A Guidebook to Chandigarh

by Team Vista
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Think of Chandigarh and it conjures up images of tree-laden roads, neatly laid out sectors and modern architecture. Aptly called ‘The Beautiful City’, it was planned and brought to life by French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier in the1950s. A joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, it is India’s first urban planned city and much revered by architects around the globe.

Sweeping boulevards, calming lakes, lush gardens, scrumptious delicacies, and glorious shopping arcades make this city worth the visit. Often a pitstop to travellers who wish to visit the mountains, exploring the city in a short time can seem a bit confounding.

From a first time traveller to an experienced voyager, this guidebook by Vista taps into the best of Chandigarh, offering a slice of this prosperous and hassle-free city. Scroll ahead and let your mind wander!

Fast Facts:

●      Nearest Airport: Chandigarh Airport

●      Best Time To Visit: October-March for cool weather

●      Languages: Hindi, Punjabi

●      Festivals: Baisakhi, Diwali

●      Geographic orientation: Northwest India

Getting There:

By Plane: Chandigarh airport receives national flights from all major Indian cities with regular bus services and taxis connecting the airport to the city.

By Train: There are frequent train services into Chandigarh Junction from New Delhi and Mumbai. There are also one to two services a week linking Chandigarh with Chennai, Lucknow and Jaipur.

By Bus: Chandigarh has two bus terminals. The interstate terminus in Sector 43 links the city to neighbouring states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, while the interstate terminus in Sector 17 has good frequency with New Delhi.

 By Car: Chandigarh is approximately 4.5 hours drive away from New Delhi on the NH1 road.

Where To Stay:

Take a look at some of the coolest villas in Chandigarh for your much-deserved group getaways:

Cops Canopy, Chandigarh

For a European-style staycation, Cops Canopy is a unique property located in the mountainous regions of Chandigarh. The French-style architecture has 5-cottages, with an outdoor canopy and sprawling green spaces, a garden and hilltop views. The ultimate gourmet experience is offered at this property, with each meal prepared outdoors, for you and your loved ones. Need to practice your golf game or relax by a Victorian fireplace? This property offers a chance at both.

Ruhaniyat Farms, Chandigarh

Ruhaniyat Farms is a sanctuary within the city, for those looking to reconnect with nature. This four-bedroom villa is an idyllic retreat for family and friends with a glorious swimming pool and jacuzzi. Aesthetically finished with royally furnished interiors, you are spoiled by rugs, artefacts, and wooden decor. Expect an all-inclusive hearty culinary fare of North Indian delicacies during your stay, as you serenade at the lawns and enjoy the breeze of cold air.

Baag e Fursat, Chandigarh

Lush greenery amidst the city’s chaos, Baag e Fursat is a lavish property, situated in the heart of Chandigarh for those seeking a getaway. With a convenient location close to Delhi, this holiday villa has 10 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and 2 acres of attached lawns. Lay in an infinity pool with a sunken bar, looking at a windmill- are you in Europe or close to home?

Things To Do And See:

  • Rock Garden: A work of imagination and creativity brought to life by Nek Chand. This garden is alluring and famous for being one of the most eco-friendly gardens in the country. The sculptures are curated using items such as bangles, ceramic pots, tiles, bottles, and electrical waste. To add to it, there are man-made waterfalls as well.
  • Sukhna Lake: This artificial lake is the city’s pride. On a summer day, you can stroll past leisurely and soak in views of the mountains. Come winter and you can witness misty mornings, sunrise and migratory birds like cranes and Siberian ducks.
  • Leisure Valley: This spot is a continuum of several themed gardens where you can simply unwind with your loved ones. There are twelve different gardens in this theme park, amongst them the most famous ones are Rose Garden, Terrace Garden, Botanical Gardens, Hibiscus Garden and Smriti Upvan.
  • Chandigarh Capitol Complex: Did you know that the sectors in Chandigarh have been designed in decreasing order of importance? Sector 1 is the most significant one and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can witness the open hand monument, the secretariat, the palace of assembly and the high court.

Where To Eat:

  1. Pal Dhaba: One of the most popular restaurants in the city, it stirs up authentic Punjabi cuisine to delight your taste buds. The must-try dishes are butter chicken and rich, creamy lassi.
  2. The Willow Cafe: This cafe exudes warmth with its old-country decor. Best known for its expansive coffee selections and parathas served with a dollop of butter.
  3. Whistling Duck: Looking for a romantic date with your partner?. Serving North Indian food amidst a contemporary setting, and soulful live music, it will be a night to cherish.
  4. Backpacker’s Cafe: An ideal breakfast spot, it is thronged by all kinds of tourists. Inspired by the travel theme, the shelves are filled with quirky souvenirs such as books, travel magazines, guides, and toy vehicles.
  5. Cafe JCs: Want one for the gram? This is the perfect spot. It is a picturesque cafe with artefacts all around and delicacies like grilled cheese to glazed chicken wings. 

Where To Shop:

No trip to Chandigarh is complete without indulging in a shopping spree. It’s raining  juttis, colourful glass bangles and intricately-carved artefacts at the bustling markets of Chandigarh. Also, a must buy would be the Phulkari dupattas. They have a traditional essence reflecting folk embroidery with floral motifs and geometrical shapes.  

Some of the best places for shopping souvenirs for you and your loved ones back home are:

●      Shastri Market

●      Palika Bazar

●      Karma Republic HeadQuarters

●      Bittu Bangle & Art Jewellery

●      Sector 22 & Sector 17

●      Elante Mall

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