Famed for being one of the earliest planned cities in the country, Chandigarh is a city and union territory which acts as the state capital for both the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. Popular amongst tourists and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are a number of places in and around the city that makes it such a sought-after destination.
Holiday destinations near Chandigarh
Here are some of the most sought-after places to visit in Chandigarh.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO earlier this year, this structure in Sector 1 is high on the list of places to visit in Chandigarh as it provides spectacular proof of the extremely well-designed work and architecture that is so characteristic of the city.
It was designed by the famous French architectural designer, Le Corbusier, and houses three major monuments, the Secretariat, the High Court and the Legislative Assembly as well as a lake within its limits.
It is a major landmark of the city and celebrated worldwide for its planning and architecture, making it a must visit location while in Chandigarh.
Situated about 45 km’s from the city in the state of Haryana, Morni is one of the most famous places to visit in Chandigarh.
The Morni hills are located between two lakes, both of which are considered to be sacred and of great religious significance by locals. Prominent amongst popular attractions at this location are the ruins of the Morni Hill Fort, the local waterfall, the Archaeological Temple Site and the Tikkar Taal.
Amidst spectacular scenery, the rich heritage of this region makes it highly popular as a place to visit in Chandigarh.
Also known as the Nek Chand Rock Garden after its founder, who was a government official, this sculpture garden is one of the most famous locations in the city, making it one of the most popular places to visit in Chandigarh.
It is believed to be visited by more than 5000 people on a daily basis, drawing in crowds to its man-made linked waterfalls and numerous other eclectic sculpture attractions.
Located near the Sukhana Lake, it was started in 1957 and is believed to have attracted more than 12 million visitors since then, highlighting its status as one of the top places to visit in Chandigarh.
Situated just outside the main city in the state of Punjab, around 10 km away, Mohali is gaining recognition as a quickly developing IT Hub.
However, it is also one of the most popular places to visit in Chandigarh, as it boasts a rich history, a profound religious significance and a number of architectural marvels.
Places to visit here include the famous Gurudwaras, the architecture of Fateh Burj, the various parks, and the many famous sporting complexes which include the cricket stadium in the city. All in all, it is rightfully one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh.
Chandigarh Rose Garden
A massive property that is spread over 30 acres in Sector 16, the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden has grown to be one of the premier places to visit in Chandigarh.
The garden that is named after the former Indian President Zakir Hussain has blossomed since its humble beginnings in 1967. It houses over 50000 rose bushes with more than 1600 species and hosts the annual ‘Rose Festival’ in the February – March season.
It is a popular picnic location given the beautiful surroundings and is often considered one of the landmark places to visit in Chandigarh.
With the reputation of being the second largest mall in Northern India and the third largest in the entire country, this mall is a must amongst the places to visit in Chandigarh, especially for the shopping enthusiasts.
It is spread over 20 acres and has a leasable space of over one million square feet. It boasts of a number of credible brands, both Indian and foreign, alongside an eight-screen cinema multiplex, sports bars and a number of prominent eating joints.
The mall was constructed as a part of a large real estate project by the famous construction company, Larsen & Toubro.
Planned by the city developers as part of the many theme gardens located across the city, Leisure Valley is an 8km stretch of land that stretches from Sector 1 in the north of the city to Sector 53 in the south.
It is one of the most famous places to visit in Chandigarh, due to the fact that its way is punctuated with a number of beautiful parks, starting from the Rajendra Park in Sector 1, passing through Bougainvillea Garden and other such prominent gardens, and encompassing popular gardens in the South, such as the Hibiscus Garden in Sector 36.
Barog Railway Station
Located in the Solan district of the state of Haryana, this quaint hill station is located about 60 km’s away, making it one of the most popular places to visit in Chandigarh.
It was developed after the laying of a railway track in the region, and named after an engineer who helped in this process, Colonel Barog. It is situated at an altitude of 1560m above sea level, giving it a cool climate that drops as low as 5 degrees during winters.
A popular attraction aside from the serene environment that attracts tourists is the toy train that runs in the area.
Belonging to the Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh, Nahan is a famous town that is becoming popular amongst the holiday destinations near Chandigarh, being located less than 80 km away.
Popular visiting locations in the town include the Ranital Garden and pond, the Pakka tank, the Mall Road, and most significantly the many religiously significant temples. These include the Gurudwara Dashmesh Asthaan, the Jagannath Temple, the Miyan ka Mandir and the Rani Tal Shiv Temple.
It is a perfect location for a holiday spent in a quiet town littered with a few spots of unhurried sightseeing.
Located about 40 km away from the city, Nalagarh is a popular location as a holiday destination near Chandigarh and the Nalagarh Fort remains one of the main places to visit in Chandigarh.
