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Tuesday, July 23

Rock Garden, Chandigarh

Rock Garden, Chandigarh has an eminent and incomparable world-famous Garden known for its unique form of art. If you are a traveller to ‘The City Beautiful’ you probably would like to go to sector no. 1 just nearby Chandigarh’s famous artificial lake ‘Sukhna Lake’ and the UT capitol complex to experience this unique work of art.
Rock Garden Foundation Stone
The big rock that welcomes
its visitors. (click to enlarge)

This garden is spread around 20 acres and houses a miniature labyrinth, open air theatre, exhibition hall, a souvenir shop and all these tout ensemble join this beautiful garden. The height of the entrance door or opening into this garden is considerably low so you probably you would have to bow down when you get in. This reminds of the respect expressed when one enters a sanctum or some consecrated place.

Statues of Rock Garden
Statues of Rock Garden
Rock Garden consists of objects of art made from various waste like from ceramic tiles, sanitary wares, Indian glass bangles, fluorescent tube lights, coal, clay pots, concrete, irregular rock forms and many other common waste materials. 
All these materials are beautifully and artistically positioned to make various forms like irregular statues of soldiers, women folk, a village, and statues of religious deity, palaces and fantasy art forms. The miniature size waterfall seems to add glam to the area but my recent visit really turned me off when I saw the rock surfaces all covered with green algae and slime. The water that runs down had foul smell and was contaminated; the same was the case with almost all the water bodies around the garden.

Nek Chand Saini – The Man behind the Rock Garden, used to
Nek Chand Saini
(google images)
work as a Road Inspector in Chandigarh.
 Nek Chand’s brief history:
In 1924 - Born in Barian Kalan (now in Pakistan)
In 1947 - His family moved to India after the Pakistan-India partition
In 1958 - Collected stones and waste materials and worked alone in secrecy, creating about 2,000 statues
In 1972 – Rock Garden was discovered
In 1976 – Official inauguration (Phase 1 & 2)
In 1980 – Nek Chand was Awarded Grande Medaille de Vermeil, Paris, France
In 1983 - First waterfall was opened
In 1984 – Nek Chand was awarded the Padma Shri (Fourth highest civilian award in Republic India) by the Indian Prime Minister
In 1993 - Phase 3 opens

Nek Chand has his future plans and expansion is growing dynamically. With immense support from the Govt. of Chandigarh and the people, He believes this was the cause that led to the existence of this unique garden. He mentions “THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO.”
Rock Garden attracts a good number of domestic tourists from all around the country. Even foreign tourists who pay a visit to Chandigarh would unquestionably visit this magnificent garden at all costs. People from all walks of life, young and old, love their visit to this garden. As a matter of fact, Rock Garden is like the most wonderful drawing card in ‘The City Beautiful.’


The current ticket rate is Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 5 for children.
Ticket counter at Rock Garden Chandigarh
Ticket Counter
There are two ticket counters that open from the inside. I could see green algae forming big mosaic like patterns throughout the wall, which really is a negative stimulation. I really liked the placing of boards at strategic places; that will help anyone who can understand English Language, to know about this garden. As you walk into the garden you will probably find a number of earthen pots joined together and juxtaposed to form a very new form of art. The biggest pots are placed at the bottom while the smallest goes at the top. Nek Chand have used cement to join them.

What actually turned me off was the foul smelling contaminated water bodies. Almost all of them - small waterbodies and waterfall had the presence of green algae, waste matter and
Dirt and algae filled water
Dirt and algae filled water
seemed to serve as a breeding ground for female mosquitoes. I wonder how do they manage or clean the mess, and the frequency of how many times they clean in a year. All this time, they had been charging from its visitors, they should repay them back properly. To be straightforward it has deteriorated when it comes to hygiene, recreational activities and upkeep. I'm probably comparing with how it used to look a few years back.

The garden also houses aquariums and laughing mirrors. The hall was a little dark even
Aquarium inside the Rock Garden
during daytime, I wish there could be more light in there. There were about five to six different types of unique mirrors that if stood before it would make you smile, laugh or even amuse you. Some mirrors elongate your upper body and shortens your lower body, some fattens your face, some makes your face oval and many other exciting reflections.

The more we go inside of the garden we can see an open air exhibition theatre. There are seating galleries made from the same sanitary ware ceramics, broken tiles and other waste material. There is a mini-train that circles around that specific area. I could see the frequency of people getting this ride was really pretty impressive.

Parking and accessibility is not a problem. There is enough space for both four-wheeler and two-wheeler parking. For those visitors who choose other means of transport there are CITCO buses, prepaid auto booth is nearby for auto-rickshaw hire, cycle rickshaws and local buses as well.

Below given is are a collection of a few pictures from Rock Garden, Chandigarh. I believe these will give you a tell-tale of what actually it is and what changes have occurred over the time.

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