Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chandigarh

We were drawn to Chandigarh as we had heard it was a modern city and had a rock fantasy garden (which we of course were intrigued to find out exactly what that was). It is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana and had 24.3 million people, so we thought it had to be worth seeing. The town is also famous for its road architecture. As you can see on the google map below the town is divided exactly into grids. 
We arrived at 4am at a bus stand lost and with no idea where to go, mainly because we had decided this was a destination just the day before. We went with a rickshaw driver who immediately charged us way too much for his service and then took us to an overpriced guesthouse who wanted 1,000rupees ($20AUD) for a simple double room. Whilst debating with the guesthouse owner more and more people who had arrived with us into chandigarh and had wanted an honest recommendation from their rickshaw driver started turning up at the same guesthouse meaning that the drivers were all in for a nice commission by sending us here. 

Dan quickly snuck down the road and found a cheaper place for 700 rupees per night. It was a start! When we then went down to get our rooms the guesthouse manager said we could no longer have the room. We were puzzled as to what could have possibly happened in those few minutes from when Dan had spoken to them before hand. Our Rickshaw driver had been following the places that Daniel enquired for us to stay and had told them not to take us in Hindi. When we asked him what was going on and how 4 different places wouldn't let us have a place to stay the driver replied that the hotels were not for foreigners- even though the Hotels were called "Sunset hotel", "Oasis Hotel", all English names. 

We were left tired, exhausted and defeated. After wallowing in self pity for half an hour we hailed the first rickshaw we could find and told them to head straight for the bus station. We then jumped on the first bus out of the cursed place. Even thought we only spent a total of 2 hours in Chandigarh, we were happy to leave it behind. 

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