Gardens for some people are special. From a very young age some people develop unexplainable love towards gardens and if you happen to be one amongst them who would love to go visiting the gardens around the city, well then the Rock Garden in Chandigarh is one garden which is a must visit.
The Rock Garden is a sculpture garden in Chandigarh and is also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden which is named after its founder Nek Chand. Nek Chand, who was a government official started the garden in secrecy during his leisure time in the year 1957. Spread across an area of 40 acres, it has sculptures made out of industrial and home wastes and discarded items.
PC: Ramnath Bhat
One can find sculptures made out of bottles, glasses, tiles, bangles, ceramic pots and electrical waste. Apart from the sculptures the garden also has man-made interlinked waterfalls.
Best Time To Visit The Rock Garden
The garden can be visited anytime during the year as the weather remains pleasant throughout the year; however, the summer months get relatively hot and many tourists walk away without visiting.
The Rock Garden is almost on its way to becoming a heritage site. The visitors who come here are from across the globe and they come in large numbers to see this unique creation. The concept is unique and leaves its visitors in admiration and they return again.
PC: Nagesh Kamath
The creator of the rock garden, Nek Chand who was a road inspector in the Engineering Department of the Chandigarh Capital Project, went around the Shivalik foothills and brought back stones which had resemblance to birds, animals, humans and abstract forms.
Nek Chand brought all these stones on his bicycle and went again collecting natural materials, urban and industrial wastes and along with time his collection increased and there were 20,000 beautiful rock forms. All his collections were deposited around a hut which he had built for his work and the Rock Garden was the final product out of a small hut located beside a stream.
The Rock Garden was a very secretive affair, until it was brought to light by one S.K. Sharma in the year 1973 who was the head of an Anti-malaria Party, who found the garden amidst the thick forest. Very soon the place was brought to the table of the Chandigarh Landscape Advisory Committee and it was suggested to preserve it as it was one of the most unusual. It was formally inaugurated in the year 1976.
The garden was designed on the lines of the fantasy of a lost kingdom. As one enters the garden a striking feature one would notice is the small entrance doors which make you to bow your head and pass through a variety of doorways, archways, streets and lanes which are different in scales and dimensions. Every opening has an array of new displays or courtyards and chambers which add on the elements of suspense and curiosity at every turn.
PC: Rishabh Mathur
The rock garden of chandigarh has a total of 14 different chambers which are set up like the forecourts housing the natural rock forms. The main court or Durbar is where the King's throne is found which is beautified with natural stone forms of gods and goddesses. A swimming pool for the queen can also be found.
As you move into the third stage of the garden, you will find a waterfall, an open air theatre, a village, overbridges, pavilions and many other areas which are meant for royal pleasure. The sculptures of the trees and their roots display a very powerful message to protect the trees.
Earlier, as one would walk through the garden enjoying the creation, one would find Nek Chand himself working at the gardens or trying out various methods to preserve the garden and its artifacts. He did this till the time of his death.
The garden is visited by more than five thousand people on an everyday basis and the number increases during the Teej festival organised in its premises which also makes it the second most popular location in the country apart from the Taj Mahal.