I just got back from a 2 day trip to one of my fav cities in India -Chandigarh- is like a second home town for me. With its proximity to Shimla and the fact that it is a stop for all buses / trains on their way up to Himachal , i have over the years developed a deep familiarity and appreciation for the place. One of oldest and closest friends lives there and i have thus always had a reasons as well as a place to crash there.
I try and visit the place as often as i can. The additional lure being that it is only 250 Kms away from Delhi or 200 from the Boarder an thus easily drivable in 4-6 hours depending on how fast you go. I look for the smallet of reasons to jump in and hit the highway! A normal weekend would involve lazing around , and nothing else. Lots of Beer and sunshine in the winters to just Beer in the summers 🙂 , lots of food, 3 dogs to trouble , cookouts and golf.
This is what i tend to do, but there are a lot of things which would attract the normal tourist as well. Chandigarh is a city i consider only 2nd to Delhi with respect to all equations. Its got everything which Delhi has but is more organized as a city. Policeman who actually do honest work, no rip off auto’s. Wide open streets and roads with disciplined traffic.
I was delighted to note that i could get Baileys there at almost any liquor vendor , whereas its availability in delhi is restricted primarily to Bootleggers. One of Chandigarh’s frequented spots is Sukhna Lake (Photo above) and provides for nice walks and food during the days and evenings.
If in Chandigarh you are literally about 45 minutes away from the hills. The lights of the lower established towns such as Dagshai are visible during night and a 45 Km journey is all that lies in between. Day trips to Kasauli are very easy and if you leave early enough you can get as much as 12 odd hours there.
The weather is the only downer, while much cooler than Delhi (at least 4-5 degrees) and less humid its still pretty hot. AC’s run for as long as they do in Delhi and temperatures can touch the 35-40 range mark easily. A lot of the older generation living in Chandigarh have houses in lower regions of the hills and tend to take off there.
One of the most popular pastimes is Golf and the town boasts of an excellent course with a very extensive club, with respect to facilities. I am not sure how the non-member process is with respect to getting on to the greens but i am aware that a lot of facilities in the club are available for non members as well.
One can also take day excursions to the other side i.e the Manali highway. While Manali is too far , one can easily drive upto Una and a little beyond. About 2 hours away on this heading is one of Asia’s largest dams – Bhakra Nangal, a site to see if you haven’t see one yet.I was in total awe when i first visited the location.
So, tons of things to do , caters to every travelers requirement but for me it will always be and remain , a break!
Image taken from shubhyatra.com