Chandigarh, Information about Chandigarh, Travel to Chandigarh
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Information about Chandigarh

Chandigarh is the Union Territory and the capital of Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh is beautifully located on the foot of the Shiwalik Hills. It is the most modern city of India, and created under the guidance of Le Corbusier, the French architect. It also served as the administrative centre of both Punjab and Haryana. These two states also share the Secretariat and the High Court. Chandigarh is a pleasant place to stop en route to Shimla and obviously an attraction for anyone interested in town planning. Chandigarh is a very beautiful city with a large variety of flowering trees specially selected by a renowned civil servant and botanist, Dr. M. S. Randhawa, who later became its Chief Commissioner. This city is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding region that is rich with art, history and scenic landscapes. The best season to visit Chandigarh is from October to March.

History of Chandigarh

At the time of partition in 1947, Punjab was divided between Pakistan and India and its former capital Lahore was allocated to Pakistan. The Indian government decided to build a new modern capital for the new state of the Punjab. As a result, Chandigarh was created under the guidance of Le Corbusier, the French architect, as the new capital of Punjab in place of Lahore. But, the city too became a centre of controversy. The two heirs of the Punjab legacy demanded it as their own. Ultimately, the Central Government made it the capital of both the states, retaining Chandigarh as a Central Territory under its own administrative control. The Pakistan government also decided to built a new national capital at Islamabad. Later, Chandigarh served as the administrative centre for both Punjab and Haryana which were the products of a further sub–division of Punjab in 1966. The initial plans were drawn in New York by Albert Mayer and Matthew Novicki. When Mr. Matthew Novicki died in an air crash in 1950, the work was entrusted to the internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier. He supervised the layout and was responsible for the building of the grand buildings like the Secretariat, High Court and the Legislative Assembly while Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew designed the residential and commercial areas. They laid out city adopting the latest principles of town planning. Several buildings are built on ‘stilts’, a design which has become popular in India for public buildings.

Architecture in Chandigarh

The city was planned to accommodate half a million. Informal housing has already helped Chandigarh to past that figure. For housing there are 14 carefully graded categories for ministers down to the lowest–paid public sector employees. Each sector was built keeping self–sufficiency in mind, to fulfil the community’s immediate needs. So, they are like traditional Indian villages. The city’s major works areas are the capital complex which consists of the Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and High Court; Sector 17, the central business district with administrative and state government offices, shopping areas and banks; a Cultural Zone for education which includes a museum, campus university with institutions for engineering, architecture, Asian studies and medicine and the Open Hand monument which symbolizes the unity of humankind. The readily available concrete and the material of the post war years are used in the construction of the building.

Festivals in Chandigarh

Baisakhi, the Hindu New Year Day is the famous festival of Punjab and is celebrated with great fun in Chandigarh. The dancers perform the Bhangra dance with great enthusiasm, standing on each other’s shoulders, and display all the joie de vivre for which the people of the Punjab are known. All the Hindu festivals are also celebrated here.

Tourist Attractions in Chandigarh

The main tourist attraction in Chandigarh is the rock garden. Besides the rock garden, the Rose Garden and Sukhna Lake are the other tourist attractions in Chandigarh. 

Rock Garden
The Rock Garden is a famous tourist attraction in Chandigarh. This huge and special garden was built by Nek Chand, who built this garden from broken pieces of cups and saucers, bangles and other waste materials. This garden is very unique in the world and visited by tourists from all over the world. The designer Shri Nek Chand still lives in Chandigarh.

Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is the largest garden in Asia. It is spread over 30 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and contains about 1,600 varieties of roses.

Sukhna Lake
The two mountain torrents were canalized to form a beautiful large lake called Sukhna Lake with a wide boulevard. The Sukhna lake has become a halting place for birds migrating from Central Asia to India and vice versa. It also offers various sports like boating, yatching, water skiing, etc.

Baba Atal Rai Tower
Baba Atal Rai Tower is built in the memory of the 9 years old son of Guru Hargobind, who martyred himself. 


Pinjore is located about 20 km from Chandigarh on Kalka road. Pinjore is known for the famous Yadavindra Gardens. These gardens are very cool, delightful and a popular picnic spot. This Mughal gardens was laid out by Aurangzeb’s foster brother Nawab Fidai Khan, who also designed the Badshahi mosque in Lahore. Within the gardens, there are various palaces built in a Mughal and Rajasthani style like the Shish Mahal, Rang Mahal and Jai Mahal.

