The Open Hand Monument
Garden of Fragrance
Jayanti Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple
Welcome to Chandigarh,
Chandigarh is the Union Territory in the North India. It capital of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. It is the best-planned city in India, with architecture which is world-renowned,and a quality of life, which is unparalleled. It is a prestigious city. The face of modern India, Chandigarh, is the manifestation of a dream that Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru envisaged and Le Corbusier executed.
The name was coined from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu Goddess Chandi, presenting the city's vicinity. Chandigarh Capital Region including Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur.
Serenity and a city are two diametrically opposite concepts,which however,get belied in the 'City Beautiful'. Chandigarh is a rare epitome of modernization co-existing withnature's preservation. It is here that the trees and plants are as much a part of the construction plans as the buildings and the roads. India's first planned city, is a rich, prosperous,spic and span, green city rightly called "THE CITY BEAUTIFUL".
The ancient historical Shiva temple at Saketri is just 5 km from Mansa Devi Temple and 20 km from Chandigarh. Thousands of devotees visit this temple on the Shivratri day to get Lord Shiva's blessings
The Art Gallery is one of the most distinctive of its kind with different sections containing a modest collection of Indian stone sculptures dating back to the Gandhara period, together with some miniatures paintings and modern art. It also houses a good collection of modern Indian sculptures and graphics made by renowned artists in their respective fields.
The other sections include a collection of Indian textiles, Indian metal and stone sculpture, decorative art, Indian miniature painting and Indian contemporary art. Besides these, there is a small collection of objects in stucco and terra cotta metal, ivory, lacquer, ceramic, enamel and fabric.
Bhima Devi Temple dated back to the 11th and 14th centuries is perhaps the oldest temple in India. Situated on the Pinjore Kalka Road at a distance of 22 km from Chandigarh, this shrine is in the Panchayatan style of architecture. Here Durga is worshipped as Bhima Devi. The temple built on the rising foot hills of the Shivalik mountains is now in ruins.
A picturesque botanical garden, located between the Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1 stretches to about 88 acres. The main attraction of this garden is its rock formations, small lily-pools and rare species of plants kept in the green house. There is another botanical garden in the Punjab University. Cacti, succulent, ever green and exotic plants are arranged in each corner. This is the only place in Chandigarh where beautiful lotus flowers can be seen. One more botanical garden is being created in Chandigarh covering an area of 117 acres which include medicinal, exotic and indigenous plants species.
Hundreds of bougainvillea varieties adorn the garden spread over 20 acres in Sector 3. The creepers cover a wide assortment of arches, pavilions and arcades. The garden, popular for its vibrant colours, was opened in 1976. The annual Bougainvillea Show is held here.
The National cactus, succulent botanical gardens and research center covering an area of 7 acres is considered as Asia's largest garden of its kind with over 3500 species. Situated in the heart of Panchkula City, which is about 8 kms from Chandigarh, the park has a comprehensive collection of rare and endangered species of Indian succulents. Started in 1987, the garden has three green houses.
The Capitol Complex designed by Le Corbusier in Sector 1, which stands aloof dominating the city, is the seat of the government. It is the joint headquarters of Punjab and Haryana. The three main geometrical buildings in this complex are the Legislative Assembly, the High Court, and the Secretariat. Besides these three majestic edifices, there are also a number of monuments based on Corbusier's personal philosophy. Separated by large piazzas, the subtle and most evocative grouping of these buildings is of breath-taking beauty.
Chandi Mandir dedicated to the mother goddess of power 'Chandi', is located 15 kms from the city on the Chandigarh- Kalka road. Chandigarh derives its name from the Chandi goddess. The temple is worshipped as a Siddh Peeth, a place where wishes are granted. During the Navratras, thousands of devotees throng to the temple. There is a fort or 'garh' beyond the temple, called Chandigarh.
Chattbir Zoo, located on the Chandigarh-Patiala road, about 15 km from Chandigarh, is the largest zoo in north India. Spreading over an extensive wooded area on the banks of the Ghaggar river, the zoo is residence to more than 100 varieties of mammals, birds and reptiles. Other attractions of the zoo is the deer and lion safari.