It was built in 1421 under the reign of Bikram Chand, the then Chandella Rajputs’ Raja of this region at the foothills of the Himalayas, in the state now known as Himachal Pradesh.
The Nalagarh fort is famous for providing a beautiful view of the surrounding areas, namely the Sirsa River and the Shivalik hills.
One of the rare terraced gardens in the country, the 10-acre large attraction is taken to be one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh since its inception in 1979. It is located in Sector 33 and has the central attraction of a lighted musical fountain.
It also hosts the annual Chrysanthemum Show. It is a location with beautiful surroundings, having a number of exquisite flowering plants, as well as a welcoming environment and climatic conditions.
Situated near the Shivalik Hills at the foothills of the Himalayas, Sukhna Lake is one of the top places to visit in Chandigarh.
It is a reservoir that was created in 1958 by constructing a dam across the seasonal stream known as Sukhna. It is popular amongst tourists and residents alike, being an ideal location for a quiet evening or morning walks, and also boasting about a great number of available facilities, such as sculling, boating and sailing.
It also sees a number of migratory birds that are considered otherwise rare flock to its waters every year. It is truly one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh, highlighting all the beauty of the city.
A 30km drive from the city, this hill station is one of the most popular places to visit in Chandigarh.
It is located in Himachal Pradesh and has a pleasing weather of around 10 degrees during winter and average summer temperatures. It is particularly famous for its food culture, including non-veg pickles, and the nearby Hindu temple known as the Kali Mata Temple.
A ride in the cable car, providing a spectacular view of the surrounding regions, is a must when holidaying at this location. It also has a number of fruit orchards and shopping areas for tourists.
Sector 17 in Chandigarh is famous for being home to one of the most important places to visit in Chandigarh to ensure the complete city experience is achieved, namely the Musical Fountain.
Its location near the market allows visitors to indulge in shopping while enjoying the view of the fountain. Shows held in the evening, at the fountain are popular amongst tourists, particularly for the accompaniment of a spectacular laser show.
The show lasts about 30 minutes and is especially popular amongst tourist families who have young children with them.
Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park
Now known as the ChattBir Zoo, the Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park is one of the most exciting places to visit in Chandigarh, particularly famous for its enticing lion safari.
It is also home to the Royal Bengal tiger, where tourists can get a close-up view of this majestic animal. It has over 950 animals belonging to more than 85 species, which include certain endangered species as well, such as the gharial, a fish-eating crocodile.
Reptiles, mammals, birds and fish alike are seen within the confines of this zoological park, making it a truly memorable experience.
The premier Amusement and water theme park in the city, it is a must include in places to visit in Chandigarh. Open between 10 in the morning and 7 in the evening, Funcity has located about 20 km away from the main city area of Chandigarh.
Attractions include wave pools, water slides, arcade games etc. It is a popular holiday destination near Chandigarh, especially for tourist families with children.
Government Museum and Art Gallery
Possessing within its confines some of the richest sources of Indian heritage and history, the Government Museum and Art Gallery is one that is definitely on the list of places to visit in Chandigarh.
It has an architecture museum, a natural history museum, and a gallery of portraits, as well as the prominent art gallery. It is situated close to the heart of the city, emphasising its role as a hallmark location in Chandigarh.
There are a number of regular guided tours available at the location to ensure a thorough visit for all tourists who enter its buildings.
Open Hand Monument
This symbolic structure located in the heart of the city as a part of the Capitol Complex, the Open Hand Monument is a prominent inclusion in the list of places to visit in Chandigarh.
It was designed to be a symbol of the general theme the planner of the city had in mind, ‘Peace and Reconciliation’. It is an 85 ft high structure erected on a concrete platform and serves as one of the major landmarks of the city.
Constructed in 1783 in the state of Punjab, this fort continues to be a live-in monument, which is placed high on the list of places to visit in Chandigarh.
It is also popular as one of the holiday destinations near Chandigarh, as it has recently opened a part of the fort to be a heritage homestay for tourists.
Attractions around the fort include a forest trek, picnics on the island, bird watching and fishing.
The district of Solan in Himachal Pradesh has situated about 70 km’s away from the main city and is a popular place to visit in Chandigarh due to its attractions within the district limits.
The headquarters of this district, the city Solan, is known as the ‘Mushroom City of India’, due to its famed reputation as the area in which the Directorate of Mushroom Research is located.
Tourists visiting this location can choose from amongst a number of options to spend their time, including the famed central library, the various parks and playgrounds, and the many heritage locations across the city.
All in all, Chandigarh is a city with no shortage of places to visit, with a number of popular places to visit in Chandigarh, located close by, leaving any visitor spoilt for choice.