One of the best city of north India is Chandhigadh. It's a good experience to visit the city as tourist to all well known places in the surrounding. Best time to visit is in the month of Nov-Jan. It's one of the best well planned city of India. It's constructed in 1950 by a French Architect. Till now more and more beautification is happening every year. It has 47 sectors within its entire area. Though the city is costly in terms of livelihood but worth spending the money once in a year or lifetime.
I was one of the fortunate since I learn about Chandhigadh city since from my college days and always back of my mind thought about the visit. My forcibly selection for office assignment happened to be, bit less interested to leave my home town Mumbai. Since recently I had returned back to Mumbai after past 6 month stay in UK.
I landup to Chandhigadh via Delhi by Deccan Air, a first time experience of such small scale domestic flights. Since it was day time, I got the good aerial view of the city in a first glance about the grid system developed houses, offices etc. I did landup in the afternoon. The temperature was cold like UK. As soon I landup here on the airport, my negative filled mindset turned completely and started thinking of using this opportunity to visit most of the places to utilise most of the weekends.
24th Dec 2005
We planned a day trip to following places with our entire team of Hexaware office. Even our client also joined us, seeing the enthusiasm of our team.
No description of Chandigarh city can be complete without a mention of its most celebrated creations-the Rock Garden. Spread over 12 acres of wooded land near the Capitol Complex the Rock Garden of Chandigarh is the creation of a humble road inspector called Nek Chand. Their are thousands of models of animals, human being etc made in different different blocks of area. It has waterfall houses etc kind of models. One can easily find out the broken plates, wash basin used in the construction for walls etc. It's great idea in reality. One can spend easily 2 hrs in the garden.
One of the artificial lake constructed and stretched 2kms long lies in the sector 6 of Chandhigadh. Boating facility is available here. As well some of the hotels are there in the area. The lake is well maintained and good for a walk in the surroundings.
It's Asia's biggest rose garden. It has 1000's of variety of Flowers. One can have a pleasure walk in the area. It's good to fill the lungs with rose fragrances. Its in sector 16. Its started in 1967. Every year this place is having Annual Rose Festival. Many people from various part of world visit this place due to the variety of Roses.
A short trip to Terrace garden is also worth especially in the evening but not that great. only difference is its well organised though its a small in comparison with Rose Garden. Its place for localities for evening walk. It is spread across East to West.
Now the time came to return back home all we decided to have a small visit to Shashtri Market. Its like Fashion Street of Mumbai but once has to have bargaining capacity. not only clothing you get all other items like shoes baggage etc.
We ended our day trip and as usual next weekend planning started of charting out what's next, supported by my colleague Parag and rest of the team members.
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I will keep on updating this article depending upon our next plans.
31st Dec 2005
Read Article of Touring Amritsar.
7th Jan 2006
The state government of Himachal Pradesh has built dams across many of the rivers to take advantage of Himachal Pradesh’s rich hydroelectric power potential; the damming of the Sutlej River by the Bhakra Dam has created the largest lake in the region, Gobind Sagar Lake, which is 90 km (56 mi) long and encompasses an area of approximately 170 sq km (66 sq mi). The construction of the dam, designed by Swiss architect Le Corbusier, was completed in 1962.
Bhakra Nangal Dam
India's pride and the mastermind peace of one of the highest strait gravity dam of height 740ft, 325ft in length and 30ft wide lies on the Satlaj river. The scenic Govind Sagar behind stressed along the way to Nainadevi enhances the beauty of entire area. Photography is not allowed in the area due to security reason. It's 125 km from Chandhigadh via Rupnagar and further touching to Anantpur. It's really a one of the good day outing plan. This time the water is far below the overflow line. It reaches max in the month of August. Their is nothing much to spend time except travelling. Still vastness of the dam is unique one can experience only by visiting the dam.
We further travelled to Nainadevi from Bhakra nangal dam. It's 18 km of journey traversing entirely throgh the mountains. One can see the shivalik range towards north behind the Govid Sagar lake. Unfortunately our Travera got damaged on the way. We wasted some time here in the middle of the journey. We thought it was a good break to loose our feets as well to our driver to rethink on his driving skills in the mountains. Any how we managed to reach the Temple Base and spent another 2 hrs to explore the temple and the surrounding which was enough time to get the Travera rapired tentatively. This temple has cable car on the same route 2 kms before the base. It has a hotel facility too. We opted to walk all 500 odd steps. One of our young team member Soumya, first time vsiting such place was calculating the time required to reach the top like in a minute one can approx. cover 20 steps s for 300 steps how many etc. I was listening to his calculation without any feedback. Anyway one can reach the top in 20 min time max. The best part of the walk is one can see the Shivalik as well the Lower Himalayan snow claded mountain range. for us it was good excersize to climb the steps. Photography is not allowed in the temple.
After a nice sunset view from the base of the temple we planned some alternative plan of our return journey, in case our vehicle if not in a position to return back. But with less trouble may be due to the godess blessing both car turned back we started our return journey back to Anantpur Sahib.
After golden Temple, this was my second visit to a Gurudwara might be in my life span. Its very clean and well decorated by the white marble. We reached here at 7:45pm. In the night lights the shrine looks more beautiful. We had a prasad a spent 5 minutes inside the gurudwar. It gives some kind of peace if you spent more time. That was our last destination of the day. It was another adventurous/scenic journey.
