manmade picturesque Sukhna lake in the foothills of Shivalik range
is an idyllic place for quiet communion with nature and for offering
water sports activities such as boating, yachting, water skiing,
etc.. The creation of Lake was one of the greatest gift from Le
Corbusier and P L Varma Chief Engineer. To preserve its
tranquility Corbusier insisted that it be forbidden to motor boats
and the top of the dam (promenade) prohibited to vehicular traffic.
Sukhna is an inseparable part of the city. Le Corbusier had foreseen
that the residents of the city would be drawn it for the 'care of
the body and spirit'. The planners of the city will be thrilled to
find that this beautiful gift to the city has extended its
attraction beyond its boundaries. The city planners were deeply
attached to the lake. So much so that Pierre Jeanneret's ashes were
immersed in the lake in 1970 as per his wishes by his niece.
3 sq km rainfed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe,
a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally
the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation. To
check the inflow of silt, land measuring 2542 hectares was acquired
in the catchment area and put under vegetation. In 1974, the Choe
was diverted and made to bye-pass the lake completely, the lake
being fed by three siltation pots, minimising the entry of silt into
the lake itself.
The roof of the 'bund' or dam, elegantly landscaped has become a
favourite promenade. Serious 'walkers' pursue an exercise regime,
families enjoy an evening stroll and nature lovers mingle with
children on roller skates - to partake of this extraordinary
amenity. Photographers and painters love to capture its scenic
beauty of the setting sun, or the heavily clouded monsoon sky, or
the early morning mist in winter set amidst the tranquility of the
lake. Even anglers do not leave unrewarded.
profile of the promenade along the banks of Sukhna hums with
activity from dawn to dusk, reflecting changing moods of the day.
As the golden hue of the dawn shimmers through its placid waters, a
stream of joggers hurry along to savour the fresh morning air.
amble on the dew-wet grass, children frolic around, while a few
others find time to meditate in tranquility. On weekends in winter,
one can hear the melodious strains of the flute or classical
rendering by famous musicians on its banks.
As the golden orb emerges brightly from
the Shivalik hill range, the morning crowd receds.... and groups of
students arrive to browse through their books under the shady
trees. The afternoon attracts families on picnic and a siesta to
complete their foray into the lap of nature.
evenings see Sukhna again coming alive with tourists, and families
thronging the promenade, the Chef Lakeview, Citco's fast food joint,
shops and of course the jetty for a boat ride. For children there
are a number of joy-rides and a mini train. As night descends, the
lights from the hill resort of Kasauli reflect in the lake and
present a bewitching sight.
is a sanctuary for many exotic migratory birds like the Siberian
duck, Storks and Cranes, during the winter months. The Lake has
been declared as a protected national wetland by the Government of
India. People of Chandigarh love Sukhna. During summers, there are
streams of men, women and children from all walks of life offering
voluntary service to desilt the lake bed for about three months.
This annual ritual has been a regular feature since long.
Lake is the venue for many festive celebrations too. The most
popular is the Mango Festival held during the monsoons when scores
of varieties of mangoes are on display. From time-to-time other food
festivals, featuring specialities from different Indian States, are
also held here, alongwith cultural performances.
has a membership based Lake Club with open lawns, a gym, indoor
games, swimming pool and tennis courts with both synthetic and grass
courts. Boating, rowing, sculling, sailing, kayaking and water
skiing can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Lake, which was the venue for the Asian Rowing Championships, has
the longest channel for rowing and yachting events in Asia. It also
has facilities for other water sports like water surfing, skiing and
The Lake is fringed by a golf course to the
south, and the famous Rock Garden to its west.