Sukhna Lake, the man made lake is located on the southeastern boundary of the Chandigarh city. The picturesque Sukhna Lake situated in the foothills of Shivalik range is an idyllic place for quiet communion with nature and for offering water sports activities such as boating, yachting, water skiing, etc. The creation of Lake was one of the greatest gifts from Le Corbusier and P. L. Varma, the Chief Engineer. To preserve its tranquility, Corbusier insisted that it be forbidden to motor boats and the top of the promenade prohibited to vehicular traffic. The lake is a perfect hangout for peaceful, romantic walks.
Rock Garden : A Unique Piece Of Art
Next to Sukhna Lake, the rock garden is an expression of one man's whimsical but unique creativity in the city of Chandigarh, called Rock Garden. Situated in the thick forest area of sector 1, this world famous fantasy holds its own charm for the visitors. The Rock Garden can safely be billed as Chandigarh's top draw as it attracts most tourists.
The brain child of Mr. Nek Chand, the sculptures of this one of its kind garden have been fashioned out of waste and discarded material like electric wires, broken bangles, machine parts, broken ceramics and just about anything that caught the creator's fancy. Today, the park occupies an area of 10 hectares and is home to more than 5,000 sculptures. Meanwhile, Nek Chand has internationally been recognised as an important figure in the field of non-mainstream art.
Asia's largest rose garden, Zakir Hussain Rose Garden is located next to the city centre, in sector 16. Sprawling over 30 acres of land, the garden boasts of more than 1600 kinds of roses. Affording a sight to behold during spring, the rose plants have been planted beautifully in carved-out lawns and flowers beds. Like the cultural zone, which is just across the road in Sector 10, Dr. M.S. Randhawa also planned this garden, as his interest in horticulture and fondness for flowers was profuse.
Every year, at the end of February or beginning of March, a grand festival known as Rose Festival, is celebrated at this garden. Over 20,000 people visit this festival. It's one of the great celebrations in the city. There are lots of competitions, cultural celebrations and many other events.
The Museum and Art Gallery
Located in sector 10, the building housing the museum and the art gallery, is itself, a work of great art. Historical and modern paintings and sculpture of vast range are housed in museum. There is a rich collection of rare Pahari and Kangra miniatures in the museum.
For the interest of anthropologists there is a collection of fossils of prehistoric man and his implements, unearthed in India. Within the complex is the Museum of Evolution and the exhibition gallery housing interesting features.
The museum complex remain open 10.00 am to 4.30 pm on all days except Mondays.
Punjab University, the premier educational institution is located in the northwest corner of the city in Sector 14. This sector has University's administrative offices, educational blocks and residential hostels for students and houses for university's employees. There are 190 colleges affiliated to this university, which are situated in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and in some other states. The Punjab University not only imparts education in fields like arts, law, sciences and business but also encourages research work.
Its beautiful red sandstone building have been built on a beautiful landscape. The focal point is the Gandhi Bhawan, which is a centre for learning philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. This Bhawan seems to be floating like a lotus in a large water pool.
The Secretariat, a huge slab like building is the largest building in the Capital Complex and is also the work place for about 4000 people. Designed by Le Corbusier, the eight-storeyed building is shaped in such a manner that it incorporates a high drama of plasticity and grandeur, especially in the centre portion, which contains the offices of ministers. With its distinctive high parapet, the concrete walls offer a memorable experience to visitors at the highest point of repose and recreation in the city.
The High Court
The High Court is one of the first architectural monuments to be built in the Capital complex. The structure of this building has a double roof, projecting over the office block, like a inverted umbrella shading its lower part and forming trough from which the monsoon rainwater is discharged through huge spouts at magnificent outward sweep. it symbolically states that the law is an umbrella of shelter for the ordinary citizen. The rear wall of the courtroom is decorated with large wooden tapestries, designed by Le Corbusier.
The Legislative Assembly
The profile of the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) cupola determines the stately personality of the building. The Legislative Assembly is square in plan with a monumental portico standing free from the main building and facing the High Court, which delineates the southeastern end of the Capital Plaza. A pyramid covers the upper chamber of the erstwhile bicameral system and offers an exciting counterpoint to the main cupola.
The Open Hand Monument
The most important monument in the Capital Complex is 26 metres high Open Hand. Made of metallic sheet, it rotates freely in the wind. The giant hand turns around a ball bearing like a weather clock. The design of this emblem was conceived by Le Corbusier. The symbol symbolically stands for 'Open to give - Open to receive'. Its the official and probably also the only emblem of the city.
Government Museum and Art Gallery
This museum is located in Sector 10C of Chandigarh and is home to a good collection of stone sculptures dating back to the Gandhara period. One can also check out the miniature paintings and the display of contemporary art. Historical and modern paintings and sculptures of vast range are housed in the museum. There is a huge collection of fossils of prehistoric man and his implements, unearthed in India.
Visiting Hours :10.00 a.m. to 04.30. p.m. all days except Monday and official holidays.
The City Museum is devoted to chronicling the planning, evolution and architecture of the city. It stands close to the Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10C.
Museum of Evolution of Life (Science Museum)
Located in Sector 10C, the Science Museum showcases the evolution of life on our planet and displays fossils and implements from prehistoric times. A large cyclorama gallery is the focus of the museum; it depicts the origin of the earth and the evolution of life. Other galleries introduce the viewer to astronomy, geology and the world of ancient man.
Visiting Hours :10.00 a.m. to 04.30. p.m. all days except Mondays and official holidays.
Child Art Gallery
This gallery exhibits works by young artists of Chandigarh. The museum frequently organises art workshops for students and children. Visiting Hours: 10.00 a.m. to 04.30. p.m. all days except Monday and official holidays.
National Gallery of Portraits
National Gallery of Portraits Located in Sector 17B, the museum was inaugurated on 11th September 1977. The gallery boasts of rare documents and recordings of the voices of many prominent figures of India's Independence movement. The gallery now contains approximately 1066 photographs plus facsimiles of original writings, sculptures and ceramic murals. Some 1300 books on the freedom struggle of India are kept in the library of the gallery.
Visiting Hours: 09.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. all days except Saturdays & Sundays and official holidays.
International Dolls Museum
Situated in Bal Bhawan, Sector 23 and inaugurated on 24th December, 1985, it contains more than 300 dolls from nearly every country in the world. Ten ceramic murals and a large model train complete the display.
Visiting Hours: 09.00 a.m. to 05.00 p.m. all days except official holidays.
Punjab Kala Kendra
Open from 10.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs Set up in Sector-16, the Kendra is the office of the Punjab Arts Council (Punjab Lalit Kala Akademy). Exhibitions are frequently organised in its large galleries and the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy's permanent collection of contemporary art is also on display here.
Visiting hours: 10.00 a.m. to 05.p.m. all days except Sunday and official holidays.