capital of Punjab and Haryana states, Union Territory of India
Asia > South Asia > India > Plains (India) > Chandigarh

Chandigarh is India's first planned city, quite distinct from the rest of the country and considerably better organised. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab states, but the city is not part of either state, being a union territory, i.e. administered directly by the central government.

Location of Chandigarh

Understand edit

Le Corbusier's Open Hand

The most striking thing about the city is the expanse of resplendent blue sky with the mountains in the backdrop. When you approach the city, you see the jagged skyline of the Shivalik Hills looming large over the city and the faint image of an old temple dedicated to Goddess Chandi (15 km from Chandigarh) from which the city got its name.

Chandigarh may appear oddly familiar to Western visitors and idiosyncratic to the rest of India. Enjoy the planned city, with tree-lined roads, large beautiful roundabouts, several gardens and on top — a great set of people. Chandigarh and Mysore are considered the cleanest two cities of India.

History edit

When India was partitioned, Punjab was split into two, with the western half going to Pakistan. Lahore, the historical capital of Punjab was also ceded to Pakistan, and Chandigarh was conceived of as a symbol of India's freedom, and a new beginning for Punjab.

The government of the state decided to build the new city at the foot of the Shivalik hills. Architects Albert Mayer and Mathew Novicki drew the initial plans in New York. When the latter died in an air crash in 1950, the work was entrusted to the French architect Edouard 'Le Corbusier' Jeanneret who created Chandigarh as a city of "Sun, Space and Verdure", to fulfill the basic functions of working, living, and care of body and spirit. In 2011, the city was home to more than a million people living in harmonious conditions that are considered to be the best in the country.

Le Corbusier's Secretariat Building

One can see architectural genius in the neat geometrical design of residential quarters, reinforced concrete structures and self-contained area layouts. Chandigarh is divided into 47 self-contained sectors. Each sector of the city is designed with its own shops, academic, and health care buildings, and places of worship, open spaces, greenery and residential areas. Roads are wide and spacious. It hasn't grown in a haphazard way as some other Indian cities have.

The city is divided into four major work areas. In the north, the capital complex, consisting of the Secretariat, Legislative Assembly and High Court, with the hills as a background dominating the city. Sector 17, which is the city and district centre, houses the administrative and state government offices, as well as shopping malls, banks and other offices. The west contains the university, and institutions of engineering, architecture, Asian studies and medicine. The east zone is the industrial area of the city.

In 1966, Hindi-speaking areas of Punjab were split from the Punjabi speaking areas of the state to form a new state of Haryana. Chandigarh continued to be the capital of both states. This was supposed to be a temporary measure. The plan was that in 1986, the city would pass to Punjab. But this has been indefinitely delayed because Haryana insists on getting some territory in return, and the two states have not been able to agree on the area that should go to it.

Climate edit

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: Weather2Travel
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Chandigarh has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) with extremely hot summers and warm to mild winters. The rainy season is in the middle of the year, although the rest of the months are not completely dry.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Chandigarh International Airport (IXC  IATA) (about 8 km (5.0 mi) from the city centre.). An attractive and pleasant airport. Air India and GoAir fly to the city. GoAir offers direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi. Tickets cost around ₹3,000 (from Delhi, including taxes) for most of the airlines. AirAsia has a direct flight from Bangalore.    

By train edit

  • 2 Chandigarh Junction railway station (ਚੰਡੀਗੜ ਰੇਲਵੇ ਸਟੇਸ਼ਨ) (8 km east of the city centre, well connected with local buses as well as numerous taxis and rickshaws).    

There is a frequent service to and from New Delhi. Trains connecting New Delhi include Kalka (Chandigarh) Shatabdi Express (twice daily) and the economical Chandigarh Jan Shatabdi Express (Una (HP) to Delhi). Shatabdi Express is quite popular and it is better to have an advanced reservation at least 2–3 days prior to the journey.

