If Chandigarh were a boy I met somewhere...the first impression I would have of him would be of a 'well brought-up' young man. The one who intrigues you and has the ability of making you go weak in the knees!...
No no...I don't say this imagining a tall fair well-dressed rich boy from Chandigarh. (Anyway they are mostly brats!) I say it because I am high on freshness the city emits.
This isn't the first time I met the city but I have very vague memories of it as I was too young. Being just about 250 kms away from Delhi, Chandigarh is an obvious choice for a short weekend get away. But if you are a Delhite you know it isn't an obvious choice because 'there isn't much to explore'. In case, you are not looking to 'explore' too much and just a experience peace and be away from frenzied crowd...trust me this land of Punjab is your best bet! Hailing from a place where while walking on city roads you not only have to save yourself from the snarling traffic but also from spits thrown justeverywhere...Chandigarh is heaven. A bliss. I have never seen a cleaner ISBT. It's the serenity and smell of a clean city that drew me to it.
If you find uncanny similarity between Chandigarh and Gandhinagar in Gujarat... Le Corbusier is the guy to be credited/blamed. He's the one who designed and planned the well-planned cities...and how! No matter how much navigationally-challenged people like me try...it's difficult to get lost. a) It's too small to get lost b) you have sign boards and maps everywhere...just everywhere.
I wouldn't get into the details of roses in the Asia's largest Rose Garden and beautifully arranged rocks in the Rock Garden. Roses and rocks are same everywhere. Yet there is something different about (red,yellow, orange, pink, black, white... all colours possible) roses smiling all around you. There is something about the garden Nek Chand (built with waste bangles, plates, tiles, sinks, ceramic pots..all waste possible!) that leaves you mesmerized. Pinjore Gardens is something that most visitors give a miss. My advice, go meet it during the night. You have not seen a more enchanting garden. At least I haven't! The sight was beyond my expectation. Another thing unexpected was the behaviour of the locals. I did not think, for some reason, auto-wallahs and rickshaw wallahs would be dishonest. I assumed them to have small-town honesty. Little did I know that Chandigarh is not just another small town. It is a rich man's city. All the markets I went to were mini-Connaught Place's flooded with expensive restaurants. So my dreams of having the divine Tandoori Chicken from a roadside hawker went for a toss. But I did manage to have mouth watering butter chicken from local shops in sector 8 and 9.
So like a good date with a young gentleman...I loved my date with Chandigarh. Barring a few disappointments I'd say it makes for a perfect rather than a 'I-had-no-choice' getaway.