Chandigarh – A small city, district, union territory and the capital of two Indian states Haryana and Punjab, owns a beautiful amalgamation of age-old cultures and urban architectures. Famously titled ” The City Beautiful “, Chandigarh is the first planned modern city in India constructed by the famous French architect “Le Corbusier”. Above all, Chandigarh has also made its way among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is definitely a place that you should visit soon.
I spent around 3 days in the city and thanks to the recommendations that poured in from my followers on Instagram, I managed to check out some amazing places in the city. Short on time? Don’t worry, you can consider this short guide of places in Chandigarh – to visit, shop, eat and to enjoy the night life at the city beautiful.
Places To Visit In Chandigarh
- Location: At Sec 1 , Near Sukhna Lake
- Timings: 9AM – 6PM ( October to March) and 9AM – 7PM ( April to September)
- Entry fee: Rs 30 for Adults and Rs 10 for Children
As the name depicts, Rock Garden is a sculptural garden where the intricate architecture and sculptures are made using the waste materials. However, It was a secret project by Nek Chand who used to collect scrap from around the city like broken tiles, plastic bottles, ceramic pots, electrical waste , broken bangle pieces etc and used them to creature figures out of them. His unique artwork and creativity is the reason that Rock Garden is one of the must visit places in Chandigarh.
Rock Garden’s labyrinthine paths makes one feel like exploring a treasure hunt and make for a beautiful display of the sculptures. What excited me the most was the man-made waterfall and lake amidst the garden.
How To Reach – It takes around 10-15 minutes to reach from the Chandigarh ISBT, Sec 17. You can take a bus from ISBT- 17 to Sec 1- Rock Garden , its a 5 minute walking distance from the dropping point. You can also take hire a cab ( Uber and Olacabs are easily accessible from their apps).
Best Time To Visit – Throughout the year but try visiting the garden on weekdays as the place gets crowded with maximum visitors on weekends.
- Location: At Sec 1, 2kms from Rock Garden
- Boating Timings: 9:30AM to 6PM
One of the most popular places to visit and chill at Chandigarh is the Sukhna Lake. Its a man-made reservoir situated in the foothills of Shivalik range. One can experience different moods of the day from the promenade along the bank (sunsets have been my favorite). Moreover, Sukhna is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian duck, Storks and Cranes, during the winter months.
Other than the peaceful vibes amidst the picturesque lake, this place also offers activities such as boating, yachting etc. From morning joggers to evening strollers, this place pleases everyone with its bewitching sight.
Pro Tip: Do consider visiting the back side of the lake called ” Silence Lake” if you’d like some alone time. While the main Sukhna point is a tourist attraction and experiences crowd at all times, I found the Silence lake a bit less commercialized and at peace. Also after that don’t forget to visit the small museum near it to know more about the wildlife there.
How To Reach – Its at a 2 kilometers distance from the Rock Garden and takes around 10-15 minutes to reach from the Chandigarh ISBT, Sec 17. You can also take hire a cab. To reach the Silence Lake- either you can walk by the bank, it takes around 30-40 minutes or hire an auto (easily available at the gate).
Best Time To Visit – January to April and from August to December. Early mornings are undoubtedly the best time to visit this place in order to enjoy the fresh vibes and flock of migratory birds.
- Location: Sector 16
- Timings: 6AM – 10PM
Rose Garden, also called ” Zakir Hussain Rose Garden” is a dream come true place for all nature lovers. Its a breathtaking garden spread across acres with maintained rose beds. Roses of all kinds and colors can be seen in the garden. Moreover, every month has its own specialty of roses. The clean lawn, sounds of birds and playful squirrels made it a lovely picnic spot.
There aren’t many food options for the tourists but one can find a few snacks and juice stalls just outside the gate. While I loved strolling through the long stretch of the garden, I also wished that this place never experiences careless littering.
How To Reach – The best way to reach this place is to hire a cab/auto.
Best Time To Visit – This place is best to visit throughout the year, however, consider visiting in February if you want to witness the Rose Festival of Chandigarh ( dates are announced a month before)
Places To Shop in Chandigarh
Sector -17 Market
Situated in the centre of the city, Sec-17 Market is the hub of big brand stores and international outlets. As a result, this place never misses out on crowd. Sector 17 market has a long stretch of outlets in rows making for an ultimate destination for shopaholics. In other words, If you are into branded products and clothings, then this is the place for you. One can also witness a musical fountain there at evenings.
How To Reach – Its 10 minute walking distance from Sec-17 ISBT
- Location: Sec 22
- Timings: 10AM – 10PM
- Days: Monday – Saturday
Who doesn’t like flea markets? Well budget savers like me sure love them. The famous Shastri market is to Chandigarh, what Sarojini nagar is to Delhi. One can find footwears, phulkaris, decor items to chunky jewelry at reasonable prices. Basically, find anything and everything in this market.
How To Reach– The best way to reach this place is to hire a cab/auto. Ask them to drop you at the gate near the Kiran Theatre.
Pro Tip: Bargain as much as possible. Also, go with your friends, bargaining is much simpler when with an army.
Places To Eat In Chandigarh
Student Centre (PU Campus)
- Location: Sector 14 , Panjab University
If you love street food like I do then Student Centre at Panjab University would seem no less than a paradise to you. You will find all kinds of stalls, from crispy snacks to big thalis in Student Centre (Also called Stu-C ) at pocket-friendly prices.
- Location: Sector – 28
To get the real and authentic taste of the punjabi food, one must never skip dining at a Dhaba. While there are many options available in Chandigarh , Pal Dhaba at Sector-28 stood out for me. There’s a lot in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections. The food is so delicious that you wouldn’t mind exercising the next day to burn those extra calories
Chinese Market/ Patel Market
- Location – Sec 15
Street food in India has many chinese cuisine options these days. If you are a fan of them, then you might want to visit Chinese market (also called Patel market). This place mainly offers chinese cuisines like Momos, Thupka, Chowmein etc and is crowded at all times.
Not a place for a date but guess what’s better than that?
More FOOOOOOODDD !!
Sectors to find Pretty Cafes
Speaking of dates, if you are looking for a warm ambient or instagrammy place to dine at then here’s a list of a few cafes with their respective sectors.
- Lah Di Dah : Sector- 10
- Rustic Door : Sector- 10
- Cafe JC : Sector- 10
- Farzi Cafe : Sector- 26
- Garg Chat bhandaar: Sector- 23
In conclusion, Chandigarh has a lot to offer and a trip of 2-3 days can easily be planned. I hope you have a good time exploring these and more places in Chandigarh. While you are at it, stay safe, don’t litter and stay hydrated !
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