Popular long-distance trains include the following:

  • Paschim Express (daily) from Mumbai
  • Kalka Mail (daily) from Howrah
  • Dehradun-Chandigarh Madras Express (Monday) from Chennai
  • Kerala Sampark Kranti (Wednesday) from Kochuveli (Kerala)
  • Chandigarh Lucknow Express (daily) from Lucknow.
  • Chandigarh-Jaipur Garib Rath from Jaipur.

By car edit

Chandigarh has an equally good connectivity via road. It is a 4–5-hr drive from Delhi, the road comprising mainly of NH 1 is quite good. Chandigarh serves as a gateway to the state of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Distances from selected cities:

  • New Delhi – 260 km (160 mi)
  • Shimla – 110 km (68 mi)
  • Manali – 320 km (200 mi)
  • Dehradun – 175 km (110 mi)
  • Amritsar – 250 km (155 mi)

There are many car rental companies available in Chandigarh. If you are travelling from Delhi, you can book a cab from a number of travel agencies present in various nooks and corners of the city or you can book a cab just a call away. Travelling by smaller vehicles like Indica is the most common mode of cab transfers on this route. The highway is pretty scenic.

While it is good to take the cabs for travel on this route in summers, it should be avoided in winters due to heavy fog. Dec-Feb are winter months in India. Chandigarh, being situated in laps of mountains, faces heavy fog at night and in the early morning. At such times, the visibility on roads can be less than six feet.

By bus edit

Chandigarh is served by two bus terminals.

Note, if you decide to leave Chandigarh again immediately due to the lack of affordable accommodation, there are many night connections to various distant cities, with both AC and regular buses.

Delhi is extensively connected with a bus service every 15 min offered by Chandigarh Transport Undertaking, Haryana Roadways, Punjab Roadways and Himachal Roadways. Volvo A/C buses are also run on the Chandigarh-Delhi section and offer connection to the Airport and towns like Gurgaon. The fares of Volvo buses are usually comparable with the Shatabdi Express. The timetable for Chandigarh Volvo Buses can be found here.

Chandigarh Transport Undertaking offers a comprehensive connectivity between the two bus terminals with air-conditioned and normal buses plying throughout the day between the terminals.

Get around edit

By bus edit

The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) provides a local bus service in Chandigarh and the satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. The bus service is frequent and efficient 6AM-10PM. Fares starting from ₹20, e.g. railway station to ISBT-43 for ₹25. 45 routes are being plied in Chandigarh. The travel is generally hassle-free, though there might be a rush on some particular routes during morning and evening peak hours.

The buses with corresponding routes can be found here.

The Chandigarh tourism also runs a special Hop On Hop Off double-decker bus which takes you around for a tour of all the main spots in the city including Sukna Lake, Punjab University, and the Secretariat. Having bought one ticket, a person can board or disembark as many times in a day as he wishes. This provides flexibility to see the places of interest and spend as much time as he wishes at a particular spot of choice. It starts its journey from Hotel Shivalikview in Sector 17 near the Bus Terminal.

By taxi edit

At city beautiful there are various taxi service provider available for in city and outstation travel. Some most used options are:

  • Uber. Book taxis through mobile apps for city and outstation travel.
  • inDrive. inDrive is a service that allows drivers and passengers to find each other and to independently agree on all the terms of each trip.
  • Ola Cabs. Cabs available through website and mobile app for local and outstation.

UT administration has started a fully air-conditioned cab service. The cabs are available at the door step on call. The cabs are stationed at important places including Railway Station and Airport. The cabs are fully air-conditioned and extremely comfortable. They serve Chandigarh and the satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. All the taxis are brand new, air conditioned/air heated and driven by the uniformed drivers. Taxis are also have a complaint book and any passenger can lodge a complaint with State Transport Authority if services provided to him are not found up to the mark. The cabs are continuously monitored through GPS technology whereby their locations are monitored by their respective control rooms.

There are no charges for first kilometre except for the meter down charges. Rate ₹15 for the first kilometre and ₹15 for the subsequent kilometers.