The child art gallery exclusively meant for children is in the Museum block. The gallery exhibits works by young artists of Chandigarh. The museum frequently organises art workshops for students and children.
An area of Leisure valley in Sector 23, is laid out to form roads and intersections for children's traffic park This park designed to teach children the rules of road safety is spread over an area of 121/2 acres. The park, meant for children who are learning to cycle, is equipped with all sorts of road signs. There is also an exhibition hall and lecture-cum-cinema hall in the park.
The City Museum opened in 1997, narrates the growth of Chandigarh city. The museum displays some rare plans, sketches and relevant photographs prepared by the Master Planner of the City. It also gives a glimpse of the original documents pertaining to the planning and evolution of the city. The museum arranged in three stories is dedicated to the History, Plan and execution of Development and the Present and Future of Chandigarh.
The rose garden in sector 16 is claimed to be the Asia's largest Rose garden. This garden was created in 1967, under the expert guidance of Dr M.S. Randhawa, Chandigarh's first Chief Commissioner, and is named after India's President, Zakir Hussain. It is spread over an area of 30 acres and have 1600 different species of roses. The rose collection in this garden include natural as well as hybrid varieties developed through tissue culture. Along with the roses, medicinal trees like bel, bahera, harar etc and unique specimen trees are also seen here which enhance the beauty of the garden.
Every year a 'Rose Festival' is celebrated at the rose garden, either at the end of February or the beginning of March. It is one of the main cultural events of the city which draws thousands of visitors. There are lots of competitions, cultural celebrations and many other events. Best time to visit the rose garden is during February- March when the plants are in full bloom. Fountains and bright lights enhance its beauty at night.
The physical Fitness Trail Park inaugurated in 1965 in Sector 10 is an ideal place for long walks and physical workouts. It has been developed with a view to enjoy physical exercises along with the beauty of Nature. The trail park was renovated in 1985. The flower garden which stretches 94 acres is located to the south of the fitness trail. It has seasonal flowering plants and sculptures by renowned artists. An area in the garden have been left for cultural activities.
A Water Amusement Park located at Ramgarh, Fun City is spread over an extent of 43 acres. Supposed to be the biggest in the northern part of India, Fun city presents an exclusive arrangement of Water Park, Amusement Park and Resort. The most thrilling and exiting rides in the park allure both the kids and the adults alike. Marvelously planted blooming and other decorative plants give the park an enchanting as well as a stunning look.
The wet park in the Fun City consists of one activity pool, three landing pools and a wave pool, which makes a delightful ride for the water enthusiasts. The park houses a cluster of water slides of various shapes and sizes provides never ending fun. New features like lazy river, splash pool, aqua dance, slides like white multi lane, typhoon tunnel, white slide, red dragon slide, run away raft slide and pendulum slide are the other fascinating enjoyments in the park. Most modern equipments mixed with wonderful themes, makes the park a favourite hot spot of all age group.
Garden of Fragrance in Sector 36 is situated of south of the Hibiscus Garden. It is popular for its different varieties of aromatic and fragrant plants like motia, demask roase, mehndi and varieties of jasmine.
The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10-C, designed by Le Corbusier is situated in the heart of the city. Inaugurated on 1968, the museum constitutes three wings- an Art Gallery, Natural History Museum and the City Museum.
Hibiscus Garden covering an area of 8 acres is known for its bright coloured flowers. The garden located in Sector 36, was opened in 1996 and has about 40 different varieties of hibiscus shrubs.
This museum situated in Bal Bhawan in Sector 23, contains puppets and more than 300 dolls from nearly every country in the world. Inaugurated on 24th December 1985, the museum provides amusement to children. A toy train is also displayed in the museum.
This beautiful temple, 13 km from Chandigarh Bus Stand, is situated on the banks of the Jayanti river surrounded by Shivalik hills.
The Leisure Valley starts from the foothills in Sector 1 in the north and leaves Chandigarh at its southern most edge in sector 53. Sections of Leisure Valley are known by different names. This Valley contains the famous Rose garden, Rajendra park, Smriti Upavan, Shanti Kunj, Terraced garden, Bougainvillea garden, Traffic park etc.
