The origin of the name Panchkula is based on the five irrigation canals (or kuls as they were called, making it Panch Kul of five canals) that take water from the Ghaggar in the uphill section and distribute it from Nada Sahib to Mansa Devi. The Nada canal has now been eroded by the river and most of the kul's pass through the cantonement of Chandimandir towards Mansa Devi. The canals are a beautiful example of community property and are maintained by the villagers along the way, with distribution days decided. The canals were made by a ruler in the past, and follow the contours to take water to levels much higher than the river at the same spot.
Panchkula district has a sub tropical continental monsoon climate where the seasons are, hot summer, cool winter, good monsoon rainfall and great variation in temperature (0 °C to 43 °C). In winter frost sometimes occurs during December and January. The district also receives winter rains from the western disturbance. The rainfall is mostly received in the monsoon. Morni hills constitute the highest point of the district as well as of Haryana. The Ghaggar river is the only perennial river. It is very shallow outside of the monsoons. The Ghaggar river system is now thought to be the original Saraswati river, It now dries up in Rajasthan and does not reach the sea. This is due to geological changes that diverted the Sutlej from Ropar to take another channel. The important rivers/streams of the district are Ghaggar, Sirsa, Kaushalya. Generally the slope of the district is from north east to south west and in this direction, most of the rivers/streams rainfed torrents flow down and spread much gravels and pebbles in their beds. Only the Sirsa river, in Kalka Tehsil, flows towards northwest through a u arrow halt of shivalik tract. The soils in the district are mainly light loam (seoti) piedmont (Ghar and Kandi), Swalik (pahar), silticlay (Naili and chhachhra Dakar) etc. The under ground water in the district occurs under confirmed and semi-confirmed conditions which is generally fresh and suitable for domestic and irrigation purposes. The under ground water level is generally high in the southern parts and low in north and northeast which is hilly tract. The district lies in a region where earthquakes of moderate to high intensity have been felt in the past. Being situated at the Himalayan boundary fault zones it is prone to earthquakes.
The total area of district under forests is 42.54 %, which is highest in the state. This is primarily in the hilly section just outside Panchkula city. The district has a favorable climate for the growth of rich and abundant vegetation due to reasonably good rainfall and elevation. Shisham (Dalbergia Sissoo), Kikar (Acacia nilotica) and Mango (Mangifera indica) are the important tree species grown in the plains. Safeda (Eucalyptus hybrid) has been introduced since 1963 in forest areas as well as on private lands. Poplar too has been cultivated in farms. The natural vegetation is mainly of forest growth and its degradation stages. Tropical dry deciduous forests and sub-tropical forests are found here. Pine trees are found in the Morni Hills. Most of the forests in the district are in the Morni-Pinjore belt. This hilly forested tract covers Morni and the edges of Pinjore. That is why, the management of forests in the Panchkula district is vested with the Morni-Pinjore Forest Division.
The new urban estate of Panchkula is west of Chandigarh. The Chandigarh railway station is near the Chandigarh Panchkula boundary, and has an exit toward Panchkula. The area's of Shivalik Enclave,and Manimajra are towards the Northwest of Panchkula Urban estate. The Cantonment of Chandimandir is north of Panchkula urban estate, toward's the Urban estate's southern edge is Zirakpur in Punjab. Most of the developed sectors are West of the Ghaggar river. The Simla highway cuts through the estate mostly parallel to the Ghaggar. and it's newer sectors are on the western banks of the Ghaggar. It is developed on outskirts of Chandigarh, amongst the picturesque background of the Shivalik hills and the Ghaggar River. The township has been sub-divided into residential sectors, industrial sectors, parks and areas for regional recreation, major institutions, markets, and government and semi-government offices. The Eastern sectors are on the edge of Ramgarh, through which a road runs south to Dera Bassi in Punjab via Mubarakpur. East of Ramgarh on the road to Naraingarh (in Ambala district) is Barwala where an industrial estate has been set up and Raipur Rani where Sabeer Bhatia is proposing to set up a Nano city. The road to Nahan- Paonta- Dehradun goes through these towns. Short of Raipur Rani is a turn that goes to Dosarka between Ambala and Yamunanagar.
A large area south of Old Panchkula between Ambala-Kalka national highway and the Ghaggar River has been developed for recreation. The area has a golf course, and a sports complex.