Cab services like OlaCabs also operate in Chandigarh and satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali. Uber is also available on most of the routes of the tricity.

By auto rickshaw edit

Cycle Rickshaw in Panjab University

Chandigarh is the first city in the country to have Radio Auto service on the lines of successful working of the Radio Taxi service. The pink autos charge ₹10 for the first kilometre and ₹8 for subsequent kilometres. The service named as "tuk-tuk" is available round the clock. Available on call at +91 172 4242424.

On the whole, auto-rickshaws are quite popular in the city and are easily available at bus terminals, railway stations, and auto stands in the commercial market of every sector. It is very unlikely that they would operate with a meter so negotiate the price before engaging one.

By bicycle edit

SmartBike (Android, IOS) A bike can be taken for a ride at ₹10 for every half an hour. e-cycles on the same rates will also be available at the stations for people who do not want to pedal.

See edit

The Palace of Justice(Punjab and Haryana High Court)
Sports in The Open Hand's shadow
Pinjore Gardens
Statuettes at the Rock Garden
The Rose Garden
Sukhna Lake
  • 1 The Capitol Complex (Chandigarh Capitol Complex), Sector 1. Most of the capitol complex is fenced off due to tight security, the open hand is accessible and from there you can see the main buildings, albeit from a distance. If you want a closer look at the Capitol, you need to do a tour with the 1 Tourist Center daily at 10AM, noon and 3PM—you need to be there 20 min before. Note the capitol and bureau are only open on M-F. This is one of 17 worldwide works by the architect Le Corbusier to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.    
  • 2 Chandigarh Museum (Government Architecture Museum), Sector 10. This provides an interesting aspect on how Chandigarh was founded. It begins with the principles on which Chandigarh was built, selection of the Architects, the design for the people etc. The correspondence between the Punjabi officials overseeing the construction of the city, and the Federal Government in Delhi is fascinating, and well worth taking a few minutes to read. Close by is the Government Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Museum of Science and Natural History Museum.
  • 3 Elante Mall. Elante Mall at Chandigarh is among the largest malls in North India, covering 20 acres. It is a mixed use development project which includes entertainment, hotels and business. Elante Mall has a retail space of over 1 million square feet. across "ground level and three upper levels". In the retail area, Elante Mall hosts various national and some huge internal brands like Heckett London,Apple ( eStore..Powered by Beyond Computers), Marks & Spencer, Brook Brothers, Rolex, Harley Davidson, Promod etc. Elante boasts of a great food court, a wonderful courtyard full of cafes, sports bars and has various clothing brands. In the entertainment section Elante Mall has PVR cinemas for entertaining large crowds.    
  • 4 The High Court (Punjab and Haryana High Court also: Capitol High Court). The letter is fine for looking around the High Court; just show it to security at the entrance, around the back, but if you want to take photos you need to surrender your camera, and head in to fill out some more forms in the protocol office, and then take the forms back to security to get your camera back. It’s worth it as the building is amazing, and extremely photogenic. You can’t take any photos indoors.    
  • 5 The Japanese Garden (Japani Garden). The Japanese Garden is a park in Sector 31 in union territory of Chandigarh. Built in 2014 in 13 acres of Land, by Indian Government, it was inaugurated by Shivraj Patil on 7th November 2014. It consists of water bodies, pagoda towers, water falls and golden bamboos. This is first ever garden in Chandigarh with Japanese touch and costs around ₹6 crore.
  • 6 The Legislative Assembly (Palace of Assembly). This is the Assembly for both Punjab and Haryana. It's easy to run out of time, so make sure you have a whole clear weekday to appreciate all the capitol buildings.    
  • 7 Museum and Art Gallery (Government Museum and Art Gallery) (Sector 10). The museum and the combined art gallery is an interesting place to go to. Artefacts range form Harappan period relics to paintings and coins from different areas and time periods. The Art Gallery has good collections of ancient and modern Indian art. Fossils of the local dinosaurs found in the region are on show in the adjacent natural history museum. The buildings that the Museums and Art Gallery are housed in are attractive.    
  • 8 Pinjore Gardens. Also called Yadavindra Gardens, these are 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh and 15 km (9 mi) from Panchkula, on the Chandigarh-Shimla road. Taxis and buses ply regularly between Pinjore and Chandigarh. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating gardens in the Mughal style are one of the most popular picnic spots in the region. A mini zoo, plant nursery, Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns await visitors.    