Mansa Devi temple, is situated in Panchkula at a distance of 8 km from Chandigarh, in the state of Haryana. According to Hindu scriptures, the temple is one of the 52 'Satipiths' and it is believed that the head of Devi Sati had fallen at this place. There are two temples here. The relatively new temple was built by the Maharaja of Patiala. Millions of devotees from all over the country come here to pay homage to the goddess. There is a large garden of sacred plants attached to the Mansa Devi temple.
Morni Hills, situated in the lower reaches of the Shivalik range, is about 45 kms from Chandigarh. It is a beautiful hill resort in the Ambala district of Haryana. This high projection of the Shivaliks is a protected forest which is an ideal place for trekking, rock-climbing and adventure sports. For wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers, Morni hills is a paradise which offers awesome views.
One among the important components of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Museum of Evolution of Life is situated in Sector-10. It is an overwhelming museum that gives a remarkable review of evolution of life from the primary stage to this sophisticated period. It gives thorough information about the history of earth from the earlier times to the modern era.
Started functioning in the year 1973, this museum is the best place for those who are very much particular in the field of developmental studies. It describes the origin of life and its development through diverse paintings. Other main galleries in the museum include Astronomy, Archaeology, Pre-historic and Geology presented with scientific and technical display. There is a reference library with a large number of books on evolution, paleontology, zoology, botany and biology.
The national gallery contains portraits of Indian freedom fighters, rare documents, sculptures, ceramic murals and recordings of the voices of 125 prominent figures of India's Independence movement. Inaugurated in 1977 and located in the basement of the Central State Library building in Sector 17, it is one of the three National Galleries (the other two are in Delhi and Calcutta) enriched with 1000 portraits and 100 panels piecing together India's epic struggle for freedom. The library here contains about 1300 books on freedom struggle.
The Natural History Museum or Museum of Evolution of Life opened to public on 1973 comprise various sections like Evolution of Man, Dinosaurs section, Cyclorama of Evolution of Life, Nature in Art and Manuscript. The origin of the earth and the evolution of life from the unicellular organism to its present state of biological diversity has been explained through exquisite paintings. The exhibits in this museum cover 5,000 years of Indian History from the Indus Valley Civilization to the present day. There are other galleries of astronomy, geology and the world of ancient man.
Pinjore Gardens alias Yadavindra Gardens, about 20km from Chandigarh, created in the 17th century lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. Covering an area of 100 acres on a slope with fountains and pavilions, this popular picnic spot has great historical significance. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Pandava brothers rested here during their exile.
The garden contains a mini zoo, nursery, a Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns. A Mango Festival is held in June at the Pinjore gardens. Mango-growers from all over India are invited to enter their prized fruits in the various competitions. Visitors can see and taste all the traditional varieties of the fruit as well as the latest hybrids from the agricultural universities.
The office of the Panjab Lalit Kala Academy is popularly known as the Punjab Kala Kendra. Located in Sector-16, this academy has an astounding compilation of modern art and also conducts exhibitions on various subjects. The main objective of Panjab Arts Council alias the Lalit Kala academy is to promote the artistic talents of the upcoming artists. This noble venture provides great facilities to the toddlers of this field to display their innovative art pieces in its art galleries.
Rajendra park in Sector1 of the leisure valley, is commonly used for long walks, outdoor yoga, learning to drive and horse riding. The area of this natural park started in 1954, stretch to about 400 acres. There are mangoes, peaches and plum trees in the park. Sporting events such as Horse shows are held here from time to time.
The Rock Garden sprawling over 64 acres is a strange but unique garden- an artists dream, build by one man's effort, love, ingenuity and skill. This vast open air museum that showcase a massive array of natural rock forms and stones is situated on the northern fringe of the city centre adjacent to the Sukhna lake. Nek Chand who was an ordinary public works department employee of the Chandigarh administration, conceived the idea of the garden as a solution to the disposal of city waste and domestic garbage. There are no flowers or plants in this garden.
The garden was created sector by sector with rocks and discarded objects like bottle tops, fluorescent lights, mud guard, tin cans, broken glass, building waste etc which Nek Chand meticulously collected from door to door. The creative artist built, dolls and figures of birds, men and women and set them along a maze of paths. He was duly honored and appointed as the director of the garden. This tourist spot was first opened to public in 1976.
