One of the first planned cities in India, Chandigarh came into existence in 1960. Designed by a Swiss-French architect named Le Corbusier, the city is hallmarked for its urban design and architecture. However, this doesn’t mean that it lacks in places of historical significance. In fact, there are quite a few heritage attractions in the city and nearby areas which are worth exploring once you step out of your hotels in Chandigarh.   

Looking for places to witness the city’s monumental architecture and experience its cultural legacies? Here is a list of the top historical places in and around Chandigarh that are a must-visit.

Historical Places in Chandigarh

1. Burail Fort, Chandigarh

Burail Fort, Chandigarh

Burail Fort | #1 of 12 Best Historical Places in Chandigarh

Located in the heart of the city, Burail Fort is a Mughal legacy. It was the citadel of a Mughal general till 1712 but due to his oppressive behavior towards the people, he was killed by the members of the Khalsa Army under the orders of their commander, Banda Singh Bahadur.

Today, the fort is a neglected and ruined structure that serves as a reminder of its past. One of the forgotten historical places in Chandigarh, it houses the Shahidi Qila Sahib Gurudwara on its premises. This place of worship was built to commemorate the Sikh warriors who met their death at this place fighting with the general.    

  • Location: Sector 45, Chandigarh
  • Entry Fee: Free

2. Manimajra Fort, Chandigarh

Manimajra Fort, Chandigarh

Manimajra Fort | #2 of 12 Best Historical Places in Chandigarh

With a history of over 360 years, Manimajra Fort is one of the must-visit forts in Chandigarh. It might not make it to the list of the most splendid forts in terms of structure or scale but it gained popularity among tourists and history buffs after having been featured in the Oscar-nominated Hollywood movie, Zero Dark Thirty.

The fort exudes an old-world charm that draws visitors towards it.

  • Location: Manimajra, Chandigarh
  • Entry Fee: Free

3. Capitol Complex, Chandigarh

Capitol Complex, Chandigarh

Capitol Complex | #3 of 12 Best Historical Places in Chandigarh

If you simply go by dates, the Capitol Complex may not qualify as one of the historical places to visit in Chandigarh. But it was granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 to honor the architectural brilliance displayed by Le Corbusier – the architect who planned the city of Chandigarh.

The complex houses some of the finest examples of Le Corbusier’s works including Punjab and Haryana Secretariat, High Court, and Assembly. Impressive monuments like the Martyrs Memorial, Tower of Shadow, Geometric Hill, Rock Garden, and the famous Open Hand are also a part of this complex.

  • Location: Sector 1, Chandigarh
  • Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free

4. Le Corbusier Centre, Chandigarh

Le Corbusier Centre, Chandigarh

Le Corbusier Centre | #4 of 12 Best Historical Places in Chandigarh

As the name indicates, Le Corbusier Centre is dedicated to the architect who gave the city of Chandigarh its planned look. In fact, this center is the very place where the architect and his team had once planned the entire city’s design.

Today, you can get a glimpse into the legacy of the architect through his research materials, writings, and other works preserved here. Interestingly, this building wasn’t designed by Le Corbusier but by Pierre Jeanneret, his cousin.

  • Location: Sector 19B, Old Architect Building, Chandigarh
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fee: Free

5. Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh

Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh

Government Museum and Art Gallery | #5 of 12 Best Historical Places in Chandigarh

The Government Museum and Art Gallery came into existence due to the Partition of 1947. When the country was divided into India and Pakistan, the rich collection of artifacts housed at the Central Museum in Lahore was also divided between the two countries. This partition took place in 1948 and the items that became India’s share were kept first at Amritsar, then Shimla, then Patiala, and finally in Chandigarh.

The museum was designed by Le Corbusier and opened to the public on 6 May 1968. Among the many collections housed here are Gandhian sculptures, stone sculptures, decorative art pieces, manuscripts, textiles, etc.

  • Location: Sector 10C, Chandigarh
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm; closed on Mondays
  • Entry Fee: ₹ 10

Historical Places near Chandigarh

6. Pinjore Gardens, Pinjore

Pinjore Gardens, Pinjore

Pinjore Gardens | #6 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

Modeled on the Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar, Pinjore Gardens near Chandigarh was built in the 17th century to serve as a summer retreat of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. It was built by his foster brother, Nawab Fidai Khan Koka aka Muzaffar Hussain. Later, it was renovated and expanded by Maharaja Yadavindra of the Patiala dynasty. Hence, it is also called Yadavindra Gardens.