  • 9 Rock Garden of Chandigarh (Nek Chand's Rock Garden). Daily 9AM–8PM, last ticket 7PM. In 1992, Nek Chand, a humble transport official, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards. After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered. When they did discover the garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal, a development in a forbidden area. However, rather than demolishing the garden, they decided to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. ₹30.    
  • 10 Rose Garden (Zakir Hussain Rose Garden), Sector 16. The city houses the largest rose garden in Asia. It also hosts an annual rose festival which is quite popular among the local population.    
  • 11 The Secretariat. You have to jump through some hoops to visit the Secretariat. First you need to find ‘Reception’, which is just a small building out the back, and show them your letter to get a visitor permit, then you need to see Security, who will let you in, then you need to see the main security officer inside, who will send you up to the Registrar, who will then send you back to the main security office. Thankfully you are escorted through most of this confusing, overly complex procedure, usually by a junior soldier with large machine gun. The whole process takes about 30 min to an hour. Once it’s all clear you can go up to the roof, check out the geranium gardens and take in an expansive view of all of Chandigarh. Then they will let you have a look out the front, which is more interesting.    
  • 12 Sukhna Lake (Sector 1). Sukhna Lake is an artificial reservoir. A popular place to hang out, one can expect to find residents of the city jogging or strolling along the banks. There is a walking path, a cafeteria, shops and a mini-amusement park and paddleboats. Shikaras are also available. The Sukhna Lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream that flows down from the Shivaliks. Storks and cranes make migratory stops at the lake. The lake, incidentally, has Asia's longest water channel for rowing and yachting. Visiting Sukhna Lake in the evening or early morning is a particularly pleasant experience.    
  • International Dolls Museum, Bal Bhawan complex. The museum has a collection of more than 250 dolls and puppets from over 25 countries, including India, Japan, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The dolls are made of a variety of materials such as wood, cloth, papier-mâché, and porcelain. The exhibits are arranged in various themes, such as fairy tales, Indian mythology and traditions, historical periods, and social causes.
  • National Gallery of Portraits, Sector 17, Chandigarh. It was set up in 1977 in the heart of Chandigarh. The Museum has a vibrant and varied collection of portraits, busts, sculpture, images, prints of rare documents, photos and paintings based on India’s struggle for Independence. It has a big rectangular half comprising of 41 information panels describing details of movements and conspiracies during long freedom struggle of India from British Rule.
  • Pierre Jeanneret Museum, 57, Uttar Marg, Sukhna Lake, Sector 5, Chandigarh, toll-free: 1800 180 2116. 10 am–6 pm. The house of Chandigarh's first Chief Architect, Pierre Jeanneret has been converted into a museum. The Swiss-born architect Pierre Jeanneret, a cousin of Le Corbusier, was instrumental in the design and development of the capital city of Chandigarh. The three bedrooms on first floor have been opened up as guest rooms. Rooms: ₹1,000 for Officers; ₹1,500 for Researchers, Scholars, Architect; ₹2,500 General Administration. Incl. breakfast.
  • Le Corbusier Centre, Sector 19B, Madhya Marg, +91 172 277 7077. 10AM-5PM daily though hours may differ on public holidays. The old Architect's office is one of the earliest buildings constituted in Chandigarh. The museum was a workplace of Le Corbusier and his team therefore, building is of immense historic value to Chandigarh. The modest structure of building may well be considered as a seminal attempt at introducing concepts of sustainability and green architecture in the architectural annals of modern India.
  • War Memorial, Bouganvillea Garden, Sector 3, Chandigarh. 5AM-9PM. The memorial is the largest post-Independence war memorial of the country with nearly 8459 names of deceased soldiers, since 1947 from the Army Air Force and Navy. The Place is designed to pay homage to the Jawans located in Bougainvillea garden. It was inaugurated by Late APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006. The walls of memorial are made from Pink Sandstone. It also has terrace like sitting area hence, makes a perfect place for Open Air theatre for conducting Light and Sound Show.
  • Bird Park, Sector 1. Hours vary seasonally. Opened in 2021, the Chandigarh Bird Park features enclosed aviaries containing aquatic and terrestrial birds, walking paths, and gardens. For an additional fee, you can have a parrot sit on your hand in one of the aviaries. 30-100₹.