Bhakra Nangal Dam
The Bhakra Nangal Dam is built on the Sutlej river and is about 70 km, north-west of Chandigarh. This dam is the highest dam in the world at 225 m. The multi-purpose river-valley project is certainly the largest irrigation system of its kind in Asia and was built as a part of the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan. The building of Bhakra Nangal Dam was supervised by the well-known American Dam builder Harvey Slocum. It provides electricty to Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

Patiala was once the capital of an independent state whose ruling Jind and Nabha houses were Sikh. It suffered at the hands of the European adventurer George Thomas and was later consolidated into the Sikh Empire of Ranjit Singh who included it in treaty arrangements made with the British in 1809. Thereafter, the Maharaja remained loyal to the British. Patiala is surrounded by intensively cultivated fields and has no palaces or pleasure gardens. The most impressive building in this town is the Bahadurgarh Fort, which was the creation of Maharaja Ala Singh in the late 18th century. It is a huge concentric fort with two walls surrounded by a moat. This large fort is built on a plain and capable of housing a garrison large enough to repulse strong attacks like the fierce Maratha attempt in 1794. The Old Motibagh Palace of 19th century is one of the largest homes in Asia. This huge and rambling central building is surrounded by lawns and tress. A combination of European, Rajput and Mughal styles, part of it is now National Institute for Sports.

Ludhiana is situated about 20 km from Chandigarh. This town is situated on the southern banks of the Sutlej river and a major textile and light engineering centre. Hero bicycles are also manufactured here. The rich agricultural area around it supports a large grain market. This city was founded in 1480 by Lodi prince from Delhi and subsequently passed through a number of hands. In the north-west of the town is the fort which includes the shrine of Piri–I–Dastgir who was also known as Abdul Kadir Galani. There is an annual pilgrimage of Muslims and Hindus to the Muslim Saint’s tomb. There are various other tombs that belongs to members of Shah Shuja’s family while they were in exile from Afghanistan. The town is also the home of the Christian Medical College Hospital, which along with the CMC hospital in Vellore, is one of the south Asia’s major teaching and research hospitals.

Jalandhar, formerly known as Jullundur is an ancient city of which very little survives. This city was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni and under the Mughals it was an important centre administering the area between the Beas and Sutlej rivers. The cantonment area was established in 1846 to house army units. It covers an area of 20 square km. The modern city of Jalandhar consists of a number of wards, each originally enclosed by a wall.

Kapurthala is situated about 19 kms. from Jalandhar. Kapurthala was the capital of the former Sikh princely state. It was also the home town of the Ahluwalia family who conquered it in 1747. Its army fought against the British at Aliwal in the first Sikh War but took the British side during the Second Sikh War (1848) and the Mutiny (1857). This city was later governed as a model city–state. The Jagajit Singh who ascended the throne in 1890 and was educated in France, attempted to turn the city into a scrap of Paris. The Jalaukhana, designed by Monsieur Marcel and based in part on Fontainebleau, was first built in red sandstone but later built in pink stucco, was the Maharaja’s palace. It is now a boys school. 

Anandpur Sahib
Anandpur Sahib is a picturesque village, situated about 75 km towards Dharamsala from Chandigarh. This village is framed between the Shivalik hills to the east and the Sutlej river in the west. This historical site also boasts of an imposing 17th century fortress and an impressive Gurudwara. It is one of the holiest Sikh shrines.

How to get here

By Air: 
Chandigarh is connected by air with Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, Kullu and Leh. The airport is situated about 11 km from the city centre.

By Rail:
The Railway station at Chandigarh is about 8 km from the centre of town. Chandigarh is connected by rail with Delhi, Shimla and Kolkata and all the other cities of India. 

By Road:
Chandigarh is well-connected by road to Delhi, Shimla, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dharamshala, Kulu, Manali and Jammu.


States in North India
Delhi || Jammu & Kashmir || Haryan
a & Punjab || Himachal Pradesh || Madhya Pradesh || Rajasthan || Uttar Pradesh || Uttaranchal

Information about Haryana and Punjab
Introduction || History || Geography || Economy || Climate || Flora and Fauna || People || Culture || Festivals

Cities in Haryana and Punjab
Amritsar || Chandigarh || Panipat || Kurukshetra

Distances from Cities in Haryana and Punjab
Ambala || Amritsar || Chandigarh || Gurgaon || Jalandhar || Ludhiana || Pathankot || Rohtak

Festivals of Uttar Pradesh
Baisakhi || Guruprab || Holla Mohalla || Tika || Lohri || Teej || Sanjhi || Gita Jayanti

Frequent group departures...
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