Monday, September 16, 2013

Sights of Chandigarh

Once we had arrived in the capital of Punjab, and marveled at our flash hotel, we set out to explore the tops sights of Chandigarh - based on the LP and the recommendations of the hotel staff.

Our first stop, all on foot, was the Rose Garden, which was very close to where we were staying. Now, after being in India for several weeks at this point, the sights of well manicured gardens, and the space put aside for roses and grassy areas, was quite a surprise. A refreshing delight!

After the mayhem, the noise and chaos, of all the places we had been to to the south of this destination, we were amazed at the wide streets, the order of the traffic, and the lack of rubbish in the area of this Northern city. The weather was also cooler, and so much more bearable out wandering around for most of the day.

After being wowed at the sight of over 1500 rose varieties, and then the other gardens along the way, such as the Bougainvillea Garden (which was actually out of season, but a well kept garden nonetheless), we took in the War Memorial.

Further up, and after figuring out a confusing round-a-bout, we reached the Capital Complex and the High Court Building. Billed as the top sight in the's fair to say we were underwhelmed!

I am sure this building of concrete and coloured tiers was a marvel in it's day - say 1950s - but we were pretty stunned that this ranked so highly!

Out past the carpark of the Capital Complex, we found the symbol of the city, the Open Hand. The sculpture is a message of peace, and said to display an 'open to give, open to receive' message. It also moved according to the breeze, and thus faced a different direction depending on the environment around it.

Also within the Capital Complex, we walked through the High Court Museum, again listed highly in the LP. We also had a former Magistrate Judge in our party, which added some interest, and the volunteer guide inside delighted in showing him all sorts of things! We took a look at the cuffs used to arrest the man who assassinated Ghandi.

From here we went to Nek Chand's Rock Garden - which was A-MAZE-ING!! I'll save that for a whole post - it was that good!

I loved the fresh feel of the interactions with the people, mainly men, out and about. There is something totally free and easy up in this Northern area! Even the police officers were friendly!

Later on in our little over a week stay here, we had drinks by the Sukhna Lake, and saw the Open Hand imprinted on the island in the middle, and the paddle boats. Would have been worth a ride out on the water, if we'd had known about it during the rained out day of the cricket!

Chandigarh was such a respite from the rest of India! A delightful stop to be included on the tour.

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