Planning a trip to India? Welcome to the city of gardens – Chandigarh – states capital and a Union Territory*. Chandigarh, designed by the famous architect Le Corbusier, is a rare example of a seamless blend of modernisation and the nature’s preservation. Apparently it is the only city where the two entirely opposite concepts – serenity and city – come together to add to the beauty of the city.
Trees and plants are an equal part of the construction plans as the buildings and roads. Keeping up to its name of ‘The City Beautiful’ country’s first planned city, built in 1953, is a rich, prosperous, spic and span, green city which boasts of various gardens and parks that not only add to the greens of the city but also helps in keeping the pollution levels in check.
Some of the best and famous gardens in Chandigarh are as follows. These gardens are a must visit for anyone and everyone.
1. Rose Garden
Zakir Rose Garden, Asia’s largest rose garden, is spread across area of 30 acres and boasts of 50,000 rose-bushes with 1600 varieties of roses planted in a beautifully carved out lawns and flower beds. ‘Smell the roses’ is an apt description of what you can do here. In fact the collection includes not only natural varieties but also many hybrid varieties cultivated through tissue culture.
And some of them are rare varieties of rose. Beautifully manicured lawns with the heady fragrance of roses make it an ideal spot for picnic or romantic getaway for the couples. The garden was planned and conceived in 1967 under the expert guidance of Dr M S Randhawa because of his prolific interest in horticulture and fondness for flowers and is named after India’s president Zakir Hussain.
The best time to visit this garden is between February and March. The famous Rose festival is celebrated here with a great pomp and show either in February end or beginning of March. It is touted as one of the biggest celebrations in the city and more than 20,000 people visit this festival.
2. Pinjore gardens
Also known as Yadavindra gardens, Pinjore gardens lies on the foothills of lower Shivalik ranges and is 20 kilometres from Chandigarh and 15 kilometres from Panchkula. One of the most popular and fascinating Mughal gardens makes for a perfect picnic spot with manicured lawns and the weekends are the best time to visit these gardens as the fountains are switched on and the lights reflecting on the palaces makes a beautiful picture.
The gardens boasts of flagged pathways running to the outer reaches of the creeper covered wall and various trees like Palm, mango, shapely cypresses, and dense groves of trees give a mysterious look to the garden.
The garden was designed by Nawab Fadia Khan – foster brother of Aurangazeb the Mughal emperor – and kept the design on the classic Charbagh pattern with a water body in the centre. After the death of Fadia Khan the garden was neglected until the Maharaja of Patiala (Punjab) Yadavindra Singh restored the gardens to its present glory hence the name Yadavindra gardens.
3. Garden of fragrance
Chandigarh’s garden of fragrance is a must visit garden of the city and is located at the southern side of Hibiscus garden in sector 36. Famous for its distinctive aromatic and fragrant plants, the garden boasts of plants like damask rose, Queen of the night, Motia, Champa, Haar Shingar, Hennaand varieties of Jasmine. Owing to its fragrant plants and green manicured lawns the garden of fragrance is a fabulous picnic spot. There are tracks for the fitness freaks to enjoy their walks or daily workouts.
4. Chandigarh Bougainvillea Park
Chandigarh Bougainvillea Park, celebrated for its colour and beauty, the variety of bougainvillea, attracts tourists from all over the country and world. The garden brags about 65 different types of bougainvillea in various hues and colours which is a mesmerising sight.
Situated in sector 3 Chandigarh, the park was first opened to the public in 1976 and has been captivating the tourists’ attention since then. Beautifully enshrouding the bowers, arches, pavilions, and arcades are creepers comprehensive area in the park. The celebrated bougainvillea show is organised here to celebrate the beauty and variety of bougainvillea.
Enthralling the visitors since it was first opened to the public the park is a pride of Chandigarh.
5. Terraced flower gardens
Located in the sector 33, Chandigarh — the terrace garden was set up in 1979 covering the area of 10 acres. Lighted musical fountain is the main attraction of this garden. The popular annual Chrysanthemum show is held here. With some exquisite varieties of flowering plants the atmosphere is tranquil and residents are often come here to enjoy the cool breeze and to feast their eyes on the surrounding beauty.
* A Union Territory is a sub-national administrative division of India, in the federal framework of governance. Unlike the states of India, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the federal government; the President of India appoints an Administrator or Lieutenant-Governor for each territory.