History : The name of the city is derived from Goddess of power known as 'Shri Chandika'. The State Capital of both Haryana and Punjab, Chandigarh was built in the early 1950's by the internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier. Chandigarh is the only Indian city to have been designed and planned by a single architect Le Corbusier. It is considered the first modern city of post-Independent India. It is administered by the Central Government and is hence classified as an Union Territory. Chandigarh is famous for its wide roads and spacious residential colonies and is an excellent base for specialised sightseeing. Chandigarh is surrounded by Shiwalik Hills.
Attractions of Chandigarh : Main attractions are the Secretariat, Rock Garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Punjab University Campus, Chandi Mandir, Sukhna Lake and the Sector 17 shopping complex. The city is well laid out in sectors and makes for good viewing.
Chandigarh Quick facts
Chandigarh Geography and Climate
Geography: Chandigarh is situated in the foothills of the Shivalik range. Chandigarh is bounded on the north and west by Punjab and east and south by Haryana. Total area of the union territory is 114 Sq. Km. The exact cartographic co-ordinates of Chandigarh are 30.74° N 76.79° E. It has an average elevation of 321 metres (1053 feet).
Best time to visit Chandigarh
Best season to visit Chandigarh is between the months of August to November. During this time there is moderate temperature in the city, neither too hot nor too cold.
LE CORBUSIER'S CITY: In 1950, India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, commissioned the French-Swiss architect Charles Edouard Jeanneret ("Le Corbusier"), to create a new capital for Punjab, as the old capital, Lahore had become a part of Pakistan after Independence in 1947. The result was a city of concrete blocks and straight arterial roads, projecting Le Corbusier's philosophy of functional efficiency, free of unnecessary ornamentation such as domes and arches. Without any crowded bazaars, Chandigarh lacks the typical bustle and vitality of older Indian towns, and some of Le Corbusier's buildings now look weatherbeaten. Yet it remains the country's cleanest and most orderly city and this, perhaps, is Le Corbusier's lasting legacy.
Chandigarh Near Getaways
Kasauli - Hill Staion: (70 km from Chandigarh) It is located at an altitude of 1928 meters. There are two main roads in the city, where traffic is restricted. It is owing to this fact that Kasauli is one of the calmest hilly areas of the country. Kasauli is encircled by forests of chir-pine, Himalayan oak, etc,. If you have adequate time for exploring places in and around Chandigarh, then Kasauli definitely deserves to be visited.
The union Territory of Chandigarh is the twin capital of the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh is situated in the foothills of the Shivalik range. Spread out over 114 sq. km. It has 5 towns and 25 villages.
How to reach Chandigarh by Road
Chandigarh is well connected by road to almost every small and big town in northern India. Frequent buses ply from Chandigarh to Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and even Rajasthan. One has a varied choice that includes luxury buses, ordinary buses and taxis, all of which are readily available.
How to reach Chandigarh by Rail
The railway station is 7 km away from the city center. It is well connected to the major cities of India like Delhi (238 km), Bikaner (575 km), and Jodhpur (827 km).
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How to reach Chandigarh by Air
The airport is 11 km away from the main city. Chandigarh is connected to Delhi (daily) and Amritsar (bi-weekly) by flights of Indian Airlines. There is also a weekly flight to Leh from Chandigarh. Jet Airways has daily flights to Chandigarh from Delhi.
Chandigarh Festivals and culture
Guru Parab : Celebrated across Punjab on the first full moon night after Diwali, the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is particularly spectacular at the Golden Temple at Amritsar. Thousands of lamps illuminate the temple every night from Diwali onwards.
The traditions followed in the city are a mix of many traditions followed through out the country. One can see and participate in almost, all of the religious activities of every religion in the country. People of Chandigarh speak in Punjabi or Hindi or English - or combination of all. Punjabi is the most prominent language here. People of Chandigarh are lovers of entertainment and posh lifestyle. Most of the people in Chandigarh are service people.
Chandigarh Religious Places
Some of the famous religious places in and around Chandigarh are 'Chandi Mandir', 'Mansa Devi Temple', 'Saketri Temple', 'Gurudwara Nada Sahib', 'Gurudwara Baoli Sahib', 'Jama Masjid', 'Catholic Church', etc.
Capitol Complex: Capitol Complex is the seat of the governments of Punjab and Haryana. This is the most magnificent work of Le Corbusier - the architect of Chandigarh. Set against the Shivalik Hills the complex includes the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly, representing the monumental character authority of the complex.
Chandigarh Entertainment and Night Life
Chandigarh is a great place for sports lovers. Many types of games are available in the diverse colonies of the town. Chandigarh offers all types of sports activities. You can easily find well- equipped sports complexes, play grounds, courts, sports clubs etc in the city. Many sports like tennis, sailing, swimming, golf can be enjoyed in Chandigarh.
