Everything about the city of Chandigarh is intriguing and enticing, right from the fact that it serves as the capital of Haryana as well as Punjab to it being the first planned city of Independent India. The sights you see here are hard to find in any other destination in the country. This is where you can lay your eyes on a fascinating concoction of nature and modernity as the two go hand in hand, adding to the charm of the city.
For a long time, Chandigarh has been a business centre and a fantastic place to live in. It is also a gem of a destination that is just perfect to spend some time with family, friends, alone or that special someone. A host of attractions are sure to keep you hooked for a weekend or an entire week.
Here you will find a list of some of the most renowned tourist places in Chandigarh that will make your Chandigarh more memorable than you imagine. Without taking any more of your time, let’s begin the list.
Nek Chand’s Rock Garden
No trip to Chandigarh is ever complete without a visit to the renowned Rock Garden. Whether you are in the city with family and friends or on business, take some time out and make your way to this unique place. It’s a sculpture garden, where you can see tens of gorgeous figurines made of nothing but rock and stuff that we call ‘waste’. Every corner of this garden is a piece of art, and whether you are an art aficionado or not, this place will turn you into one by the time you leave the site.
Timings: 9:00 am to 7:30 pm (April to September); 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (October to March)
Entry Fee: ₹ 10 (Children); ₹ 20 (Adults)
Nearest Bus Stop: Rock Garden (450 metres)
Speak of places to visit in Chandigarh for couples and Sukhna Lake is the first name that comes to mind. It is often described as “one of the most beautiful manmade lakes in India,” and you would agree with the statement if you have had the pleasure of capturing it with your own eyes. The picturesque waterbody has been one of the most sought-after points of interest in Chandigarh ever since it was built in the year 1958. If you get the chance, then head over to Sukhna Lake during dawn or dusk, and gaze at one of the most gorgeous sunrise or sunset you will ever see. It is also a hub for numerous activities, and the one that appeases every visitor is boating. Yes, you can rent a boat here and sail on the sparkling waters.
Boating Timings: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Boating Fee: ₹ 50
Nearest Bus Stop: Bus Stop Lake (350 metres)
Zakir Hussain Rose Garden
Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh Rose Garden or simply Rose Garden, you may call it whatever you want, but it is always going to be that same enchanting place that takes your senses on a heavenly ride. Located in the Sector 16 area, it sprawls across 30 acres and gives you a chance to see more than 1600 species of roses and other members of the plant kingdom. Every year, during the month of February or March, when spring has already or is preparing to take over the region, a huge celebration, called the Rose Festival, takes place here. During this event, thousands of people from near and far make their way to Chandigarh to admire the wide variety of roses showcased.
Timings: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm
Entry Fee: ₹ 50
Nearest Bus Stop: Sector 16/10 (350 metres)
Wildlife may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chandigarh. However, keeping with the tradition of surprising all, the city is home to an incredible zoo, where you can come across numerous creatures of the wild. Also known as Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park, this 505-acre wildlife park is home to animals brought from different parts of the country. It is home to more than 1200 creatures that represent more than 100 species. Among the dozens of mammals you can admire here are the black buck, white buck, Indian gazelle, Indian elephant, common leopard, lion, leopard cat, Royal Bengal tiger and white tiger. Besides, the park also gives you an opportunity to behold many bird species from up-close, including falcons, doves, kalij pheasants, bar-headed geese and common quails.
Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Children below 3 years/differently-abled/media personnel: Free
Children 3 to 12 years (shorter than 3 feet): ₹ 25
Above 12 years (taller than 3 feet): ₹ 60
Nearest Bus Stop: Chhatbir Zoo (900 metres)
Government Museum and Art Gallery
Overshadowed by the allure of other more famed points of interest on this list, the Government Museum and Art Gallery might just be the most underrated tourist place in Chandigarh. The place owes its creation to the partition of India and Pakistan that took place in 1947. Most of what you see at the museum was actually held at the Central Museum in Lahore, which was the capital of Punjab. But after partition, the incredible collection was brought to India, and Government Museum and Art Gallery was established to house it. Among the most prized possessions of the museum are Gandhara sculptures and Rajasthani miniature paintings.
Timings: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (closed on Mondays)
Entry Fee: ₹ 10
Nearest Bus Stop: Sector 9D/10C (550 metres)
International Dolls Museum
If you are tired of exploring run-of-the-mill tourist hubs in Chandigarh, then make your way to International Dolls Museums and admire something new. As the name suggests, the place is dedicated to dolls and has a vast collection of hundreds of beautiful dolls and puppets. Although it is, no doubt, a hit among kids, adults too find this place quite fascinating. Several items in the museum’s collection have been brought from different parts of the world, such as Denmark, Germany, Russia, Korea and Spain.
Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free (Children); ₹ 10 (Adults)
Nearest Bus Stop: Sector 23/16 (350 metres)
A recent addition to the list of popular places to visit in chandigarh with friends as well as family, Japanese Garden has already made a name for itself with its eye-pleasing architecture, undisturbed tranquillity and lush greenery. While Phase 1 of the project was inaugurated in 2014, Phase 2 was opened to public in 2016. The two are connected via an underground tunnel, which in itself is a sight to behold as it adorned with captivating Japanese paintings. It’s truly magnificent, and if you are anywhere near the Sector 31 area, take some time out and spend a few relaxing moments in the garden.
Timings: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free
Nearest Bus Stop: Sector 31 Market (600 metres)
Nada Sahib Gurudwara
Take a short drive from your hotel in Chandigarh and arrive at Nada Sahib Gurudwara, which has been the centre of religion and spirituality in Chandigarh for a long time. This is where the people of the city go to forget about the hustle and bustle of their life and spend a few moments of peace in the lap of the divine. If not for the soothing chants that fill you with new life, visit the place for its splendid architecture, which is nothing short of breath taking.
Entry Fee: Free
Nearest Bus Stop: Nada Sahib (120 metres)
So, these are the best tourist hubs the city of Chandigarh has to offer. Whether you are headed to Chandigarh on a business trip, vacation or making a small halt here while on your way further up north, you must explore these places for some wonderful time.