Around & About Chandigarh
The National cactus, succulent botanical gardens and research center covering an area of 7 acres is considered as Asia's largest garden of its kind with over 3500 species. Situated in the heart of Panchkula City, which is about 8 kms from Chandigarh, the park has a comprehensive collection of rare and endangered species of Indian succulents. Started in 1987, the garden has three green houses.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi temple, is situated in Panchkula at a distance of 8 km from Chandigarh, in the state of Haryana. According to Hindu scriptures, the temple is one of the 52 'Satipiths' and it is believed that the head of Devi Sati had fallen at this place. There are two temples here. The relatively new temple was built by the Maharaja of Patiala. Millions of devotees from all over the country come here to pay homage to the goddess. There is a large garden of sacred plants attached to the Mansa Devi temple.
Ancient Shiva Temple of Saketri
The ancient historical Shiva temple at Saketri is just 5 km from Mansa Devi Temple and 20 km from Chandigarh. Thousands of devotees visit this temple on the Shivratri day to get Lord Shiva's blessings
Jayanti Devi Temple
This beautiful temple, 13 km from Chandigarh Bus Stand, is situated on the banks of the Jayanti river surrounded by Shivalik hills
Chandi Mandir dedicated to the mother goddess of power 'Chandi', is located 15 kms from the city on the Chandigarh- Kalka road. Chandigarh derives its name from the Chandi goddess. The temple is worshipped as a Siddh Peeth, a place where wishes are granted. During the Navratras, thousands of devotees throng to the temple. There is a fort or 'garh' beyond the temple, called Chandigarh.
Chattbir Zoo, located on the Chandigarh-Patiala road, about 15 km from Chandigarh, is the largest zoo in north India. Spreading over an extensive wooded area on the banks of the Ghaggar river, the zoo is residence to more than 100 varieties of mammals, birds and reptiles. Other attractions of the zoo is the deer and lion safari.
Pinjore Gardens alias Yadavindra Gardens, about 20km from Chandigarh, created in the 17th century lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. Covering an area of 100 acres on a slope with fountains and pavilions, this popular picnic spot has great historical significance. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the Pandava brothers rested here during their exile. The garden contains a mini zoo, nursery, a Japanese garden, historic palaces and picnic lawns. A Mango Festival is held in June at the Pinjore gardens. Mango-growers from all over India are invited to enter their prized fruits in the various competitions. Visitors can see and taste all the traditional varieties of the fruit as well as the latest hybrids from the agricultural universities.
Bhima Devi Temple
Bhima Devi Temple dated back to the 11th and 14th centuries is perhaps the oldest temple in India. Situated on the Pinjore Kalka Road at a distance of 22 km from Chandigarh, this shrine is in the Panchayatan style of architecture. Here Durga is worshipped as Bhima Devi. The temple built on the rising foot hills of the Shivalik mountains is now in ruins.
Morni Hills, situated in the lower reaches of the Shivalik range, is about 45 kms from Chandigarh. It is a beautiful hill resort in the Ambala district of Haryana. This high projection of the Shivaliks is a protected forest which is an ideal place for trekking, rock-climbing and adventure sports. For wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers, Morni hills is a paradise which offers awesome views.