A walk at evening/night times in Rose Garden: Fountains and bright lights enhance Rose Garden's beauty at night and provide a breath of fresh air to all who come to enjoy a walk and unwind.
Kidding around Chandigarh
Sukhna Lake : This beautiful man-made lake lies in the foothills of Shivalik range. This 3 km long lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. This lake has gained popularity as a prime picnic spot because of its tranquil ambiance and variety of water sports like boating, yachting and water skiing, etc. that can be pursued here.
The main shopping market in Chandigarh is located at Sector 17. Every evening, the place becomes the most happening spot of the city. Phulkari is a government run shop in the shopping sector 17. Woollen shawls and mirror-work bedspreads are real works of art. The city has a number of handicraft emporia, but there is no 'traditional' Chandigarhi item as such to shop. They usually have an assortment of handicrafts and handloom products from neighbouring states. While shopping in Chandigarh, you can look for famous tip-turned-up jootis, the colourful Punjabi dupattas, local woollen wear, and delicious jams and juices from the Himachal Pradesh.
Famous To Eat at Chandigarh
Punjabi cuisine is characterized by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai, paneer and curds. The other popular dishes, which belong exclusively to Punjab, are mah ki dal, rajma and stuffed parathas. Chole-bathure, is available at every wayside dhaba anywhere in northern India is the most famous dish of Chandigarh. Do not forget to try the traditional Sarso-da Saag and Makki-di-Roti. Lassi, made of yogurt, tempered with either salt or sugar, is a popular cooling drink of Punjabi origin but it is now quite popular all over the country.
Chandigarh Museum and Hill Stations
Chandigarh's Museum and Art Gallery : There is a cultural complex in sector 10 of Chandigarh which includes an Audio-Visual Training Institute, a Museum and an Art Gallery. The Museum and Art Gallery houses one of the country's finest collections of Gandharan sculpture and miniature paintings. Among the best exhibits are a serene 6th-century Standing Bodhisattva in the Gandharan style, and a rare 11th-century statue of Vishnu holding a conch shell. The miniatures section has a comprehensive selection of Pahari paintings from the Kangra, Basohli and Guler schools, while modern art includes monuntainscapes by the Russian painter Nicholas Roerich.
Gardens and Parks at Chandigarh
Chandigarh has the distinction of having world acclaimed Rock Garden and Asia's largest Rose Garden which are very popular spots of tourist attraction. Nek Chand's Rock Garden: Lying opposite the Capitol Complex, the Rock Garden spread over 1.6 ha (4 acres) in Sector 1, it was created in the 1970s by an ex-road inspector, Nek Chand, and is a refreshing contrast to Le Corbusier's severely symmetrical cityscape. Nek Chand's Rock Garden in the city of Chandigarh demonstrates how urban and industrial waste can be fruitfully recycled and used in creative pursuit. This magic garden was built by Nekchand, with multicoloured pieces of useless stones and other throwaway. The most powerful aspect of the garden is that - thousands of animal or humanoid figures made out of discarded materials, which stand in rigid rows like silent static armies.
Lake at Chandigarh
Sukhna Lake : This beautiful man-made lake lies in the foothills of Shivalik range. This 3 km long lake was created in 1958 by building a dam across the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. This lake has gained popularity as a prime picnic spot because of its tranquil ambiance and variety of water sports, activities like boating, yachting and water skiing, etc. that can be pursued here.
Chandigarh Travel Tips
For a visit to the Gurudwaras covering ones , head is necessary. Simple scarves or handkerchiefs will suffice. Respect the tradition and culture of the place and remove the footwear before entering into temples and mosques. Carry sun-lotions, sun-glasses etc,. if you are visiting the place in Summer season. Carry sufficient woollen clothes if you are visiting this place in winter as the weather during the season is really chill.
Chandigarh Tourist Offices
Chandigarh Industrial & Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) SCO 121-122 Sector 17-B Chandigarh, India - 017 Telephone Number(s)  4644430, 4644432, 2704761, 2704356, 2706482 Department of Tourism Deluxe Building, Ground Floor Sector 9-D Chandigarh, India - 009 Telephone Number(s)  2740420 Haryana Tourism Information Office SCO 17-19 Sector 17-B Chandigarh, India - 017 Telephone Number(s)  2702955, 2702956, 2702957, 2720437
ICICI ATM CENTERS: ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OFFICE, SECTOR 17 Restricted Access - Accountant General Office, Sector 17, Chandigarh, 160017 AIR FORCE STATION Restricted Access-Air Force Station,12 Wing Air Force, Near CSD Canteen, Chandigarh, 160003 CIVIL SECRETERIAL HARYANA GOVERNMENT Restricted Access - Civil Secreterial Haryana government, Sector 1, Chandigarh, 160001
Must do at Chandigarh
When it comes to Chandigarh excursions, visiting the Chandi Devi mandir is a must. The city of Chandigarh was named after this temple. Make a visit to the Rock Garden and Rose Garden -- The places not to be missed!