A fine example of terrace gardens in India, Pinjore Gardens covers an area of 100 acres and is adorned with a number of palatial structures that display exceptional Mughal and Rajput architectural elements. Among the key attractions of the garden are its beautiful fountains, serene water bodies, an open-air museum, and a heritage train. It is a sight to behold when illuminated in the evenings.

  • Location: Pinjore
  • Timings: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Entry Fee: ₹20 per person
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 22 km
  • Fairs and Festivals: Baisakhi Festival, Pinjore Heritage Festival, Pinjore Mango Fair

7. Ramgarh Fort, Panchkula

Ramgarh Fort

Ramgarh Fort | #7 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

It will take you less than 40 minutes to drive down from Chandigarh to Ramgarh Fort, one of the most fascinating historical places near Chandigarh. This fort owes its origin to the king of Bilaspur, who built it about 360 years ago. The edifice came under the control of quite a few rulers during the course of its history and at present, it serves as a heritage hotel.

One of the most interesting features of this fort is its 37-feet high wooden door. The Limca Book of World Records has declared it as the tallest wooden door in India.  

  • Location: Panchkula
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 20 km

8.  Nada Sahib, Panchkula

Nada Sahib, Panchkula

Nada Sahib | #8 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

Located on the banks of River Ghaggar-Hakra, Nada Sahib is also counted among the most popular historical places near Chandigarh. This Sikh religious center with a history of more than three centuries is the spot where Guru Gobind Singh had halted during his journey to Anandpur Sahib from Paonta Sahib, in the year 1688.

For a long time, the place didn’t receive any attention until it was discovered by a villager named Bhai Motha Singh. This finally led to the establishment of the splendid Gurudwara that stands here today. The shrine also houses a museum where you can learn about Sikh history.

  • Location: Panchkula
  • Timings: 4:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 15 km

9. Jayanti Devi Temple, Jayanti Majri

Jayanti Devi Temple, Jayanti Majri

Jayanti Devi Temple | #9 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

Situated atop a hillock, Jayanti Devi Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Victory, named Jayanti. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandava princes from Mahabharata. Another legend says that it was commissioned by the king of Hathnaur for the bride of one of his 22 brothers, who was the princess of Kangra.

Regardless of these different stories of origin, Jayanti Devi Temple counts among the best historical attractions in Chandigarh. The shrine also houses idols of Ganesha, Shiva, Lakshmi, and other deities. You will have to climb about a hundred steps to reach the shrine from the base of the hill.

  • Location: Jayanti Majri
  • Timings: 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 14 km

10. Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, Panchkula

Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, Panchkula

Mata Mansa Devi Mandir | #10 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, one of the most renowned temples in Chandigarh, stands at the foothills of the Shivalik range. Situated on the outskirts of the city, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi – an incarnation of Shakti. The temple is counted among the most prominent Shakti shrines in North India.

The main shrine here was built by the ruler of Mani Majra, Maharaja Gopal Das Singh, from 1811 to 1815. The temple complex contains two other historic shrines apart from this main one. Lakhs of devotees visit this temple all year round to pay their respects to the Goddess.

  • Location: Panchkula
  • Timings: 4:00 am to 10:00 pm (summer); 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (winter)
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 12 km

11. Saketri Shiva Temple, Panchkula

Saketri Shiva Temple, Panchkula

Saketri Shiva Temple | #11 of 12 Best Historical Places near Chandigarh

It is said that Saketri Shiva Temple has been in existence since the time of the Mahabharata. Located just a short drive away from Chandigarh, this temple has seven shrines dedicated to various deities with Lord Shiva as the presiding deity.

This ancient place of worship is known for its tranquil ambiance and serenity but it is full of enthusiasm and fervor during the Shivratri festival held annually during February-March.

  • Location: Panchkula
  • Timings: 5:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 20 km

12. Chandi Devi Temple, Panchkula

No one knows for sure who built the famous Chandi Devi Temple near Chandigarh or when. However, this temple is a religious landmark near the city that draws devotees throughout the year. Chandi Devi, the Goddess of Power, is the main deity of this temple.

If locals are to be believed, this shrine has a strong connection to the Pandava princes of the Mahabharata. It is said that the name Chandigarh is derived from this shrine.

  • Location: Panchkula
  • Timings: 4:00 am to 10:00 pm (summer); 5:00 am to 9:00 pm (winter)
  • Distance from Chandigarh: 17 km

Apart from exploring these historical places in Chandigarh and around it, there are several other exciting things to do in the city. These include spending time at its beautiful gardens, partying at the city’s pubs, and satiating your gastronomic cravings at the top restaurants in Chandigarh. So, why wait? Plan your trip right away.