Do edit

  • Cricket: 1 Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium, New Tira. This stadium, capacity 40,000, was completed in 2021. It hosts the Punjab cricket team and is expected to become the home of Punjab Kings in the IPL. It replaces Mohali stadium, which was bigger but hemmed in among housing.
  • Motorbike expeditions. Many bikers clubs organise motorbiking and adventure activities.
  • Visit Kalagram on the Manimajra-Chandigarh road. It has an exhibition of various handicrafts and decorations from various parts of the country. It also houses the innovative and famous "Condom Bar", whose theme is centred on condoms.
  • Panchkula is 8 km away and contains the beautiful Cactus Gardens, the largest succulent gardens in Asia.
  • One can also visit Pinjore Gardens that are within a range of 15–20 km (9-12 mi) from Chandigarh on the way to Shimla.

Movies edit

The city has several single screen cinemas which are now in a dilapidated condition due to the arrival of many high quality multi-screen cinemas but you can still catch a movie at any one of the halls. It is recommended to go to a multi-screen cinema complex where the cinematic experience can be easily compared to any movie hall in the world.

The city has more than a dozen malls with 4- or 5-screen multiplexes. Some of these are Fun Republic (Fun Cinemas) in Manimajra, DLF DT Cinema in IT Park, Green House Entertainment (Big Cinemas) and Centra Mall (PVR Cinema) in Phase 1, Industrial Area. Big Cinemas at Downtown Mall, Zirakpur on Chandigarh-Punjab border and Fame Cinemas at Shalimar Mega mall are new upcoming entertainment malls also easily accessible in the city. Many others malls and multiplexes are coming up in Chandigarh and around soon. The latest entrants are Elante mall and VR Punjab.

Theatre edit

The city has a rich theatre culture with regular performances by societies and groups from all over India. Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 plays host to most of the performances. One can view these street plays in Plaza Carnival in sector 17 Main Market, which can be viewed by everyone.

Amusement and water parks edit

  • FunCity – 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh on the Panchkula - Barwalla Nadha Sahib Gurudwara Highway near Ramgarh .
  • Thunderzone – A 30-min drive from Chandigarh, located in Landran, Mohali.

Buy edit

Chandigarh, with the highest income per capita in India, is home to some of India's biggest brands. Hotspots for higher-end shopping include markets in Sector 17, Sector 22, Sector 35, and Manimajra. However, shopping is typically more expensive in Chandigarh than it is in other cities, including big cities such as Delhi.

There are plenty of Shopping Avenues in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is home to all leading brands and retail store chains.

Sector 17 is a fully commercial sector that houses all the major brands and shops that cater to wide array of taste and pocket.

Other popular shopping places are Elante Mall, Sector 22, Sector 35, and Manimajra.

If you want to bargain hard for usual stuff, try the Azad Hind Market in Sector 22 but note that it is closed on Monday.

You can buy souvenirs in the form of coffee mugs, shirts, etc. at Sukhna Lake.

Eat edit

You can relish all type of cuisines from local Punjabi flavors to continental food. Now there are many food delivering apps and websites like Zomato, Uber Eats, and Swiggy, which deliver meals from the city's restaurants to your doorstep.

