Rock Garden, located in sector-1, Chandigarh between Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake is an embodiment of innovation and creativity and is spread across 40 acres. Also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden the garden was founded by a government official Mr. Nek Chand. Not just merely a garden, this place is a huge epitome of imagination and novelty. After all this whole garden exhibits sculptures and various art objects made of industrial and urban waste materials such as frames, handle bars, metal wires, play marbles, broken glass bangles, china ware, florescent tubes, clay and coal etc. Yes, you heard it right, Things which we throw away considering as waste were actually used by someone and saved Chandigarh from becoming a hub of dump holes.
It’s said that Mr. Nek Chand collected all this waste material which was left here and there after demolishing 50odd villages to form City Beautiful - Chandigarh during his on-duty hours in Chandigarh as he was a Road Inspector. He himself made this garden in his spare time in 20years and kept it secret for a while. According the Mr. Nek Chand the whole garden is based on his vision of the divine kingdom of Sukarni.
Since the garden was Nek Chand’s secret project it was discovered by officials in 1975 and they were actually planning to shut it down since it was an illegal project however Public came to the rescue and joined hands together to support Nek Chand in his noble initiative. Afterwards Nek Chand was made the permanent in-charge of Rock Garden and then it was opened for Public as well. Since then the place is regularly visited by 5,000 people daily on an average.
There are total 4Phases in Rock Garden out of which Phase-4 is under construction and few areas are locked due to security purpose. The garden consists of handmade sculptures and artifacts and man-made interlinked waterfall.
Rock Garden, Chandigarh is the only place to witness such a marvelous creation in whole North India. Even the sculptures are made from recycled Ceramic. Not only art stuff, the garden also has a play area which has swings and other rides it’s the center of this widespread property. Being here during evening is like being at a fair, there’s fun and frolic all around, Artists can be seen making sketches of people, Children enjoy rides while elders take swings and click selfies. (Yes, The rides here are for elders as well. ;) There is an aquarium which showcases fishes and turtles. Laughing Mirror world is the coolest part, The mirror here gives illusion of image transformation weird, fat, slim and many more like that. And the marvelous waterfalls are so serene that one might not want to go away. In addition to this there are chat vendors who sell bhelpuri, fresh lime at reasonable cost.
One can easily reach Rock Garden via two, three, four wheeler, Parking is also not an issue since a huge parking lot has been made keeping the number of tourist visits. It’s open 9:00AM- 7:00PM in Summers and 9:00AM- 6:00PM in Winters on all days except Thursdays and Public Holidays and the entry fee for Rs.5 for adults and Rs. 3 for Children, affordable by everyone. Chandigarh Administration has already taken safeguard measure, 4-5 policemen are always present at the premises and an interceptor keeps roaming around. Not only are the safety measures, even for cleanliness, Helpers allotted at almost every point. Since it’s an open space so scorching heat might be a problem, so the best time to visit is preferably evening, at least in summers. Since winters are pretty much normal in Chandigarh so sunny days will add more to the joy in Rock Garden.
Nek Chand’s marvelous work has been acknowledged even by the foreign dignitaries and BBC Channel as well. A documentary was made on the same.
It’s a matter of sad fact that such noble creator left us on June12, 2015. It’s more of a symbolic representation of how efficiently waste can be treated and what noble use it can be put to. All the monuments made from the scrap have been presented in an exhibition manner such that it’s a delight to eyes, always.
Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is unique and exquisite artwork is undoubtedly amazing. Entering here already feels like entering into a surreal fantasy world
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