Thursday, August 26, 2010

Summer Travels 2010 - Part 10: The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden in Chandigarh, India

The city of Chandigarh was created in the 1950s as a capital for the Indian state of Punjab after the region's historic metropolis Lahore became part of Pakistan. Designed under the guidance of Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, Chandigarh is an affluent, leafy city with wide boulevards, quiet residential neighborhoods, and a plethora of  beautiful parks. Each neighborhood or "sector" has its own array of public green spaces but there are also several larger parks which figure among the city's more important attractions. One of these is the enormous Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, named for the third president of India. It is reportedly Asia's largest rose garden and apart from roses also contains a large variety of other flowering shrubs and ornamental trees.

The sign at the entrance to the garden

 View along one of the paths in the garden

Some of the rose beds, rather disheveled-looking in the summer heat

Another vista

A zigzag bridge across the little creek that runs through the garden - I found it very beautiful in its clean-cut simplicity

The rose garden is supposedly at its peak in February and March and the summer heat does indeed take a heavy toll on the appearance of the rose bushes. Nevertheless, the park was still a green and serene place perfect for an afternoon stroll even at the time of my visit in mid-July, with plenty of trees and flowering shrubs in addition to bedraggled-looking rose blossoms. Local couples, families, and gaggles of friends appear to agree since they flock to the garden in considerable numbers to stroll, picnic, or even just doze under a tree.

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, how I wish I could be there too! Chandigarh has been on my wish list for a long time .... six trips to India in the last two years and I still haven't got there!

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  2. It really is a lovely city, even in the summer heat and despite the fact that there is nothing much geared towards tourists in terms of hotels and the like. One can walk virtually everywhere, the gardens - both public and private - are lovely and the architecture quite fascinating. The pace of life is generally much more relaxed than in other places I have been in India but at the same time one can find virtually all the amenities of a big city such as big Western and Indian chain stores, great book shops, and a great array of dining options.

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