Rock Garden, Chandigarh


Rock Garden, Chandigarh

The Rock Garden is a sculpture garden in Chandigarh, India. Spread over an area of forty-acre (160,000 m²), it is completely built of industrial & home waste and thrown-away items.

Background

The Rock Garden project was secretly initiated by Nek Chand around 1957. It was discovered by the authorities in 1975, by which time it had grown into a twelve-acre complex of interlinked courtyards, each filled with hundreds of pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians, and animals. The authorities took over, and the garden was inaugurated as a public space in 1976. It is presently run by the Rock Garden Society.

The Garden

The Rock Garden is still made out of recycled materials. It is situated near Sukhna Lake. It consists of man-made interlinked waterfalls and many other sculptures that have been made of scrap & other kinds of wastes (bottles, glasses, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, electrical waste, etc) which are placed in walled paths.

This creation has even appeared on the Indian stamp in the year 1983.This magic garden is another attraction for travelers built by Nekchand, with multicoloured pieces of useless stones and other throwaway. In summer it is open from 9-13.00 hrs. and 15-19.00 hrs. From October to March, they are open from 9-13.00 hrs. and 14-18.00 hrs Location: This strange and whimsical garden is located in Sector 1 and is a premier tourist attraction.

Unique feature

The most powerful aspect of the gardens is that - thousands of animal or humanoid figures made out of discarded materials, which stand in rigid rows like silent static armies. It’s a series of interconnected rocky grottoes, walkways and landscaped waterfalls. All this demonstrates how urban and industrial waste can be fruitfully recycled and used in creative pursuit.

Creation

It is the creation of Nek chand, who began the project in the year 1958, while working as a roads inspector for Chandigarh’s Engineering Department. An unpretentious entrance leads to a magnificent, almost surrealist arrangement of rocks, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, broken and cast away glass bangles, coal and clay-all juxtaposed to create a dream folk world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. Since the site where the garden stands today was used as a dumping ground for urban and industrial waste, he picked up pieces of foundry limekiln and metal workshop wastes and shaped them with his creative genius. These pieces have been innovatively displayed as sculptures in the garden. An open-air theatre and a vast pavilion with a centre stage are the other highlights of the Rock Garden where art and culture blend amidst the rustic and exotic environs of the garden. Several prestigious performances have been staged in this small artistic and naturalistic open-air theatre. It has become almost a heritage site and visitors leave in admiration, only to return again. Artists and connoisseurs from all over the world flock to see this unique and amazing creation. It is without doubt, a tourist spot, which is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh.

Layout

The layout of the Garden is based on the fantasy of a lost kingdom. One has to pass through a variety of doorways, archways, vestibules, streets and lanes of different scales and dimensions, each one opening into a new array of displays or courtyards and chambers lending an air of suspense and curiosity at every corner, at every turn! During the Teej Festival, the Garden assumes a festive look, holding a special attraction for tourists. As one strolls through the Garden, enjoying the awe inspiring creation, one may find himself face to face with the unassuming artist Nek Chand himself, working at or supervising his 'kingdom'.

Gallery

External links

* [http://www.josephclarke.net/?p=20 Observations on the Rock Garden]

ee also

* Rock Garden, Darjeeling


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