When our flight touched the soil of India, I was much delighted simply for two reasons. First i was back after a long gap and secondly this time we were planning to visit a place claimed most beautiful by many of my acquaintances. Long before staring our journey, I had purchased a book on Kashmir which had a brief history about the place and a detailed list of all the tourist sites.
We could have easily taken a connecting flight from Delhi to Srinagar, but one of the girls, Venus, in our group was from Chandigarh. She was an Indian and wanted us to visit her city first. Her parents lived there and I too was keen to see that place as I had heard that it was the first planned city of India designed by a French architect Le Corbusier.
Chandigarh surely is a beautiful city. I was fascinated by the greenery of the city, something lacking in most cities of India. The lay out of the city is very impressive. The city is divided into various sectors with a market place for each sector, interestingly, they do not have sector 13 there as the famous architect considered it an unlucky number.
We had a warm welcome by my friend’s parents. Nice and warm couple. The table in the dining room was laden with so many delicious snacks. Even though I restrain myself from not eating too much lest it upsets my stomach, I still had a fair amount of fill in my plate. Cup of tea never felt so good. We were asked to take rest for some time before going for a brief sightseeing in the evening. The moment my head touched on the pillows, I drifted to a peaceful sleep, never realized that I was so tired.
After two hours of sleep, Samantha woke me up. She looked quiet fresh and was looking really pretty in the Indian dress she was wearing. Venus asked me, if I too wanted to try the Punjabi dress but I declined….well maybe I was not too confident about carrying it gracefully.
We went to see the Rock Garden first. It was amazing. How could a man make such a beautiful place out of waste and broken items?! It is a big garden…all rocky with artificial streams….nice place to hang out on holidays. In its last section there were huge swings. Some cultural program was also going on. We did not stay there for long as we were to go and see the famous lake of Chandigarh. The Sukhna Lake is quiet near to the Rock garden, but the place was very crowded. People from all age group could be seen there. Some were taking a walk on the path next to the lake, some were just chilling with friends, and some were busy boating in the lake. We also descended few stony steps that leads to the water and sat there for a while. From there we went to see the Rose garden. One could see various kinds of Roses there. One little kid came to me and requested for a photograph with him. It was fun. From there we went to see the city center. A big shopping complex – with all kinds of things. I purchased a belt from a small shop in a corner. We loitered around the whole complex and later on went into the Indian Coffee House for relaxing and refreshing.
Next day we were to take our flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar. Some people who had already been to Srinagar suggested us to go via road from Jammu to Srinagar. As it takes nearly 8 – 9 hours on road, we decided to fly to Srinagar.
The story continues…..Cheers!