12 hours in Chandigarh

Friday, November 20, 2015 Rahul Das 0 Comments



India's wealthiest, cleanest and most well-planned city: My need to satiate my curiosity about what I had always heard about Chandigarh got the better of me in the second week that I moved to Delhi. None of my regular travel pals lived in the national capital and I opted to travel on my own to see for myself how sophisticated the city actually was. I boarded the Kalka Mail on the night of Friday, September 11, spent about ten hours in Chandigarh and was back at Delhi the next night on Saturday. You should find this post useful in case you’re looking to spend less than 12 hours in Chandigarh.

Here’s sharing my itinerary with you.


Ever seen an Indian city that has roads like these?


1. Arrival at Chandigarh

I arrived at Chandigarh at 7 am on Saturday, September 12 owing to a delay. Guess you’ll just have to get around the fact that most trains run late in North India.

On arriving at Chandigarh, I learnt that city’s bus stand was located at Sector satara (seventeen) and that buses to all parts of the city could be boarded from there. I’d suggest you buy the 40 rupee AC bus day pass to slash your commuting costs. Unlike how it is in other Indian cities, the bus system here is so efficient that this might end up being the only amount you’ll spend commuting in Chandigarh.

2. Sukhna Lake and Rock Garden


Sukhna Lake

If you’re looking to just “visit places” in Chandigarh, you’d end up disappointed since the city barely has any tourist attractions. Your visit here would be more about appreciating how better organized and less chaotic it is compared with other Indian cities. In any case, you could spend some time relaxing at the lawns near Sukhna Lake and then move to the Nek Chand Rock Garden, a place that I found quite interesting.

Nek Chand's story



A section of the Rock Garden

3. Rose Garden and Panjab University


The Rose Garden, named after former President Dr Zakir Hussain

Unless you’re a botanical geek, don’t bother visiting Rose Garden. It isn’t worth your time at all.

I also visited the Panjab University just to take in the college atmosphere that I was missing so much. I’d highly recommend eating here if you’re looking for a meal that’s both delicious and light on your wallet. Exploring the campus did bring back memories of the great times we had spent at NITK.

4. Mohali

I proceeded to Mohali in the afternoon just to pay a visit to the PCA stadium. It was here that Dravid scored his career-redeeming 136 back in 2008. His triple century partnership with Gautam Gambhir here finally brought to rest all the calls for retirement that he had to endure that year and he went on to finish his career in style before eventually retiring in 2012. I can still remember how delighted and relieved I was after this particular Mohali innings. With these memories and all the Kings XI Punjab hoardings outside the stadium, seeing the empty stadium was an interesting experience.

Where the magic happened!


5. Back to Delhi

My little trip to Mohali had almost made me miss my train back to Delhi. Boarded the 16:30 train that arrived at Old Delhi Railway Station a few minutes past 21:00.

*****

A “well-designed Indian city” does sound like a paradoxical phrase, doesn’t it? One look at our well-touted “millennium city" and your convictions will only be reinforced. And yet, with its grid iron pattern of roads, garden-like roundabouts, efficient public transport services and wide spotless roads lined with trees, the Le Corbusier designed Chandigarh does quite manage to disprove that paradox. Visit the city and see what it's like for yourself!