Budget edit

Many Western fast food chains have registered their presence in Chandigarh.

  • Indian Coffee House, Sector.17.
  • 1 Tandoori express, Booth No. 5, Sector 8 B, +91 172 400 5382. 11:30AM-11:30PM. Don't miss this roadside outlet in sector 8. Providing specialised delicacies like kakoris and galoutis from Lucknow, amritsari fish and special waraqi wraps.
  • 2 Tiffin Service in Chandigarh, Sector 46, +917696120940, . 10AM-7PM. Online tiffin and food delivery service in Chandigarh at very reasonable price. Open 7 days with breakfast, lunch and dinner food service. Make enquiries through call, sms, whatsapp, email, for more details visit website. ₹50/meal.

Mid-range edit

  • Amrtisari Kulcha – The only authentic Kulchas you can find in Chandigarh. Located at Bhainsa Tibba, near Mansa Devi Mandir.
  • Backpackers - Sector 9
  • 3 Barbeque Nation (BBQ Nation), Sector 26, +91 965 491 6060, toll-free: +1 800 108 6060, . buffet grill barbeque restaurant near you. Exciting Offers on lunch dinner with our trademark.
  • 4 Chawla Chicken, SCO 2458 B, Sector 22C (near Aroma Hotel), +91 172 507 6421. 11:30AM – 11:30PM. There is a whole chain of Chawlas, the better ones being in Sector 8 and Sector 22.
  • 5-AAB Superb Punjabi dhaba serving unlimited thalis. Sector 22-B, shop 1085, just down from bus station, beside Hotel Piccadilly.
  • 5 Hot Millions, SCO 196-197, Sector 17-C, +91 172 272 3000. M-Sa 11:30AM–5PM. Very popular salad bar. Other locations Sector 35, Mohali, Panchkula.
  • Hotel Sheronz and The Cellar 35, S.C.O. 429-430, Sector 35-C
  • 6 Nando's, Elante Mall bbmb Industrial Area Phase 1,. Afro-Portuguese chain restaurant serving flame-grilled chicken in spicy chilli sauce.
  • 7 Nik Baker's, S.C.O. No. 441-442, Sector-35-C, +91 172 506 2251. 8AM – midnight. Also in Sector 9.
  • 8 Oven Fresh, Sector 26. Also in Sector 35
  • Pizza Hut - Sector 26, Sector 35
  • 9 Sagar Rathna, Shopping Plaza, 17D, Sector 17, +91 172 503 0200. 11AM – 11PM. South Indian vegetarian chain.
  • Tehal Singh Chicken, 22B Himalaya Marg, Sector 22,, +91 98037 37555. 11:30AM – 2AM. One of the best places to try the famous butter chicken of Punjab.

Apart from these, a variety of restaurants can be found in the Sector 35 market, ranging from traditional Indian sweet shops (Gopal's) to burger joints like McDonald's to formal dine-in joints.

Splurge edit

  • Black Lotus at the Taj Chandigarh, for exceptional Chinese fare, cooked by a Beijing-imported chef.
  • Café 17, Hotel Taj Chandigarh, Sector 17-A, +91 172 6613000. 24/7. A very convenient (as well as very expensive) place to eat, chiefly on account of the fact that it is open round the clock. Multi-cuisine offerings such as "Fijian Mango and Walnut Salad" (₹500), "Naples Grilled Panini" (₹650), salmon pasta (₹600), "Barbados Prawns" (₹1,050). Frequent misspellings of the names of Italian dishes, unpardonable at these prices (e.g. "Penne Pomodoro Bassilico" for "penne al pomodoro e basilico", etc.). "Spaghetti con Fungi [sic]", apart from the misspelling, is translated in the menu as "Black fungus [sic] in pesto cream sauce", which may put some off (unnecessarily). The buffet breakfasts (7AM-10:30AM; ₹675), lunches (12:30-3PM; ₹1,100), and dinners (7:30-11:30PM; ₹1,300-1,400) here are mostly geared towards the Indian palate and best avoided (the atmosphere, somewhat sterile in the best of times, also changes for the worse during these communal feeding periods). The WiFi comes at a premium here (₹140 for 30 minutes).
  • Hometel Hotel at Industrial Area Phase 1 is part of Sarovar Chain of Hotels.
  • Hotel Mountview and Shivalikview also offer specialised dining rooms and bars.
  • Nando's Chicken at Sector 35.
  • 10 Orchid Lounge, Sector 34B. for excellent Thai cuisine.

