Gardens are always a place to spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones. Chandigarh is a city known for its greenery and even though The Rock Garden Chandigarh is not a garden in the true sense of the word but it is a unique world of small and narrow paths, with dolls and statues of rocks, and even a man-made waterfall.
Amongst the best places to visit in Chandigarh, Rock garden has established its name for a long time. The place is a favorite of tourists as well as the residents of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula and you can venture through this entire right-out-of-a novel scenario in the very own City beautiful.
A humble road inspector is the king of this dreamlike fantasy. Famously known as the creator of Rock Garden, Nek Chand was a simple local transport official who gave his heart and soul in giving Chandigarh a treasure to cherish forever. He transformed this barren place into what is today known as Nek Chand Rock Garden.
1. All about the Creator of Rock Garden:
When the city beautiful was transforming, Nek Chand (1924-2015) started working on the imagination of designing the land of rocks and pebbles. He kept his work secret and managed to establish an iconic garden which is spread over an area of 40 acres. Besides being a government worker with many responsibilities, the creator of Rock Garden spent almost 20 years personally in creating this place!
A self-taught Indian artist Nek Chand began his work in the year 1957, by collecting debris, stones, and other discarded junk from the nearby villages. After attaining all these, he transformed these items by undergoing a rigorous process of recycling which was not an easy task, especially in those days.
He used to travel to Sukhna lake to make sure whether his effective recycling is working or not. Over time, he created a world of more than 2000 sculptures, from the demolished waste material around the city. A true feat of strength!
2. Rock Garden Chandigarh – Story Behind The Scenes
Nek Chand’s love for gardens helped him to utilize his free time. He made this entire land of debris into a land of heritage with his best friend; his bicycle.
In search of material for his creation, his two-wheeled friend roamed with him through all weather conditions, even to the hillsides. The distance was never a matter for both of them as on some days they used to travel more than 20 kilometers, in search of stones and debris!
And later Nek Chand would transform them into his own figments of imagination by working on his dreams in those hours when the people of the city were in their own dreams.
3. Rock Garden History- Initial Resistance from the Authorities:
Great art always faces resistance from mediocre minds. And so it was with Rock Garden Chandigarh.
Not everyone can appreciate art and nature and the same happened when the secret land of Nek Chand came under the eyes of the Government authorities. For a long time (18 years, to be precise), Nek Chand managed to keep his work a secret, but when it was discovered, it was not supported by the local authorities. The secret of this mystic complex of 12-acre with interlinked courtyards, hundreds of concrete sculptures of various dancers, musicians and animals came as a surprise to the locals too. Thus, the Rock Garden history has seen it go through a lot of problems.
The work and dedication shown by him were not to please anyone but an example of how dreams and art can be given life. His art was not appreciated by most people at that time and at one point it was even decided that the Rock Garden Chandigarh be completely destroyed. However, with the support from the public, it survived that low phase and the rest is history! Today, Rock Garden Chandigarh is proudly known as one of the best places to visit in Chandigarh.
4. Rock Garden Chandigarh; the Official Inauguration
Rock Garden was successfully inaugurated in the year 1976 and was opened to the public. With a team of fifty laborers and head Mr. Nek Chand, the work was taken towards scaling new heights and after that, the journey of this amazing land of art did not stop.
But the place kept going through many phases of difficulties. Even after getting the support and funds from the authorities, in the year 1996 Chand was forced to leave his beloved garden.
With a vision of spreading his art to various people, he went on a lecture tour. Even after so many problems, the funding for Rock Garden, Chandigarh was stopped. His artwork and dedication were then backed by various societies across the world. Today, Rock Garden Chandigarh location is boosted with the beautiful surrounding, the artwork, Sukhna Lake at a walking distance and loads of tourist.
5. Rock Garden – one of the best Heritage sites of Chandigarh
The brilliantly crafted sculptures in the Rock Garden Chandigarh location are made with the use of material like sinks, bottles, ceramic pots, bangles, tiles, glasses, and electrical waste. The sculpture garden which was eventually named as one of the heritage sites of Chandigarh and a world famous place to visit is built with industrial and home waste and discarded items.
And if you think it is all that this place has, you are wrong. Not only handmade sculptures but this place is a home to many things. To add to the calmness of this place, there is a beautiful section with man-made linked waterfalls. The best Rock Garden images with friends and family can be captured in this section. It never stops to blow the minds of the people who visit this place from nearby or abroad.
6. Nek Chand Rock Garden; A few interesting facts
When you move deeper into this place, you will feel astonished by those small paths and alleys through the three segments this garden is divided into. With each phase, you shall come to know the power of creativity and how much we have in ourselves if we decide to start working on our dreams.
Years after his work bore fruit; his core ideas spread far off places. This has made the garden uphold its pride and essence as it still functions on recycling materials. There has been an establishment of many collection centers for collecting waste materials, not just around the city but also outside India.
With the sole purpose of taking forward the environmental legacy of his work, it is carried out by international volunteers, children from various schools and colleges, unskilled labourers and squads of soldiers who are sent to the Rock Garden so that they can learn techniques which are used in making mosaic sculpture gardens at Indian army bases.
One of the largest ever mosaic land, Nek Chand Rock Garden has been and will continue to be a common tourist spot. Its daily footfall is of around 5,000 people, with over 12 million people who have already visited this amazing place in Chandigarh.
Rock Garden Chandigarh Location:
The land of rocks is situated in the north of Chandigarh, Sector 4.
Rock Garden entry ticket:
- Adults – Rs. 30 per person
- Children – Rs.10 per child
Rock Garden Timings vary for the two seasons although it opens daily.
- Summers – 09:00 AM to 07:00 PM
- Winters – 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
A Few Concluding Words about the Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Rock Garden Chandigarh is known to every Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula resident and if you have still not visited this place, you might be missing clicking some beautiful Rock Garden images. If you are not a resident of Chandigarh, make sure this is in your list of top places to visit in Chandigarh.
And just to add to the endless list of creativity by Nek Chand, the stopover to this place is enhanced if you visit it after sunset. You will be taken aback by the beautiful nightlife and aura of this mystic land. This place is also the pride for women, as each year it celebrates the Teej festival as a respect to the female strata of our society.
So what are you waiting for, the garden is visited by over 5000 people every day! When will you be one of them?