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Here are our top picks to include in your itinerary to sample the essence of Chandigarh.


Natural Wonders

When one thinks of Chandigarh, it is likely that 1 Sukhna Lake will come to mind first. The pristine waterbody, actually a reservoir of rain-fed water, is located at the foothills of the Shivaliks. Boating is a popular activity here, and families and couples gather for an evening of wholesome fun. A small arcade on the banks of the lake offers visitors a venue where they can play games, eat street food, click photograph­s, or just hang out. Another iconic Chandigarh image, frequently found on the city’s postcards, is that of the 2 Rock Garden. Sprawled across 40 acres, this unique creation was a pet project of Nek Chand, a government official who started working on it in his spare time. It is famed for its more than 2,000 sculptures made of debris, disposedof materials, and recycled ceramic. If you are travelling with kids, make sure to keep a watchful eye on them as it is easy to get lost in the garden. Chandigarh is also blessed with several lush, green spaces that include the 3 Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, believed to be the largest of its kind in Asia. Spread across 30 acres, it is home to more than 50,000 rose bushes of around 1,600 species, and is a veritable paradise for budding gardeners, families, photograph­ers, and horticultu­ralists. An annual rose festival takes place here at the end of February or in the first week of March.

Architectu­ral Nuggets

The 4 Le Corbusier Centre ( chandigarh­ is named after the city’s architect, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier. Located in his erstwhile office in Sector 19, this is a great place to witness the legacy of Chandigarh, learn how it was built, and peek into the life of its principal architect. The exhibits comprise sketches, plans, documents, and archival records providing an insight into why Chandigarh is one of India’s most planned cities. The 5 Chandigarh Capitol Complex gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2016. The structures here are considered among Le Corbusier’s finest works, showcasing his design ideology. You can spend a morning or lazy afternoon going through this complex, which consists of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Palace of Assembly, and the Secretaria­t, as well as the Open Hand Monument. This charming collection of buildings is dotted with tranquil water bodies.

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