Who hasn’t heard about Sukhna Lake, the most serene spot in the city of Chandigarh with the backdrop of Shivalik Hills. And come summers, when the entire city is being poached under the blistering sun, people find their solace here in the arms of the lake. Hire a boat, sit back, relax, float around under the clear blue sky beating the summer heat. But all this also leaves the place absolutely packed most of the times.
Taking the Back Road
If you want to escape all that clutter of screaming ice cream/chat vendors all you have to do is just take the parallel road towards the Golf course and walk around 3.5 km towards the back side of the lake. Now, not many would know this but beyond all those tourist-y spots of the lake, there is a calmer area where a walking track has been recently developed. Upon reaching your destination, you will find yourself totally distant from the humdrum of the buzzing city life and you are bound to experience something you wouldn’t have ever experienced before. At the backside of the lake exists the less known Garden of Silence! It is a meditative space with a seated Buddha statue, absolutely a must visit place for those who enjoy the sound of silence.
The main side of the Sukhna Lake is packed with bubbling activities like joyrides for children, endless eateries, sketching stalls, etc. The backside though, is way quieter and open 24X7. A walk early in the morning towards this side of the lake can possibly give you a hill station like feeling. The aesthetic statue of Lord Gautam Budhha is a work of exemplary artistry in itself. So magnificently designed, this dimly lit place is even prettier during the night. The lake is equally soothing towards this side. Since, there’s less of human interference here you’ll be able to observe exotic migratory birds like Siberian duck, Cranes and Storks here during winters.
Amidst the Greens
Towards the north-east of the lake there is a forest area, known as the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary. Few minutes’ walk into the forest and you will actually feel the wildlife around you. The forest grows more reticent as you go deeper inside. As this place is mostly off charts everywhere, you won’t find many people here. So the only sound here would be either of your footsteps or the wildlife around you. From Sambar, Indian Hare, Porcupine to Common Mongoose a vast variety of animals can be spotted here. And to the delight of the aviphiles around 150 odd species of birds are known to be found here. Away from the furore of the city the dense forest cover, animals passing by, the chirping of the birds and the fresh cool breeze will definitely leave you with a sense of a perfect jungle feel! Keeping in mind the sensitivity of this place one has to write an application to the Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden, U.T. Chandigarh prior their visit to this place.
Other Attractions in Sukhna
Other fascinating attractions around Sukhna include the very famous Rock Garden (about 2 kilometres from the lake). One can either drive or take a brisk stroll to this beautiful garden. Then, one of its kind in India, The Open Hand Monument (is 1 km from Sukhna). Designed by Le Corbusier, it is the official emblem of the city beautiful. The monument reflects the spirit of the city that is “open to give and open to receive”, a must visit for the tourists. Another point of attraction close by is the Chandigarh Golf Club (half a kilometre from the lake).