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Chandigarh

Written on: Monday October 20th, 2008

A journal entry from: July 08 - Jan 09

After a brief trip back to Delhi, where I met Kevin who is going around the world in 80 days and spending 18 of them in India, we headed north to India's only pre-planned city: Chandigarh. We met Liam from Canada on the way and convinced him to join us at the cricket the next day.

It certainly is an unusualy place, broad streets, very clean and open by Indian standards, and with a touch of artificiality.

Anyway, after a bizarre search for tickets - where we were sent to 3 different gates at the ground and 3 different branches of HDFC bank we finally got into the ground, with another couple of Aussies we met on the search for tickets.

The cricket was good for the neutral spectator, and great for the Indian fans - there were quick runs, a declaration, a spirited run chase after an impossible total, a batting collapse and a steadying partnership. A very enjoyable day, despite the final dire predicament of the Australian team. After the game we went to Nek Chand's Rock Garden. En route Karim, one of our travelling companions left his backpack (with nice digital camera etc. in it) on an auto-rickshaw. No wonder that guy seemed so nice and was smiling as he left us - right? Wrong! Karim searched high and low for the rickshaw (amongst the thousands in the city), eventually, back on the back-street where we were dropped off by the rickshaw he submitted to reality and gave up, only to see our smiling friend driving towards him with his backpack. What a legend! And the driver wouldn't even accept the offered reward/monetary thanks. He had no choice but to accept Karim's overjoyed hugs though.

So that was nice. We eventually got to the rock garden, which had just closed, so we had a quick look around and went back the next day. Apparently it is India's second most visited site and was started by a guy (Nek Chand) living on some unused land, making pieces of art out of waste material. Years later the authorities found him there but instead of turfing him out gave him 50 workers to make an huge, odd wonderland.

 

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