Located in sector 1 of the beautiful city Chandigarh, The Rock Garden has been designed as an open-air exhibition hall using urban and industrial wastes by Nek Chand, a former Road Inspector in Chandigarh. Also known as Neck Chand's Rock Garden, this massive 40-acre garden is a colourful mosaic of art pieces and sculptures made from industrial and home waste. The Rock garden was built in the year 1957 by officer Nek Chand single-handedly in his spare time and has become a long-standing symbol of imagination and novelty in the city. Having a total of about 5,000 statues within its bounds, the Rock Garden is one of the prime attractions of Chandigarh and is a must visit.
The Rock Garden area is divided into three different phases which have different types of installations and embellishments in them. Phase one is a labyrinth of terracotta pots, chambers and niches that have been decorated with tiles, mirrors, broken bangles, tube light pieces and even toilet fixtures. Statues of various animal, birds and human figures made out of an array of waste matter are installed here. The second phase of the Rock Garden has a huge waterfall and is a major crowd puller in the garden. Amphitheatres, courtyards and intricate pathways are the primary characteristics of this phase, which includes a miniature village as well. Many cultural programmes are held here during various months of the year. Lastly, the third phase is where life size statues of elephants and camels are being installed.
Nek Chand started building the Rock Garden secretly near Sukhna Lake in the year 1957. It was based on his vision of the divine kingdom of Sukarni. He would collect waste materials from around the city in his spare time and use them to build structures on a forest buffer land which had been rendered infertile. His work continued for 18 years and spread over 12 acres through a complex of interlinked courtyards. Although his work was illegal, he managed to hide it from the authorities until it was discovered by the authorities in 1975. Rock Garden faced the danger of being demolished on the grounds of being illegal but was saved by popular public opinion. Nek Chand was then put in charge of the park and given a team of 50 labourers to work on his project. The park was opened to the public in 1976 and today is visited daily by around 5,000 people.
Rock Garden consists of man-made interlinked waterfalls and many other sculptures that have been made of scrap and other kinds of wastes (bottles, glasses, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, electrical waste, etc.) which are placed in the walled paths. The sculptures are mainly made from recycled ceramic. In this garden, you'll find ways of being innovative that will make you sigh "Why didn't I think of it?"
Every year, Chandigarh's Rock Garden plays host to the festival of Teej which is celebrated here with great vigour. This festival is a celebration of the monsoon and is primarily celebrated by the women of the house. Dressed up beautifully, these women adorn beautiful henna designs on their palms. Various cultural programmes such as singing, dancing are held here for one and all to enjoy. Giant decorative wings are a special attraction during this festival. Teej celebrations in the Rock Garden bind the community with a sense of harmony and mutual well - being.
You can visit the garden all year round. Summers are relatively hot so can be avoided.
The rock garden is situated at Uttar Marg in Sector 1, 1.5 km from Sukhna Lake if you are travelling by cab. Buses and auto rickshaws are also easily available.
1. Try to visit this destination during the colder parts of the day.
2. Do not litter the premises.
3. Rock Garden should be visited with kids to give them an idea about the uses of what we consider as waste.It would definitely help to ignite their creativity.
4. The waterfall area in the garden is particularly good for photo shoots.
5. There is a lack of good food joints inside the park.
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