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Fast Facts
Location : Haryana and Punjab
Popular As: Capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab
Attractions: Capital Complex, Open Hand, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, Museum and Art Gallery, Rose Garden, Chandi Mandir, International Dolls Museum etc.
Best Time To Visit: October to March

Introducing Chandigarh
Rose GardenChandigarh also called the 'City of Gardens' serves as the twin capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab. However, administratively, Chandigarh is directly administered from New Delhi by the Central government as a union territory. Chandigarh derives its name from the Chandi Mandir, the temple of goddess Chandi located in the Panchkula district. Literally Chandigarh means, "the fort of Chandi" is one of the youngest cities in India, constructed and planned after independence. French architect Le Corbusier made the plan of the city and the construction of Chandigarh commenced in the 1950s.

Chandigarh is located on the edge of the Shivalik hills, the outermost edge of the Himalayas. The city is divided into numbered sectors and further subdivided into lettered block making the route-finding easy. Chandigarh is comparatively a new city of India, so the tourist attractions do not lie in ancient historical monuments. In fact, the brilliance of amazing modern architecture has created a number of tourist attractions in Chandigarh. So, visit the beautiful city of Chandigarh, explore the city on a cycle-rickshaw to see the modern attractions and enjoy the salubrious climate as well.
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How to Reach Chandigarh
By Air : Chandigarh has its own airport which is 11 km from the city centre. Flights of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways connect Chandigarh to Delhi, Amritsar, Leh, Mumbai, Goa and other major cities of India. From the airport taxis and auto-rickshaws are available to the city of Chandigarh.

By Train : Chandigarh railway station is 8 km from the city centre and connected to all the major destinations of India. From Delhi Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express and Himalayan Queen run everyday to Chandigarh. Chandigarh Transport Undertaking and CITCO buses ply to and fro from the Chandigarh railway station to various parts of the city. Pre-paid auto-rickshaws are available at Chandigarh railway station.

By Road :National Highway 21 and 22 and other state roads connect Chandigarh to all important destinations of the region and Delhi. From Delhi the journey normally takes less than five hours time and a number of buses ply between the two cities at regular interval. Distances of some of the important places from Chandigarh : Morni Hills (45 km), Kasauli (70 km), Patiala (70 km), Anandpur Sahib (80 km), Kurukshetra (90 km), Chail (102 km), Shimla (107 km), Bhakra Nangal (116 km) and Delhi (245 km).

Local Transport: Tourist taxis and auto-rickshaw (un-metred), fly within the city.

Places Where You Can Stay
Plenty of accommodation options are available in Chandigarh, ranging from deluxe hotels to budget hotels. Equipped with the contemporary facilities the hotels of Chandigarh provide a pleasant stay to guests. Some of the noted hotels of the city are mentioned below :

Deluxe Hotels : Hotel Mountview (5 Star, Sector 10), Taj Chandigarh (5 - Star, Sector 17 - A)

Standard Hotels : Hotel Shivalikview (Sector 17), Hotel Alankar (Sector 22-A), Hotel Amar (Sector 22-A), Hotel Aroma (Sector 22 - C) , Hotel Maya Palace (Sector 35 - B), Hotel President (Sector 26), The Piccadily (Sector 22) and Hotel Sunbeam (Sector 22).

Budget Hotel: Hotel Parkview (Sector 24)

Tourist Attractions in Chandigarh
Capital Complex (Sector 1) : Chandigarh's most popular spot, the capital complex houses a number of government buildings and group of other buildings. The most edifice building in the group is the eleven story Secretariat, which houses ministerial offices belonging to both Haryana and Punjab state. You may go up to the top of the Secretariat from where you get a breathtaking view of the Chandigarh city. Just north to the Secretariat is the Legislature Assembly or Vidhan Sabha. Opposite the Legislature Assembly lies the High Court, whose double roof symbolizes the protective power of the law.

Open Hand : Head north from the High Court for having a look at the 13 m high Open Hand monument. Chandigarh's adopted emblem, the Open Hand despite it heavy weight of 45 tons revolves on ball-bearings and stands for "post-colonial harmony and peace."

