What would you do if you have some broken electrical items? What about broken tiles? Bangles? Ceramic items? Bottles? Broken plastic pipes? How many of you think twice before throwing them to your thrash cans or dust bins? You may wonder how to put it to better use than just discarding it. Well, to know, you should visit Rock Garden in Chandigarh. Rock Garden has several sculptures, statues, structures made out of home and industrial wastes. Yes, you can see several structures made of broken bangles, tiles, bottles, pipes and all those items which you just throw away!
Bird from broken tiles
Rock Garden is spread over 25 acres of land. It has over 2500 statues of humans, birds and animals made out of the items that are usually disposed off. The garden also has several swings, few man made waterfalls, mini water streams, deep gorges, narrow paths that gives us the (short lived) impression of an adventurous trek, and so on.
People in a village!
A protected forest? 🙂
People watching a program?
The creative and innovative brain behind this absolutely wonderful garden is Nek Chand Saini. In fact, the story of the creation of Rock Garden itself is an interesting one. Nek Chand was one of many people who came to Chandigarh from Pakistan when the country was formed at the time of Indian Independence from the British. He joined Punjab State Public Works Department (PWD) in 1950, at a time when Chandigarh was being built by its architect Le Corbusier. Nek Chand used to look after the stores that had the material required for building a city. After his office hours, he used to collect the waste materials and broken items from several parts of the city, and make statues and sculptors out of it. To hide his hobby from the others, he chose a location that used to be the protected area near Sukhna Lake. Nobody wandered in that area since the area was protected. He was successful in hiding his absolutely wonderful work from the rest of the world for a good 18 years!!
Welcome board carved on a rock!
The work was finally discovered by the authorities in 1975! One section of the administration wanted all of the work to be destroyed, as the “construction” was illegal, and wanted Nek Chand to be dismissed from his job! However, when public became aware of the amazing work, they decided to stand by and support him. Owing to the enchanting work already done by him, and the public support, the authorities appointed him and 50 additional labourers to continue the beautiful work of art full time. It is the result of that wise decision that you see the wonderful Rock Garden today.
Well decorated pathways
Rock Garden also has several man made water falls that are formed through small water streams. The designs and the structures next to it adds to the beauty of the waterfall! The gentleness of the water in the falls, and the surrounding well maintained landscapes makes the waterfalls a favourite place in the Rock Garden.
One of the waterfalls
Bigger waterfalls from a distance!
There are few narrow paths along the Rock Garden that will make you think you are walking in the middle of two huge mountains. It may also make you wonder if there are going to be some landslides 🙂
Are these natural?
Roots of the trees also add to the beauty!
You can see several other building like structures throughout the Rock Garden. The external side of these buildings are always covered with the broken tiles. At some places, the whole landscape is designed so beautifully with the waste materials.
At the far end of the Rock Garden, you can find a huge open space that is used as a picnic spot by many of the visitors. You can find several children running around and playing in that area. This place is, sometimes, also used to host some private functions like weddings etc, and also some public gatherings. There are few small shops at one end which provide offer some snacks. At one end of the ground, you can also notice huge arches with long swings hanging from them.
If you are planning to visit Chandigarh, do plan to keep aside a couple of hours to visit marvelous and well maintained garden. The garden has everything to keep you busy: from the artwork, to statues and sculptures, to waterfalls, to picnic areas among many other things!
Closer look at the bigger waterfalls
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