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A Visit To The Rock Garden In Chandigarh

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

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About The Rock Garden In Chandigarh

The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is a very famous and popular tourist attraction for visitors to Chandigarh city. Spread over an area of about 40 acres in a former jungle area, the rock garden is essentially a sculpture garden but made by using trash in the form of household and industrial waste products like used bottles, broken ceramic tiles, bangles, glass, china, electrical fittings, pots, sanitary ware and crockery; scrap metal wires, fused tube lights, lime kiln waste, discarded metal frames, handle bars, human hair, stones, pebbles, old tires etc.

The Rock Garden can rightfully be called a green garden as products that could have easily been thrown away as junk and useless were put to constructive use instead of letting them cause environmental clutter and pollution.


The entire garden is made up of large courtyards of mosaic and are linked to each other by high and low paths surrounded by high rise walls and deep gorges. There are a number of huge buildings interlinked with an amazing number of waterfalls, thousands of sculptures of various shapes and sizes.

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History Of The Rock Garden

The Rock Garden is a creation of the great visionary and self taught artist, Nek Chand Saini who was a government road inspector in Chandigarh city, way back in the 1950s.

It all started when in 1957, Nek Chand started building this garden secretly by collecting waste and scrap material himself by moving about on his bicycle. He worked at night sculpting various figurines. All this work was carried out in a gorge in an jungle area, located close to where the Sukhna lake is today, for fear of detection by the government authorities as the land was one that was excluded from development being in a forest area.

For almost 18 years Nek Chand toiled, by day in his job and by night in his passion, relentessly working on his dream project almost single handedly. In 1975, the local government officials discovered what he had been up to but by that time the rock garden had encroached on about 12 acres of forest reserve land with about 2000 sculptures of animals, birds, dancers musicians etc. Nek Chand had built a fantasy world of palaces, pavilions and other structures depicting Indian village life.

The government officials were in a quandary as by law the entire structure needed to be razed down being created on a land designated as a forest conservatory with no permission for construction purposes.

However, public opinion favored retention of the now built Rock Garden when people flocked to visit this creation and were enchanted with it. The government machinery had no option but to bow down to public pressure and relent. The Rock Garden was then formally announced public property and was opened to the public.
Nek Chand was promoted from his erstwhile post, made the Sub Division Engineer of the Rock Garden and given 50 workers to complete the garden.

Today, the Rock Garden is Chandigarh city's chief tourist attraction. It is not home to roses or other flowers; instead it is a garden of art.

The Rock Garden is now acnowledged as one of the modern wonders of the world. It attracts about 5000 visitors everyday. It is open daily from 9 AM to 7 PM in summer (1 April to 30 September) and from 9 AM to 6 PM in winter (1 October to 31 March).

It is located in Sector 1 almost adjacent to Sukhna Lake, another popular tourist attraction.

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About Nek Chand

Nek Chand was awarded the Padam Shri (equivalent of a British knighthood) in 1984 by the Indian government. One of his sculptures appeared on an Indian postage stamp. International praise and recognition has also been lavishly showered on the humble Nek Chand.

He was awarded the Grande Medaille de Vermeil in Paris in 1980. He has received hundreds of awards.

Nek Chand was requested to construct a garden at the children's Museum, Washington DC, by Ann Lewis, the Director of the museum.

Nek Chand's figurines have been installed in various museums around the world like:

  • The Capitol Children's Museum, in Washington DC.
  • The american Folk Art museum, in New York.
  • The main entrance to the Collection de l'art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, in Winconsin USA.

Nek chand has been given honorary citizenship of various countries. He has also built another rock garden in Kerala, a state in South India.

Nek Chand foundation is a registered charity formed in 1997 with the aim to support Nek Chand's work and raise awareness of Nek Chand's work worldwide. A volunteer work is also underway with the foundation. more details can be had from www.nekchand.com

The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is a must see for all visitors to Chandigarh.

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All dividers used in this hub are from www.clipart.uk

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Please Rate This Hub. Thanks.

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My other hubs on tourist attractions in India

  • A Visit To The Golden Temple In Amritsar, India
    Golden Temple Of Amritsar, Harmandir sahib or Darbar sahib is a very important pilgrimage destination for the Sikhs all over the world. To know more about this historical Sikh temple, read on...
  • A Visit To Gurudwara Bangla Sahib - New Delhi, India
    Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is a Sikh temple of historical significance. Much revered for the healing powers of the sarovar in the gurudwara, this Sikh temple is visited by devotees and visitors from far and wide. To learn more about this much revered gur
  • Top Tourist Attractions In Mumbai With Photos : Instalment One
    Mumbai, the city of dreams has innumerable tourist attractions for visitors to the city. This article series gives you an insight into these tourist spots with photos as well as the history behind them. Read on...
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A Personal Visit To The Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India, on 10 November 2012

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© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 30, 2017:

Creating something as massive and visually appealing as the Rock Garden from waste was a Herculean task which could only be achieved by someone who is graced by the Supreme Creator and consumed by his dream. It was literally a one man project. You are lucky to have met the great man.

Shaloo Walia from India on June 29, 2017:

Rock Garden is the pride of Chandigarh. I met Nekchand ji once in Rock Garden and spent some time with him at his office. He was the most humble person I have ever met.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 02, 2016:

sumitpatial, yes of course.

Sumit Patial from Chandigarh on November 27, 2016:

nice place in chandigarh....................

