Chandigarh is the cleanest by far

After a brief stop in Lucknow we hit the road again (over night train) to make our way to Chandigarh further north. After 12 hours and a good nights sleep we arrived. First impression once at the station was “Here we again, more vultures for their prey”. After riding out the wave of touts, beggars and bummers we made it to the auto rickshaw stand. Once again we were almost taken to some other area of town , not the sector 22 as stated in the “Where do you want to go??” We ended up bailing out and walking the streets instead. A blessing in disguise.

Chandigarh was like a place we’d not seen before in India. The streets were clean, the people looked clean, the traffic didn’t constantly beep and try to run you down, the air was breathable and the beggars had designer clothes on. We felt like we were in a 70’s Arndale market.

We checked into a slightly expensive budget range hotel and made our way to the Sukhna lake. It was very beautiful. The water was clean and the hills were the perfect backdrop. There were loads of people, families enjoying the walks, food and other exercise activities. It was most peaceful. The layout of the town was in a grid, lots of straight lined roads. The traffic was quieter and lots and lots of Royal Enfield motorcycles.

The smallest police car in the cleanest city of Chandigahr

Had a good nights sleep once again (pretty tiring doing nothing but sitting in the sun) and made our way to the Rock Garden. We’d read about this place and said that it was worth coming to Chandigarh just to see it. It didn’t let us down. We both were amazed to pay only the sum of 10 rupees each to get in. Normally a tourist has to pay 20 to 30 time more than an Indian.

Once inside the garden had lots of scenic pockets of rock structures, separated by lots of tunnels. There was something new to see round each corner. The site was very big. We also felt like celebrities, around 100 to 150 Indian people kept asking us if they could take our snap (picture). It was good fun but my jaw started to ache after 4 hours of constant smiling.

Celebrity Posing

The best was still to come. We left the garden and took a seat to regroup our next plans. A lovely indian girl came and sat with us and started to chat. She had 2 other sisters and there mum, aunty and cousin in tow. The next thing we knew we were round at their house having freshly prepared Indian food and dancing round the front room. Rachel taught them how to belly dance whilst Andy recorded the incriminating evidence. Dad came home after working at the restaurant and cracked open the Bacardi. 3 large glasses of Bacardi/sprite and we were having a great time.

With the Luthre Family

The family were all so friendly. We also got invited to a traditional wedding in November in Mumbai. That night will stay with us for a long time. Got back to bed around 12.30am.

Slept well ready for our next trip up to the hills in Shimla.

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