Drink edit

Coffee shops edit

Barista, Cafe Coffee Day and Costa coffee (Panchkula, Sec 35), Starbucks (Elenta mall, Sector 22) are popular Indian chains of coffee shops that can be found in Chandigarh at various places.

For a true Indian coffee experience go to Indian Coffee house in Sector

Bars and pubs edit

Chandigarh is often accused of a dull nightlife for its status as a metro. Still, one can enjoy good drink at various pubs/bars with combined restaurants at Sector 35, Sector 26, and Sector 17. The bars remain open till midnight or 1AM.

'Condom Bar', a unique bar themed upon the condom, is operated by CITCO at Kalagram, Chandigarh-Manimajra road.

  • 1 Crystal bar and lounge. Experience trendy nightlife in Chandigarh.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

Central Chandigarh is a budget traveller's nightmare when it comes to lodging—it is notoriously overpriced, and the expense is generally not matched by the quality. Additionally, there seem to be extra restrictions on lodging for foreigners in Chandigarh. So, when you book a cheap place through a common website online, make sure they also cater for foreigners—it will be clear quickly from their reviews. Otherwise, you will turn up and they rightout tell you that you cannot stay or don't have your booking. And indeed most cheap places online and offline are Indian-only (as of 2023). Don't be surprised to be asked ₹1,500/night as a foreigner for a dingy room without windows in sector 22 or sector 45, where many budget housing options (of price and quality comparable to typical Indian cities) are located.

As a last resort, you can try the Gurudwaras in Sector 8, Sector 19, Sector 22, or Sector 34. They have rooms or halls, but are generally hesitant to take foreigners due to the extra bureacratic effort. If they suggest a different Gurudwara, tell them that the other Gurudwara they are recommending already sent you to their place. Or try the Gurudwara in Sector 44 later in the evening but before 10PM—they will just let you into their dorm and take a picture of your passport. Or you just walk in and lie down, the dorm is in the gate building at the right side. Also, 1 Sood Bhawan (Sood Dharamsala) seem to be able to host foreigners, but they are constantly full.

Mid-range edit

Splurge edit

  • 12 Hotel Taj Chandigarh, Block No. 9, Sector 17-A (central location next to the city's biggest shopping district, at the intersection of Jan Marg and Madhya Marg, close to the Rose Garden), +91 172 6613000, fax: +91 172 6614000, . Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Still reasonably new, it is one of the best and easily one of the most expensive places to stay in Chandigarh, part of the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces group with properties in India and abroad (including Zambia, Maldives, and South Africa). Expansive lobby decorated with impressive original sculptural works contrasts starkly with the grubbiness of the neighbourhood outside (but this gives the place its raison d'être). Rooftop swimming pool and all the other usual five-star amenities. Good security; exclusive shopping arcade. Expect to pay for every breath of air you take. ₹8,550-18,000 plus taxes.
  • 13 Hyatt Regency Chandigarh, 178 Industrial and Business Park, Phase I, +91 172 440 1234.
  • 14 Mount View, Sector 10A, +91 172 467 1111. run by CITCO.
  • 15 Regenta Central Ashok Chandigarh, on NH 21, Near Chandigarh Airport, +91 172 645 0000, +91 172 300 0312.