8th Jan 2006
The city was the capital of the princely state of Patiala from 1763 to 1948 and of the Patiala and East Punjab State Union from 1948 to 1956.
On the way to Chandhigadh Patiala road one can see the fortification wall hidden behind the trees though it looks small from out side but it is not the case. Actually this was adhoc venture we found on the way to Patiala. We thought it would be better to visit this fort now turned into a training ground for police commandos partly. Over all the fort was not maintened at all. Most of the architetural art work fallen down and whatever the good part people are using it for the commercial purpose like film shoot etc. We saw number of chidrens playning on the damaged wall of the forts like they dont have anything to do with this old monument. Inside the fort is huge. Their are some residential might be police colony had been established recently. The fort has a Mosque that too in not a good state. We found one local boy eager to guide us about all exits and high point of the fort etc during our exploration thinking we are part of the film shooting team. Whaile taking the snaps the group of children were shouting from one point to me to take picture of their group. They might have thought it will come in the film. After entire exploration of the fort it seems the fort was one of complete fort at that time might be serving the territory of Patiala.
This monument is close to the Citi Centre of Patiala. It has huge ground made below the ground level with various sorts of arrangement for entertenment at that time. Currently the building has converted into a small bird museum, Art Gallery with ancient painiting and accessories. The centre of the building has 'Shish Mahal' where the entire house is well decorated with thousands of small mirrors in very attractive form. Their is a hanging bridge built in 1897 in the centre of the entertainment ground. Actually it has spoiled the entire beauty of the Shish Mahal. It's no where adding any beauty to the monument but just a small time comfort of crossing from one end to other. In the surrounding has 8 small guns kept in the open for tiurist attraction. Their are some british personalities statue kept on the other side of the monument.
Though visit to above two places are kind of rememberance of those days but as per my conservative mind, the authority should have done more efforts for the maintenance.
We thought of visiting the place called 'Kila Mubarak' , but after visiting the surrounding area we thought of return journey back to our home.
14th Jan 2006
Chail is a little mountainous heaven 45 kms. from Shimla. It was the summer capital of the Maharaja of Patiala before Independence. The forests near Chail have many species of birds and deer. Chail is known for its cricket pitch, which is the highest cricket ground in the world.
Palace of Chail
The Palace is built in 1891 and now under control of Himachal Tourism. One can see the Kinner Kailash and the Dhuladhar Range of snow claded mountains. Their is nothing much to see at this location but definetly one can spent some leasure time.
Highest Cricket Ground in the world
Nearby the Palace 2 Kms away one can visit the worlds highest cricket ground at the height of 7500ft. One must ware proper winter ware to avoid the cold wind at this height if you think of spending more time. The entire journey from Chandhigadh to Chail is very scenic. There is a small Train runs between Kala to Shimla. Its fun to travel in such train.
15th Jan 2006
Mansadevi Temple & Patiala Temple
Located 10 km from Chandigarh city centre Mansa Devi temple near Panchkula is popular even before the foundation of Chandigarh was laid. The temple is situated in the backdrop of the Shivalik hills. Mansa Devi Temple is one of the 52 Satipiths according to Hindu scriptures ( Tantra chundamani ) and is build by maharaja of Mani Majara ( Gopal Singh) in 1872 samvat. In the recent years the temple and its surroundings have been beautified. Next to Mansadevi their is a Patiala Temple very neat and clean one can visit along with this visit.
PINJORE situated at a distance of about 20 km from Chandigarh is an ancient historical and religious place. It is said to he the earliest habitation of man and it is said that the early man lived in Pinjore region round about Chandigarh, one and half crores years ago. Tools of Tower Paleolithic period fabricated on Quartzite have been found from the region stretching from Pinjore to Nalagarh. The place is associated with five Pandvas who enroute to Himalayas during their exile stayed here for sometime. The place was then known as Panchpura Later corrupted to Pinjore.
The Yadavindra Gardens (Moghul Gardens) at Pinjore were designed by Fidai Khan, Aurangzeb's foster brother in the 17th century. The Haryana Govt. have recreated the whole complex by adding Colored illuminations to the play of fountain water, providing rest places pinching facilities and mini zoo.
Set in a typical blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architectural styles the moghul garden popularly known as Pinjore gardens has been renamed as Yadavindra Garden as a mark of respect to the late Yadavindra Singh Maharaja of the earst while princely state of Patiala. The main gate of the pinjore garden opens on the highest terrace and seven terraces descend gradually into the distant boundary of the garden. In the middle of the first terrace is the shish Mahal in the Rajasthani Mughal style with small windows and apertures. There is a lyrical Hawa Mahal Approached by steps on the side of the wall. The second terrace is uplifted by large arched doorways, above which there is the Rang Mahal.
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22nd Jan 2006
Chandhi Mandir, Cactus Garden:
The beautiful city of Chandigarh is worth visiting in itself and also acts as a base for further excursions in North India. A visit to Chandigarh is not complete without a visit to the temple of Goddess Chandi, which is located in Panchkula, 10 km away from Chandigarh. In fact, the name Chandigarh is derived from this temple. Nearby is the temple of Mansa Devi. Both the temples are built in the North Indian style of architecture. Moreover, there is the Panchkula Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden, which houses over 2,500 varieties of cacti and other succulent plants from all parts of the world. This cactus garden is Asia's biggest such garden. Photo Link - Click Here