chandigarh, best laid plans

BANGALORE: It is undoubtedly one of the best planned and most beautiful cities that the country can boast of. In fact, it is probably the only one, wherein nature and infrastructure do not inv

Published: 14th March 2012 11:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:35 PM   |  A+A-

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(Left and below) Terrace Garden; (Right) Rock Garden | expess photo

BANGALORE: It is undoubtedly one of the best planned and most beautiful cities that the country can boast of. In fact, it is probably the only one, wherein nature and infrastructure do not invade into each others’ territory and nor are they at a perpetual war. This is Chandigarh. The epitome of synchronisation between modernisation and nature.

Chandigarh was designed by the French architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. He was in fact the second architect of the city. The initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner

Albert Mayer.

The city is meticulously divided into sectors and sub-sectors. Each of these sectors have their own little well-equipped market areas, which eventually ends up becoming a hot-spot with both the youngsters and the adults.

Adding to that, they also have gardens for health and fitness enthusiasts. Some of the more popular gardens are those in sector 33; Terrace Garden — as the name suggests, is built on various levels. Then there is the Rose Garden that is believed to be the largest of its kinds in the entire continent. Spread across a sprawling 27 acres of land, the garden that was created in 1967 and named after India’s first President, Zakir Hussain, is situated between Sector 16 and 17.

There are many such other gardens that have now become the pride of the city, some of them are; Garden of Fragrance in Sector 36, Fitness trail and flower garden in Sector 10 and Chandigarh Bougainvillea Park in sector 3.

Though the Rock Garden cannot really be classified as a garden, nevertheless, a trip to the city is incomplete without it. This particular tourist attraction surpasses all limits of creativity and innovation. Established in the form of an open-air exhibition, the garden plays hosts to various forms of artifacts and statues crafted using urban and industrial wastes. Nek Chand, the then Road Inspector in the Engineering Department of Chandigarh Capital Project had used discarded objects like mudguards, metal wires, broken tiles and bangles to name a few.

Moving on from the gardens, for those who are keen about water sports, more like boating, can visit the Sukhna Lake that is located in Sector 1. Dusk is probably the best time to visit the lake. Sitting on its banks with friends and watching the yellow sunlight slowly turn gold and then bronze with a hint of pink is truly breath-taking.

Chandigarh is a haven for shopaholics and foodies. Sector 17 though is considered one of the poshest localities which is also home to many big international labels is another favourite. Very often you could find people loitering around and whiling away time. But if the hi-fi shopping is not what you are looking for, then you must make a trip to the Reddy Market in Sector 22. This is one place where you’ll find all that you drooled over in those up-market stores at literally half the price. The entire market is a cluster of small shacks that sell anything and everything

under the sun.

Now its time for the food. There are many places to go dig your teeth into, from the small shacks and stall in the tiny markets to the big and flamboyant restaurants. If you like street food, then Chandigarh is the city for you. Every sector has its own array of small stalls that sell mouth watering chaats and other snack items. There are the old timers like Aroma, Mount View, Sun Beam and Kyber that have stood the test of time and are still standing tall. However, most of the newer eateries and lounges are in Sector 26 and 35.

Though many say that the best time to visit this beautiful city is between August and November, those who prefer the colder climate to the moderate will fall in love with Chandigarh’s weather. The winters here are mind blowing. The sun plays its game of hide-and-seek while the locals wait upon it. Another plus point about the winters is the availability of  saag and maakki ki roti with white butter, it is an absolute and eternal bliss for any foodie!

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