Chandigarh, India, is the capital of two states, Hariyana and Punjab, but what it's known for is impressive modern architecture. Chandigarh, 150 mi/240 km north of Delhi, was designed by the great French architect Le Corbusier, who was commissioned for the job by India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, upon losing Lahore, Punjab's original capital city, to Pakistan during Partition. The High Court Building is a standout.

Less aesthetic but equally interesting is the Rock Garden, which is decorated with castoff items, industrial waste and household junk collected during Partition. It represents 12 years of labor by a single man who built the garden to protest environmental degradation.

Chandigarh requires one night but not much longer, and is often used as a stop between Delhi and Srinagar. It is home to a domestic (soon to be international) airport, making it a convenient landing base from many Indian cities for trips into the Himachal Pradesh Himalayas.

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