Sukhna Lake: Let your heart boat in the downtown lake of quietudeAshima Salaria

Chandigarh – The city beautiful is complete blend of rich culture, Modernization and scenic beauty. One such example is Sukhna Lake, it’s an artificial lake located in Sector-6, Chandigarh. The lake is situated at the foothills of (Shiwalik Range) The Himalayas. It was created by Le Corbusier, the talented architect who designed Chandigarh in 1958 and Chief Engineer P.L.Verma.

Sukhna reservoir covers a surface area of 3kms and is 8-16ft deep. Sukhna Lake has its own membership based club with a lawn, a gym, swimming pool, indoor games. Many other games such as boating, rowing etc. can be enjoyed here throughout the year. The lake has the longest channel for rowing and yachting events in Asia and that’s why it’s the venue for Asian Rowing Championships.

The lake has its own sanctuary and it’s a home for many migratory birds. Bird- watchers can be seen here in good weather days. The lake has been declared as National Wetland of India and hence appropriate measures are taken to preserve the same as many exotic birds such as Siberian Duck, Storks and Cranes visit during the Winter Months.

Sukhna Lake is an inseparable part of Chandigarh and one can reach the lake by any mode of transport. All types of transport Bus, Car, Taxi are available due to its prominent location as it has Golf Course to its south and Rock Garden on the west side. Best time to visit is either sunrise or sunset. Morning Joggers or walkers can be seen doing exercise in the lap of Mother Nature.

Boating is the main attraction of Sukhna Lake. Though Sukhna Lake is a venue for many festivals as well. A popular mango festival is held every year where mangoes of different varieties are showcased. This year a new type of festival was introduced known as ice-cream festival. It attracted people from all over India. While tourists occupy the lake in evening, a special track for the joggers is made and also a track has been laid with marking of kilometers covered for the morning walkers.

There are many food outlets as well which offer good quality food like Citco Restaurant which is run by Chandigarh Administration only, Juice and Chat-Papri stalls are also there. Along with this there is a play area with rides as well for the kids of specific age-group which are a bit pricey. The sunset offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere with a light breeze to ease you. To maintain the beauty of the lake and to keep it pollution free, Vehicular Traffic and Motor Boats are banned in the lake, only Pedal boats and Shikaras are allowed.

The lake sometimes go dry in summers but then it again regains its beauty and maintains its beauty through most of the year. The lake is a source of livelihood for many people, be it the chaat vendors or the little kids who can be seen selling bhel-puri. It’s said that the city planners were so attached to the lake that ashes of one the city planners, Pierre Jeanerette were immersed in the lake in 1970 at his niece’s request.

The lake holds a really special place in hearts of all Chandigarhians, while the oldies feel their roots attached to it the other way it’s a livelihood for some people.

Sukhna Lake looks not less than an imaginary fairytale scenery when its lush green beauty is combined with serene view of the sunset or sunrise.