The other highlights are an open air theatre and a vast pavilion with a center stage where art and culture blend amidst rustic and exotic environs of the garden. The garden assumes a festive look during the Teej festival in August and holds a special attraction for tourists. The rock garden is open from 10.00 a.m to 7.00 p.m on all days. The entry fee is Rs.10 for adults and Rs.5 for children.
The secretariat, which is the headquarters of both Punjab and Haryana, is the largest building in the Capitol Complex. This 8 storeyed linear slab-like elongated building, with concrete walls is intended as a work place for about 4000 people. The 800 foot long facade of the Secretariat are broken in half in a dozen places with projections, recesses, stair towers, changes in pattern and the likes. The centre portion contains the offices of ministers. From the roof top of this building there is a panoramic view of the city and the hills beyond. Constructed during 1953-59, the Secretariat cost around 14million rupees to build.
Shanti Kunj (Abode of Peace) in Sector 16 is situated between the Rose Garden and the Cricket Stadium. This park, a completely noise free area, has a good pathway for walking, under shades and through grass land. Spread over 18 acres of land, the park has different kinds of trees and medicinal plants. The natural stream running through this garden divides the park into 5 areas. There is also an open air stage in Shanti Kunj.
Smiriti Upavan situated between Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1 is a garden full of trees. Smriti means 'remembrance' and Upavan means 'forest'. Inaugurated in 1988, this place is set aside to plant trees in memory of the deceased. The first banyan tree in Smriti Upavan was planted in memory of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.
Sukhna lake an artificial, manmade lake spread over 3 square kilometers on the northern border of Chandigarh is beautifully located with mountains and reserve forest land in its background. The lake was created by the architect Le Corbusier in 1958 by diverting the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream that flows down the Shivalik mountain ranges. The tree-shaded shores is a favorite spot for strolling and bird watching. It is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds and from December through February, one can see many species of aquatic birds from Central Asia and Siberia.
Sukhna lake has facility for paddle boats and yachting and is the venue of the Asian rowing championships. As night descends, lights reflect in the lake from the hill resort nearby presenting a bewitching sight. The lake which is the spot for many festive celebrations has been declared as a protected national wet land by the Government of India. The lake is open to public on all days.
Terraced Garden, spread over 10 acres in Sector 33, is the venue for the annual Chrysanthemum Show which is held in December. The garden which is divided into three sections, was started in 1979 and is beautifully arranged with hundreds of varieties of flowering plants. There is also an illuminated musical fountain which plays to folk songs as well as film songs on demand, every evening.
Open Hand monument in the Capitol Complex in sector 1, is made of a metal sheet, 14 metres high and weighing 50 tonnes, rotate freely in the wind from a high concrete pedestal. The hand rises 85 feet from an excavated plaza termed the fosse de la consideration, the pit of contemplation, which is provided for debate on public affairs. The design of this giant hand emblem was conceived by Le Corbusier. Some times it resembles a bird in flight. The symbol stands for peace and unity - 'Open to give - Open to receive'. It is the official emblem of the city.
Spread over 30 acres of picturesque land, Thunder Zone is a fantasy park with exciting and thrilling rides. A new age water theme and amusement park, Thunder Zone provides an extensive range of exciting rides like Swinging Chairs, Octopus, Cater Pillar, Mono Junction, Columbus, Sun N Moon, Striking Cars, Baby Train, Splash, COBF Music Bob, and Wet Park.
A scenic place that offer an absolute amusement for the whole family, Thunder Zone presents the most modern and sophisticated equipments. The most fascinating attraction in this fantasy park is the Waves-n-Swings, a special wave pool, which will engender fake waves as that of a real sea. The glitzy water slides that straightforwardly skim into water making a big splatter allures the young, the old and the children alike. The wet park section with a synthetic lake and water rides also lure all age groups. It also encompasses clean restaurants like Meal on Heal, Eats and Pizza Zone.
Topiary park situated in Sector 35 was opened to public in 1987. The park has many animal and bird figures created out of creepers and bushes, which is a source of amusement for children.
- Chandigarh Capital region, Yadvinder Garden, Zirakpur etc.