets that are showcased as tourist spots and the Sector 17 market in Chandigarh is such a spot. This is a great market with restaurants and offers one of the best shopping experiences. There are separate mini markets within the Sector 17 market for books, garments, and mobile phones. Also, there is even a gallery of portraits.

    Some best restaurants of the area are located in the Sector 17 market and many of them are known as food stations. They serve traditional, local and authentic food and the décor is attractive. These restaurants offer a wonderful ambience to sit and enjoy gourmet food after a thrilling shopping experience around the market. There is another landmark site to take shopping to new heights and this is the Elante mall which is a vast shopping mall along with a commercial and office complex and the Hyatt hotel.

  • Museums like none: The next attraction of Chandigarh is the government Museum and Art Gallery. This breathtaking museum is a little underrated but a must see as it contains artefacts brought back from Lahore Museum after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. The highlights of a visit to this stunning museum are Gandhara sculptures and miniature Rajasthani paintings.

    Along with this museum, a visit to the international Doll’s Museum is highly recommended. Though the Doll’s Museum is sure to be a hit with children, especially girls, adults are sure to find this unique museum fascinating and get glimpses of dolls from places as diverse as Korea, Spain, Germany, Denmark and Russia.

    There is an unusual architecture dedicated to Lord Corbusier, the famous French-Swiss architect who designed the basic planning for the city of Chandigarh. This site was once his office and not only contains drawings of his original plans for Chandigarh but also of sites in the United States and Japan. This unusual museum dedicated to the planner of Chandigarh is a top place to visit in Chandigarh and is a must for students and practitioners of architecture.

  • The famous gardens: The city of Chandigarh has fascinating gardens that are a must see. These include Pinjore Garden, Japanese Garden, the terraced garden and Zakir Hussain Rose Garden. The Japanese Garden has been built in two phases and they are interconnected by a tunnel. The garden is lush green and is decorated with stunning Japanese sculptures and paintings. And, it is a very tranquil and relaxing place to visit.

    The most amazing feature of Rose Garden is that there are 825 different kinds of flowers on display. And, those who are fond of flowers will love this garden. The terraced garden is a multi-layered garden that has a wonderful collection of flowers. Originally built as a war memorial, this garden is also home to the annual chrysanthemum show.

    Pinjore Garden is one of the top places to visit in Chandigarh. Spread over 100 acres, this breathtaking garden is spread over seven layered terraces. The main gate opens into a glass palace built in Rajasthani style and is known as Sheesh Mahal. There are numerous fountains and a water channel that runs down the middle. The garden even has its own zoo and is beautifully illuminated at night. The great circuit of gardens and parks in Chandigarh also includes Shanti Kunj and Garden of Fragrance.

  • A glimpse of nightlife: Hops n Grains with its own brewery is one among the top places to visit in Chandigarh in order to experience the vibrant nightlife of this city. It is a great place for tourists to experience the pulse of this amazing place and get a feel of the dance floor and the great concerts and DJs here.
  • Modern amusement parks: Every city of tourist interest has its fun and amusement parks and Chandigarh is well endowed with great parks. Fun City is spread across 43 acres and is said to be the biggest amusement park in North India. Thunder City is another amusement park that gives its visitors more than their money’s worth. With a water theme, both the parks are recommended to be visited during summers in order to have a cool splash all day.

Travel tips for Chandigarh

  • A well-planned vacation: Travellers coming from cities which are within a 400 to 500 km radius can travel by road and bring their own cars. And, this will give them good mobility to visit the not to be missed tourist sites within a 150 km radius from Chandigarh. Tourists need to plan their vacation well and decide on the places to visit along with the duration. This will help in booking hotels and resorts online in advance and save by the means of promos and discounts.
  • Travelling light: With reducing weight allowance limits by airlines, it is better to travel light especially if the planned holiday involves multiple hotel transfers. Some warm clothes will be necessary if the vacation is planned for winters. Some of the hill stations in the itinerary can be really cold and it is best to come prepared.
  • Be wary of private operators: It is better to book hotels and resorts online in order to get the best deals. In today’s information age, one can even have a virtual tour of a hotel or resort before booking them. It is better to book cabs through well-reputed apps rather than depending on hired cars that may not be safe or reliable.
  • Carry basic essentials: A family touring Chandigarh and its surrounding areas need to carry basic first-aid equipment and medicines. Carrying bottled water on an expedition is a good idea.

The city of Chandigarh is a great place for a holiday. An IndiGo flight from one of the several cities in India will bring tourists to this place with historical gardens, fascinating museums, gardens and vibrant markets. Notably, a well-planned holiday in Chandigarh and its surroundings can be the experience of a lifetime.

Connectivity to Chandigarh

Chandigarh has a very good, well-equipped modern airport. IndiGo operates regular flights to Chandigarh from Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Srinagar and even Jaipur to and from Chandigarh. The city also has excellent road connectivity and is connected to the Golden Quadrilateral by a series of well-maintained expressways. The drive to Chandigarh from most cities is a marvellous experience and motorists approaching Chandigarh will get an amazing view of hilly terrain and lush greenery.

Further, Chandigarh has a beautiful railway station and there are a large number of express and superfast trains connecting the city to most major cities in India. Moreover, the city can be explored by local buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and cabs.

Climate in Chandigarh

Chandigarh has cold winters and hot summers. Winters are recommended for touring Chandigarh. And, this includes the months of October and November. Besides, the spring season from February to March forms the best months when both outdoor and indoor activities can be equally enjoyed. June till September is not recommended as the weather is extremely hot and humid during this time of the year and outdoor excursions may not be so comfortable.

Best time to visit Chandigarh

Chandigarh has both severe winters and hot, humid summers. The best time to visit Chandigarh is from October to March when the outdoor sites are wonderful to visit. The summer season is good for shopping and exploring museums. A great option for tourists in the summer months is to experience the water-based amusement parks. Another advantage of touring in summers is the discounted hotel rates. This helps tourists save on accommodation costs which are a major chunk of tourist expenditure. Summers are also good for tourists wishing to explore hill stations around Chandigarh. Visits to Parwanoo and Shimla are great during summers.

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