Chandigarh: Famous for its sprawling gardens and green cover, Chandigarh is set to have another site to entrance tourists - a Garden of Palms with more than 50 varieties of palms and a special cycling track over an "adventurous" terrain.
According to officials, over Rs 30 million will be spent on this garden and construction work is already on in the city`s Sector 42.
"We are all set to promote Sector 42, in the southern end of Chandigarh, as a major hub of tourism with the development of Garden of Palms at a cost of Rs 31.1 million. This garden would be adjacent to the manmade lake that is already attracting a lot of visitors every day," said Chandigarh`s home-cum-tourism secretary Ram Niwas.
He said a special cycling track has been laid on an adventurous terrain including mounds and undulating areas to promote bicycle tourism. "Another added attraction of Garden of Palms shall be a tourist reception centre in a saucer`s shape," Ram Niwas said.
Two artistic bridges will link this garden with the lake area. Other tourist facilities would include palm-shaped tourist huts and special walkways that would be illuminated with special light effects.
"Garden of Springs, another theme-based garden, is also coming up opposite to the Garden of Palms in Sector 53 with financial support from the union tourism ministry," said Ram Niwas.
Chandigarh, also known as the "City Beautiful", can boast of a sprawling garden at a distance of around every one kilometre. One of the most well-known is the Rose Garden, spread over an area of 46 acres, and having over 30,000 plants, including over 800 varieties of roses and an assortment of medicinal plants.
These gardens are a major attraction for tourists and every year nearly one million tourists, both domestic and foreign, come here. Many new theme-based gardens like Japanese Garden, Garden of Conifers, Valley of Animals and Cactus Garden are also coming up here.
Designed by Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s, Chandigarh is the only planned city in independent India. Its green cover is 38.8 percent of its geographical area - the maximum in the country. Chandigarh is followed by Delhi, which has nearly 20 percent tree cover.