Chandigarh is an entry point to the Himalayas. The city houses two Inter-State Bus Terminuses: ISBTs 17 and 43. The ISBT 43 is the starting point for your Himalayan journeys. The terminus consists of thirty two platforms. Each platform hosts buses from a specific destination in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab. The terminus is apparently clean, but flies are a big annoyance.
Here’s a glimpse of amenities and facilities within the terminus:
Pay and use gender-specific wash rooms
An automatic teller machine (ATM) managed by State Bank of India (SBI)
A cloakroom allows you to keep your luggage for safekeeping during short transit periods between two journeys. The room remains open round the clock. This is a paid service.
Besides a small waiting room, there is lots of open space with several benches for passengers awaiting their buses.
Enquiry and Booking Counters
State-specific enquiry and advance booking offices are located behind the platforms. However, destination-specific instant ticket counters face the platforms.
The bus conductors call destination name out until they have enough passengers. One such conductor was calling for Baddi, Baddi… in morning on June 25, 2014. When he saw me he called “Chasmi Baddir” out. Chashm-e-Baddoor means “far be the evil eye.” It was a taunt. Isn’t it?
Food and Drinks
The terminus houses a restaurant and a number of snack shops. The shops sell both dry and fresh snacks: biscuits, chocolates, Lay chips, Kurkure, Biknari Bhujia, bread pakora, samosa, bhatura, and kulcha chole.
Be careful, while buying snacks, the vendors charge INR 5 extra on ready to eat snacks which is illegal. Do not pay extra money.
Cold drinks, water bottles, and popcorns are also available at the snack shops.
The terminus features free cold drinking water taps for those who either don’t like bottled water or cannot afford bottled water.
A local bus stand within the terminus facilitates travelling within the city. You can get direct air condition (AC) buses to airport, railway station, ISBT 17, and residential sectors for a nominal fare.
An auto rickshaw stand and a cycle rickshaw stand are just outside the terminus: at front and back gates.
There is a book shop for magazines, newspapers, and books.
The spacious complex has dedicated paid parking for private bikes, scooters, and cars. Here are the parking rates (as of October 2017):
Parking Fee for Bikes, Scooters:
INR 10 per day, per vehicle
For 5 days = INR 50
Monthly fee = INR 250
Parking Fee for Cars
INR 20 per day, per car
For 5 days = INR 100
Monthly fee = INR 500