SIGHTSEEING IN CHANDIGARH

 

Rock Garden

Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world-acclaimed Rock Garden. It consists of art objects, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1.  It nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy land of art and landscape. It is without doubt, a tourist spot that is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh.

An unpretentious entrance leads to a magnificent, almost surrealist arrangement of rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, broken and cast away glass bangles, building waste, coal and clay-all juxtaposed to create a dream folk world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The open air sculptures and concealed gateways separating them are at places enhanced by a waterfall, pools and an open air theatre with proper stage setting. Several prestigious performances have been staged in this small but very artistic and naturalistic open air theatre.
 

 

SUKHNA LAKE

The manmade picturesque Sukhna lake in the foothills of Shivalik range is an idyllic place for quiet communion with nature and for offering water sports activities such as boating, yachting, water skiing, etc..  The creation of Lake was one of the greatest gift from Le Corbusier and P L Varma Chief Engineer.  To preserve its tranquility  Corbusier insisted that it be forbidden to motor boats and the top of the dam (promenade) prohibited to  vehicular traffic.

Sukhna is an inseparable part of the city. Le Corbusier had foreseen that the residents of the city would be drawn it for the 'care of the body and spirit'. The planners of the city will be thrilled to find that this beautiful gift to the city has extended its attraction beyond its boundaries. The city planners were deeply attached to the lake. So much so that Pierre Jeanerette's ashes were immersed in the lake in 1970 as per his wishes by his niece.
 

This  3 sq km rain fed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation. To check the inflow of silt, land measuring 2542 hectares was acquired in the catchments area and put under vegetation. In 1974, the Choe was diverted and made to bye-pass the lake completely, the lake being fed by three siltation pots, minimizing the entry of silt into the lake itself. 


The roof of the 'bund' or dam, elegantly landscaped has become a favorite promenade. Serious 'walkers' pursue an exercise regime, families enjoy an evening stroll and nature lovers mingle with children on roller skates - to partake of this extraordinary amenity. Photographers and painters love to capture its scenic beauty of the setting sun, or the heavily clouded monsoon sky, or the early morning mist in winter set amidst the tranquility of the lake. Even anglers do not leave unrewarded.

 

 

Rose Garden

Named after India's former President, Zakir Hussain, the garden was established in 1967 under the guidance of Chandigarh's first Chief Commissioner late Dr M S Randhawa. The largest Rose Garden in Asia, it is spread over an area of 27 acres and has more than 17,000 plants representing some 1,600 varieties of roses as well as several fountains. Along with the roses emphasis was also given on the trees of medicinal value and some unique specimen trees to enhance the beauty of the garden The medicinal trees planted here are bel, bahera, harar, camphor and yellow gulmohar.  This garden is the venue of the annual Festival of Gardens, an event listed on the national calendar of fairs and festivals. This is one of the main cultural events of the city and draws thousands of visitors.  It was started in 1966.
 

 

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