Therapy can be different for different people and for travel freaks, the concept conforms but is not limited to exploring new places. An exceptionally well-planned city that is also acclaimed to be the most beautiful one in India, Chandigarh has got everything for everyone. Carved out of fifty ethnic villages and planned by the American architect Albert Mayer, it’s a model city and remains a top entry on travel itineraries to date.
A holiday in Chandigarh not only rejuvenates you but exposes you to an arena of the known and unknown history of the land. While fresh flowers in several gardens enliven the olfactory senses, the city’s architecture piques one’s creative instincts. The months of October- March are ideal for a trip to the city, for the weather remains absolutely pleasant and the gardens are all in full bloom. Since the city has served as a tourist hub for several years, accommodation and hospitality have seldom been reported as an issue. There are numerous hotels in Chandigarh ranging from luxury to mid-range, to facilitate your stay and ensure a warm one.
I know it gets quite confusing when it comes to making bookings online. As per my experience, you can visit Intermiles and search across a variety of accommodations that suits your budget.
Travelling alone has been my passion, so this time while in Chandigarh decided to explore the city at my own pace. Here’s a detailed overview of how I spent a day in the city at my own pace.
Started with a walk around the Sukhna Lake
With a magnificent backdrop of the mighty Shivalik range, Sukhna Lake serves as a perfect beginning to a day. Treading on the footwalk by the lake, while interacting or simply crossing by people from various walks of life, ensures bliss, if not more. Since it is a hotspot for fitness enthusiasts and regular people, there are several tiny kiosks selling knick-knacks just outside the lake complex. Sukhna Lake is a huge water body, glistening with water as clear as crystal. The site also offers a variety of facilities like boating, sculling, and water surfing. Monsoon finds this lake crowded with visitors from all parts of the country to join in the celebrations of the Mango Festival, with different varieties of mangoes exhibited for sale.
Visited the Rose Garden
Deemed to be the first of its kind in Asia, the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden has always fascinated me in a different way, the reason being I’m a huge admirer of flowers, especially roses and thus, it was my second stop. The gates of the garden have probably seen people entering with sullen faces and exiting with cheered up smiles, for well-maintained roses of almost all hues and
shades seem to welcome you with a heartfelt embrace. It is built over an area of 42 acres, and has several employees who dedicatedly look after this asset of the city. The walkways have been designed cleverly so as to keep human interference at bay from the plants, and also to provide ample space for picnics, yoga, and unwinding. Rose Garden is a popular tourist attraction and thus, hotels in Chandigarh too include it in their itinerary, in case a guest wants them to prepare the same.
Had lunch at Katani Dhaba
A visit to the Sukhna Lake and Rose Garden demands heavy walking and thus, is bound to leave a person hungry. My taste buds had been craving for an authentic Punjabi lunch because a trip to Chandigarh is literally incomplete without it. Without further ado, I booked a cab to Chandigarh’s famous Katani Dhaba; a place that has made a name for serving a delicious Punjabi platter. Located in Sector 35-D, Katani’s is a soothing ambience with absolutely delectable food and refreshments to soothe one’s appetite. An interesting fact about the menu is, the whole of it has been priced at extremely reasonable rates, and might cost you a minimal pocket pinch of 400 rupees for two people. Dal Makhani, Sarson da Saang, Kadhai Paneer, Paneer Kulcha, and Lassi are some of the items that I tried, and I had never felt more satisfied. Their menu contains a whole lot of authentic Punjabi and Haryanvi dishes, and each is worth a try.
Visited the Rock Garden
What started as a recreational activity of collecting and storing stones by Nek Chand is today the very famous Rock Garden in Chandigarh. It is largely a sculpture garden and was started by the founder in the year 1957. The garden is spread over an area of 40 acres and attracts visitors from all across the world. Art and sculpture enthusiasts consider the place to be the epitome of creativity and innovation. The prime feature of the Rock Garden is that almost all of its exhibits have been made recycling urban and industrial waste. From man-made interlinked waterfalls to intricately sculpted artworks, the Rock Garden is a perfect place to unwind after a hectic day. I reached the place by 3:30 p.m. after my lunch at Katani’s. The garden is usually scarcely crowded during these hours and this is exactly what I had been anticipating. Time passed from minutes to hours at this place without me knowing, and after what had felt like a quarter of an hour, it was the closing time for the garden and my call to return back to the hotel. But, must I add, the Rock Garden served entirely to complete my experience of Chandigarh city.
Thus ended my day at Chandigarh, and left me craving for a little more of the city. But this is what the city probably does to all of its travellers, for there isn’t a flaw that one would notice within its boundaries.