Rock Garden (Sector 1) : Rock Garden a world acclaimed garden is located close to the Capital Complex. Fashioned from fragments of shattered plates, neon strip lights, pots, pebbles, broken bangles and industrial and urban waste, Rock Garden exhibits one man Nek Chand's genius to create works of art. Nek Chand Saini a retired Public Works Department road spent several years scouring the stream beds of Shivalik Hills for materials before his vision was revealed to the public in 1976. Nek Chand's earlier work was mostly figurative and he used recycled materials. With the granting of more land he turned the rock garden into a labyrinth of more than a dozed of enclosures, interlinked by narrow passages, arched walkways, streams, bridges, waterfalls, grottos, battlements and turrets. Besides, there are several rooms filled with glass, aquariums, a large enclosure of swings and a restaurant. Rock garden opens daily : April - September from 9 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm, October - March 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to sunset.
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Sukhna Lake (Sector 1) : A man-made lake, Sukhna lake is ideal for quiet communion with the mother nature. Here you may also enjoy water sport like boating, water skiing, canoeing and skulling. You can hire row boats on the lake or just stroll round its two km perimeter.
Rock Garden
Museum and Art Gallery (Sector 10 ): Situated in the Leisure Valley, the museum and art gallery form part of a cultural complex which includes the nearby Rose Garden and open-air theatre. The art gallery contains a sizeable collection of Indian stone sculptures dating back to the Gandhara period. You will also see the collection of miniature paintings and contemporary Indian art. The adjacent museum has fossils and implements of pre-historic man which had been lived in India.

Rose Garden (Sector 16) : Spreading over an area of 30 acres, the Rose Garden is claimed to be the biggest rose garden in Asia. A favoured place for tourists as well as locals, Rose Garden contains around 1,600 varieties of roses. Rose Festival is organized here every year, in which you can see a variety of roses.

Chandi Mandir: A Hindu temple, Chandi Mandir is dedicated to Goddess Chandi (the goddess of Power) is situated 15 kms away from city. Temple of Goddess Chandi is considered one of the 12 Shakti Peethas for Hindus. Chandigarh was named after this temple.

International Dolls Museum: International dolls museum in Chandigarh is ranked one of the best museums in India. The museum has a fine collection of dolls from all over the world. International dolls museum also serves like an amusement park for the children.

Other Attractions: Other attractions of Chandigarh include Tower of Shadows, Geometric Hill, Martyr's Memorial, Leisure Valley, Museum of Evolution of Life etc.

Tourist Attractions Around Chandigarh
Solan: Solan also known as the Mashroom city of India lies 68 kms away from Chandigarh. A beautiful small town Solan is located at an altitude of 1,445 mts. Solan is known for its Mohan Meakin brewery that was started in 1835. Some of famous tourist attractions of Solan include Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni, Shoolini Mata temple, Yungdrung Tibetan Monastery etc.

Kasauli: Located at a distance of 70 kms Chandigarh, Kasauli is a beautiful hill station, flanked by forests of chir-pine, Himalayan oak and horse chestnuts. Set an altitude of 1,928 mts above sea level, Kasauli is considered one of the calmest hill areas of the country. Some of the places of tourist interest in Kasauli are Monkey Point, Sanawar and Dharampur.

Chail: A hill station of Chail is situated close to Chandigarh at a height of 2,150 mts. When you will reach Chail it will surely leave you spellbound with its unparalleled beauty. Set amidst the clouds and the sprawling lush green forests, Chail is a favoured destination for honeymooners and common vacationers as well. Major attractions of Chail include the lovely orchards and imposing snow-clad Shivalik peaks. Other attractions are Chail Wildlife Sanctuary, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir, Maharaja's Palace and Cricket Ground.

Shimla:One of the most popular hill resorts of India, Shimla is 104 kms from Chandigarh. Shimla is located at a height of 2,159 mts in the lower Himalayan range. With its unmatched beauty, cool refreshing breeze, Shimla mesmerize the visitors totally. Some of the famous tourist attractions of the city are Annandale Playground, Chadwick Falls, Tara Devi Temple, Christ Church, Jakhu Temple, Mahatma Gandhi's Retreat and Shimla State Museum.

Shopping in Chandigarh
Shopping in Chandigarh is altogether a different experience for tourists. The main shopping centre of Chandigarh city is located at Sector 17, here you will find a number of shops offering a variety of goods. Every evening the market becomes the most happening spot of the city and posh crowd add more to its charm. You will find a number of handicraft emporia in Chandigarh but there is as such no traditional items of the city. Usually these shops have a collection of handicrafts and handloom products from neighbouring states. While shopping in Chandigarh look for popular tip-turned-up jootis, colourful Punjabi dupattas, local woollen sweaters and shawls. Also buy the jams and juices brought from the state of Himachal Pradesh.

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