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The city beautiful

Popular as one of the most well planned cities, it is one of the most convenient get-away for the weekend, it's Chandigarh.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 12:55 IST

A mere drive of about four hours from Delhi is the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Popular as one of the most well planned cities, it is one of the most convenient get-away for the weekend.

The capital of Punjab and Haryana takes you off the concrete jungle around we live in and takes us into a city with well-planned landscapes with greenery all around that impresses one and all. Designed by Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier, perhaps, it lives up to its name “City beautiful”.

Chandigarh usually becomes a natural stopping point for those planning to go up-hill to Himachal to visit Shimla, Chail and Kasauli. However, if Chandigarh is your destination, you must make sure that you visit the popular tourist hot spots such as the Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, etc.

Sukhna Lake
While Sukhna Lake’s two-km long promenade along the lakeshore is a hit with the city joggers, the tourists are lured also with the recreation centre, food court and boating facility. The Zakir Hussein Rose Garden, next to sector 16, is Asia’s largest rose garden and is spread over 30 acres of land and offers over 1600 different species of roses.

On the rocks
Another must visit is the Rock Garden which is more like a fantasy land spread over 12 acres of land amidst thick forest cover. It was visualised by its creator Nek Chand, who has developed human and animal figures out of household and industrial waste like bangles, bottles, pipes, tiles, etc.

Shopper’s paradise
As for those still hooked to the metropolitan culture can drop in at the sector 17 market, which is one of the most popular and trendy market in the city that offers a line up of innumerable outlets of brands and eateries. The central court of this shopper’s paradise is dotted with fountains, sculptures, and groves of trees.
Following the mall culture, the city now also boasts of another shopping hub developed on the outskirts of the city, the ‘Dhillon Republic’ which is a mall with a multiplex and is popular with the youngsters of the city.
As for those scratching their heads on where to stay, the Taj Hotels new business hotel, Taj Chandigarh, that has been recently developed makes the perfect answer for a luxurious stay.
Located at sector 17, the hotel provides for luxurious accommodation and world class hospitality. The 149 room Taj Hotel with each room provided with a well styled furniture, 42” plasma TV, Wi-Fi internet access attracts the new generation travellers.

By road: Chandigarh is 236 kms from Delhi. If travelling by road, don’t miss vegetarian food at Ahuja Dhaba in Murthal and Puran Singh Dhaba’s mutton curry at Ambala bus stand.

By air: The airport is 11 kms from downtown. Taxis are available for airport transfer.

By rail: Chandigarh railway station is 8 kms from the city centre. The twice-daily Shatabdi express to Delhi is fast, comfortable. If you want to reach early then catch Himalayan Queen.

First Published: Jan 20, 2006 12:55 IST