North of Chandimandir are hills and Pinjore as well as Kalka, due west of Pinjore is the industrial area of Baddi. HMT factory is in Pinjore and An ancillary industrial estate of HMT with built-up sheds has been established. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL-A government of India Enterprise) was set up on approximately 23 hectares of land in the industrial area of Panchkula urban estate. At present, it has strength of employees in thousands and mainly is manufacturing communication equipments. The panchkula has number of beautifully maintainted gardens and one of such garden is in Sector 7 Panchkula name 'Musical Park' the park has been developed under the supervision of Mr. Dogra & Mr. Dewan who didnot remain any stone unturned in improving the park.Mr. Sharma & Mr. Gupta played big role in arranging funds for the development of 'Musical Park'
Urban estate Panchkula has had 3 phases so far
Morni Hills are the offshoots of Shivalik range of the Himalayas, which run in two parallel ranges. The village of Morni (Bhoj Jabial) lies on the mountainside, at 1220 meters above mean sea level. Traditions assign the name of Morni to a Queen who is believed to have ruled this area. Among the spurs of hills, lie two lakes, the larger is about 550 meters long and 460 meters broad and the other about 365 meters either way. A hill divides the two lakes but there is some hidden channel, as the level of two lakes remains the same. The people look upon the lakes as sacred. There is an old fort, which is now in ruins. The hills are covered by pine trees. The climate is salubrious and the area is suitable for trekking. The Haryana Government has developed this hill resort and provides facilities to tourists, a motorable road was constructed to connect the Morni hills with Haryana State Highway near Panchkula. Haryana Tourism has a hotel called "Mountain Qail" there. There are also a Forest Department rest house named "Lal Munia" and a PWD rest house for tourists. There is also a private hotel.
Pinjore is famous for the beautiful Mughal Gardens, known as the Yadavindra Gardens. It is perhaps the loveliest and the oldest in northern India. It is said to have been made by Fidaikhan in the 17th century. The Haryana tourism department has developed the whole complex. It has lighted fountains, a restaurant, some rooms and a mini zoo. It has been renamed as Yadavindra Gardens as a mark of respect to the late Yadavindra Singh Maharaja of the earst while princely state of Patiala, Punjab. The main gate of the garden opens on the highest terrace and seven terraces descend gradually into the distant boundary of the garden. In the middle of the first terrace is the Shish Mahal in the Rajasthani Mughal style with small windows and apertures. There is a lyrical Hawa Mahal approached by steps on the side of the wall. The second terrace is uplifted by large arched doorways, above which there is the Rang Mahal, Cleverly devised by the architect, the view of lower terraces is from the open hall way below. The palace has an enormous upon courtyard. We descend, by concealed steps on both sides of the big house, to the third terrace where the cypresses and flowerbed lead down to dense groves of fruit trees on each layer. The density of the dark green foliages evokes brooding depths. The upward flow of water from the fountains cools the eyes. There is a cube like Jal Mahal, with a square fountain bad and a plinth to sit down on for pleasure. The next terrace is flanked by denser groves of trees, lightened by the water devices in the middle. The end structure of the doorway has recently been made into a disc-like open-air theatre. The stiff outer wall of the garden is reminiscent of the fort walls, which has now all around dieter pavilions housing the zoo. Haryana Tourism has a hotel called Buderigar with an attached restaurant at the gardens
Pinjore is also an historical place. Tools of Tower Paleolithic period fabricated on Quartzite have been found from the region stretching from Pinjore to Nalagarh. Important sculptures and other antiquarian remains recovered from the place can be assigned to the period ranging between 9th century A.D. to 12th century A.D.
The Gurudwara Nada Sahib is in Panchkula on the bank of Ghagar river. Guru Gobind Singh along with his victorious army stayed at this place on returning after glorious victory in the Battle of Bhangani. Nadu Shah, a follower of Guru Gobind Singh welcomed and served him. Guru ji blessed Nadu Shah and said that due to his services, the place would be known by the name of Nada Sahib. Tens of thousands of devotees visit the Gurudwara on the full moon day (Pooranmashi) of every month.
The Mansa Devi's Temple was built by Maharaja Gopal Singh, the ruler of Manimajra in 1815 A.D. The temple is very popular among patrons, for the Goddess is believed to grant boons in keeping with her name Mansa Devi. Fairs are held in its vicinity during the holy days of Navratra when devotees throng in lacs to pay obeisence to Her. It also now has a larger temple adjoinng it built by the Maharaja of Patiala. Haryana Tourism operates a yatrika called Jatayu at this location
Spread over an area of seven acres in Panchkula, the Cactus Garden, also known as the National Cactus and Succulent Botanical Garden and Research Centre, is Asia’s largest outdoor landscaped Cacti and Succulents Garden.
Its collection of Indian succulents is considered the largest in the world. The chief architect of the garden is Dr J.S. Sarkaria. He donated a large collection of cacti and succulent plants. The main aim of the garden is to preserve and conserve this endangered species. Some of the endangered species found here includes a complete collection of Genus Caralluma of Indian origin. With over 2500 species of cacti and succulents, this unique garden attracts a large number of tourists as well as botanists. The cacti and succulents are also known for its medical values.
The Cactus Show is a major show organized at the Cactus Garden. It is usually conducted in the month of March, every year. People from all over the region visit it.
The popular schools in and around Panchkula include: -
Popular colleges are:-
Rachita Hospital, Dera Bassi