The ornate temples, British landmarks and astounding cactus garden of this metropolis brings a distinct charm to the Chandigarh tri-city area.
Visit pretty Panchkula to meet friendly locals, admire traditional temples and relax in verdant garden environments. Set below the picturesque Shivalik Mountains, this urbanized metropolis boasts something for everyone, from cactus gardens to golf courses.
Panchkula makes up one of the urban districts of the Chandigarh tri-city, which includes Chandigarh and Mohali. Its name, which translates to "where five canals meet" refers to its position on the scenic Ghaggar River and the ancient aqueducts that once supplied vital water to the city.
Check out the Bhima Devi Temple in the Pinjore district and marvel at the remains that have survived several centuries of war. An on-site museum exhibits the chaitya windows, which are characterized by their horseshoe shape, miniature turrets and Hindu statuettes that once adorned the temple walls.
Nearby, the Yadavindra Gardens offer a place to sit among nature. Walk the polished pathways of these 17th-century Mughal gardens, look for its central aqueduct and explore the royal residences that dot the grounds.
Escape to the peaceful green surrounds of the Panchkula Cactus Garden. This famed botanic garden displays more than 2,500 species of cacti. Attend the annual cactus show in March to learn about their medicinal properties.
Hop on a rickshaw to Nahan Kothi on the outskirts of town. This monument is one of the last remaining examples of 19th-century British architecture in the region.
Golf enthusiasts may want to play a round at the Panchkula Golf Course, which snakes through the Ghaggar River Valley. The Shalimar shopping mall offers further modern delights. Find your favorite cuisine in the international food courts and shop in fashionable boutiques.
Panchkula is surrounded by a number of worthwhile daytrip destinations. Drive to the Sikh Temple of Nada Sahib or watch monks praying at Mata Mansa Devi. Both are less than 30 minutes away by car. Morni Hills, a hillside area awash with colorful native blooms, is just an hour's drive away. Trek, rock climb or camp around the lakes of this scenic locale.
Panchkula is located east of Chandigarh. Get there from Chandigarh via taxi or bus.