Chandigarh Airport serves the city of Chandigarh, the capital city of two states – Haryana and Punjab – in northern India. Besides being the only city in India to be a dual capital, Chandigarh is also considered the best-planned city in India; the entire city infrastructure was the work of renowned French architect Le Corbusier. Known as one of the best experiments in urban planning in India, the name Chandigarh can be broken into 2 parts; ‘Chandi’ refers to a deity, the goddess of power, whilst ‘garh’ refers to dwelling place, therefore the name in whole means ‘the dwelling place of the goddess’. Also called ‘The City Beautiful’ Chandigarh sports beautiful parks, well-maintained roads and is decorated by landscaped vegetation that was planned as much as the rest of the city was. There is also a distinct lack of high-rise buildings in the city, allowing the eye unfettered access to its beauty.
Chandigarh Airport is conveniently located less than 15km from the city and is served by domestic airlines such as GoAir, Kingfisher Airlines, Air India etc. The airport does not offer international connections as of June 2014, but a new international airport at neighboring city Mohali is currently in its construction phases. The new airport would be connected to Chandigarh airport and offer international flights.
To get from Chandigarh Airport to the city, it is most convenient to book a cab in advance. For the more adventurous, you also have the option of booking an auto-rickshaw. From there, you can either go to the Chandigarh railway station or the nearby bus stands to continue your journey into the city, or ride the cab/rickshaw all the way in.
Car rentals are also available at Chandigarh Airport for those who would prefer the flexibility of driving themselves. If you don’t like driving on unfamiliar roads, you can hire a driver together with a car as well. Check out http://www.carzonrent.com/ or other rental companies for more details.
For getting around Chandigarh, cycling is a popular option for tourists. With its many cycle paths and parks the city is quite cyclist-friendly, and bicycle rentals can easily be found at the Chandigarh Tourist Centre. For those who would prefer to sit back and relax but still enjoy the breeze, cycle-rickshaws and auto-rickshaws can also readily be found in the city.
What to see and do
Chandigarh city, with the highest per capita income in India, is prosperous as well as beautiful. For a glimpse of the country’s booming economy visit Sector 17 Plaza, a stunning mall located right at the heart of the city. On top of retail outlets, Sector 17 also boasts an outdoor segment which sees four pedestrian concourses meeting at a central intersection, with countless sculptures, tree groves and fountains erected to add to its aesthetic value. At night, neon signs around the plaza light up and the fountains become illuminated with coloured lights to provide the perfect place for a romantic evening stroll.
If shopping is not your thing, then check out Chandigarh’s other iconic site: the Rock Garden. Contrary to what it sounds like, it is not a garden full of rocks – it is actually a garden filled with art that was created from industrial and urban waste. From everyday objects like broken chinaware, fluorescent tubes, boulders, glass, clay and coal, a wonderland was created, consisting of grand palaces, imposing soldiers, playful monkeys, temples and village people. Created by Nek Chand, a humble road inspector who simply liked collecting rocks and other random objects, the Garden reveals how human creativity can transform the most mundane and prosaic into objects of beauty, and is truly an inspiring sight.
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