Connect edit

The STD code for Chandigarh is 0172. When calling from overseas, dial +91 172 XXXXXXX. The same STD code is shared by Panchkula and Mohali. If you have a non-working phone number with only 6 digits, try adding a "2" in front of it.

Stay safe edit

Chandigarh is a safe city. With the lowest crime rates in the country, you can feel safe at any hour. Police assistance can be found at the nearest police station or at the patrolling booths in every sector.

You can call following numbers for respective help : 112 (Police), 101 (Fire), 102 (Ambulance), 1073 (Traffic Police Helpline), 1098 (Child help line). If you are calling from a mobile phone, just add the STD code such as 0172 in front of the emergency numbers. This is true in any other Indian city.

Cope edit

Balance edit

India is often said to assault the senses, and can be overwhelming to travelers. Chandigarh is a good place to visit if you need a break from the constant flow of India. Even more so during the weekend when the still chaotic and overly much traffic and polution along the main roads is considerably reduced due to the residents fleeing into the nearby mountains.

Hospitals edit

List of major hospitals and health care centres:

  • Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., Sector 34-A.
  • General Hospital Sector 16, Chandigarh
  • Government Medical College Hospital[dead link], Sector 32, Chandigarh
  • Mukat Hospital, Sector 34.
  • The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI), Sector 12. By all accounts the best multidisciplinary hospital complex in town (under the management of the central government of India, and conceived as the premier referral centre for all the northern states of India). While it is not always good by Western standards, it has no rival this side of New Delhi.

Pharmacies edit

Pharmacies are a dime a dozen and you should not have any problem locating one, though Sector 16-C is considered the "pharmacy district" and offers a variety of shops to find your medication. You do not need any prescription for modern medicine over-the-counter drugs and ayurvedic medicine (proprietary and traditional), which are available for most common ailments like fever, headache, travellers' ailments, and general infection, but you will need prescription for other medicines, which are categorized as Schedule H drugs.

You can locate 24-hour pharmacies at PGI and G.M.C.H., Sector 32.

General amenities edit

General amenities for daily living like grocery shopping, laundry etc. can be availed all in one place in every sector's market complex. Each sector is self-sufficient in that regard and serves almost all the needs of its residents.

Traffic rules edit

There is a strict enforcement of traffic rules in Chandigarh. Wearing helmets (for male riders ISI Marked), and using seat belts are compulsory. Violators pay heavy penalties. No exceptions to these rules are made to cars from outside the state.

Press edit

The city has an expansive presence of leading national dailies which roll out their city-based editions. Among these are The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Tribune, The Indian Express, Amar Ujala (Hindi), and Dainik Bhaskar (Hindi). The Tribune, one of the oldest print newspapers in circulation, has its headquarters in Chandigarh and is popular throughout the region.

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Set aside some time to visit the nearby hill stations of Kasauli, Solan or Shimla, or Chail.

  • Amritsar – The city with the holiest Sikh temple is 238 km away and also offers a glimpse into the Indian struggle for Independence.
  • Delhi – 250 km by road with excellent connectivity through the NH-1 Highway.
  • Dharamsala – Home of the Dalai Lama and the highest cricket ground in the world takes another overnight journey to reach.
  • Kasauli – Only 90 min drive from Chandigarh is a hill station not very far from the city. If one is lucky, in clear weather it offers a staggering view of Chandigarh from the Himalayan Foothills. Note that foreign visitors will need to present a valid passport to gain entrance since Kasauli is an Army cantonment.
  • MorniMorni Hills at a height of around 1,100 m (3,500 ft) in the Shivalik hills. Just 45 km from Chandigarh, the town is a popular day trip & weekend destination with the Tikkar lakes just nearby. There are 3 routes from Chandigarh to Morni. The shortest and most popular turne off from the Shimla highway just past the toll barrier at Chandimandir.
  • Shimla – Just 110 km (70 mi) from Chandigarh by road is called the "Queen of Hills" and is the erstwhile summer capital of the British Raj.

This city travel guide to Chandigarh is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.