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 03, 2014:

Kalai, you are absolutely right. It is an amazing work of creativity. Glad you could see it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Kalaichelvi Panchalingam from PETALING JAYA on April 30, 2014:

I have been to this place. We we returning from Shimla and had a stop over here. It was amazing. The art and creativity that went into the park was astounding. Loved it.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 18, 2014:

Rochelle, I agree we need visionaries with the drive to carry out their vision to fruition. Thanks for stopping by.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on April 17, 2014:

What an inspired and inspiring place he has created. We need ot have more people in this world with such a vision-- and the determination to make a vision a reality. Thanks for sharing this.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 23, 2013:

Thanks, Leena.

Leena from new delhi on September 20, 2013:

The pictures and information is very helpful for anyone wanting to visit.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 19, 2013:

Glad you like the information about the Rock Garden. Thanks for appreciating and it good to see you again. Thank you.

Have a great weekend, Purvis.

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 18, 2013:

Hi,

This is one of the most amazing hub I've read so far, and how you introduced and added to it with your photos, makes an award winning one in my book. Your country has the most beautiful places and thanks you for sharing them with us.

Have a great day.

Bobbi Purvis

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 27, 2013:

moonlake, glad you liked the virtual tour of the rock garden. Thanks for visiting.

moonlake from America on July 26, 2013:

Very interesting hub and enjoyed your photos. Wished I could someday see it. Voted up.

Steve O on July 16, 2013:

That first picture looks like an elephant taking a dump between another elephant's back legs.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 15, 2013:

Thanks and I'm sure you must have enjoyed your visit. Thanks for sharing the hub.

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on May 15, 2013:

Rajan, I have been to Rock Garden in Chandigarh and found it very beautiful. Voting it up and sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 07, 2013:

Hi Avneet,

Since you stay in Chandigarh you must know all about the Rock garden. We make try to visit this when we are in Chandigarh. I'm glad you like the write up.

Thanks for giving the hub a read and vote up.

Avneet kaur Sidhu from Chandigarh on May 05, 2013:

Good Morning rajan jolly. Yes, Rock Garden in Chandigarh is very beautiful - its an example of magnificent artwork. You have posted great photographs... Great job!! Voted up!!!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 03, 2013:

Thanks Au fait. A personal visit is very satisfying. Thanks for sharing too.

C E Clark from North Texas on February 02, 2013:

So glad his work wasn't bull dozed when it was discovered! Your photos are very interesting and beautiful. Voting you up, and BI. Will share!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 14, 2013:

Glad you like this information. Thanks Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 12, 2013:

It is good to explore the country you live in and learn more as well, it has many beautiful features.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 18, 2012:

I'm glad you like this armchair visit to the rock garden. Thanks for stopping by.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 18, 2012:

I feel like I just went on a great adventure. Thank you for all of the fabulous photos helping readers to enjoy the garden - if not in person, then virtually. The garden is so pristine, I guess it is due to the cute little reminder of the trash can with the words, "Use Me" scripted on it.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 16, 2012:

Millionaire Tips, the rock garden visit is a fascinating experience indeed! But for the creativity of Nek Chand and the public support we would have been deprived of watching this magnificent creation. I'm glad you like it. Thanks.

Shasta Matova from USA on December 16, 2012:

This does look like a very interesting place to visit. What a fascinating story about its creations. I am glad that he got the public support and was able to keep the sculptures. I especially liked all of the figurines, especially the ones made out of bangles. Voted up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 02, 2012:

Paticia, it is indeed a very educative and inspiring place whenever I visit it. It was fun visiting once more as Nekchand keeps on adding newer things to the rock garden. Once inside the entire atmosphere is of being in tranquil nature. I appreciate your sparing time to read and leave such beautiful comments. Thank you so much.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 02, 2012:

How clever this is....what a wonderful way to use things that could have cluttered up our world. This was so interesting and sounds like a place that anyone would enjoy visiting. It is so inspiring to see that people have the foresight to reuse rather than add to the environmental pollution. Sending angels your way. :) ps

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 20, 2012:

Glad you liked this visit dinkan. Thanks for sharing.

dinkan53 from India on November 20, 2012:

Happy to know and watch the beautiful places in India. Thanks for sharing this wonderful hub. Voted and shared.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 17, 2012:

@ Prasetio - Nice to know you enjoy reading these travel hubs. Thanks for the votes and visit.

@ GTF - I'm glad you like the info about the rock garden. Yes, it is a very attractive retreat for kids. Thanks for coming by.

Claudia Mitchell on November 17, 2012:

What a fun and fascinating place this would be to visit. My daughter would love it too. Thanks for another interesting hub!

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 16, 2012:

Beautiful, brother. I really enjoy your writing style. Very informative hub and I love traveling topic. Nice picture and you deserve to get my vote (useful, interesting, awesome, beautiful). Have a good day!

Prasetio

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 16, 2012:

Thanks for the appreciation Christy! Glad you liked the info. Thanks.

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on November 15, 2012:

What a neat place. I like how well-organized your hubs are Rajan. Pleased to be able to read one today :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 14, 2012:

@ sarovai - thanks for your visit, observations and comments.

@ Debby - Glad you like the info, pictures and the video. It is an awesome feat for someone with no artistic learning. But I guess inclination is more useful than learning here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 14, 2012:

@ tillsontitan - a firm resolve and hard wok can do the impossible and Nek Chand had these two attributes in good measure. We are lucky to have been able to view his awesome creativity. Thanks for visiting, giving votes and appreciating the hub.

@ Peggy - We need to thank Nek chand as well as the public opinion going in his favor due to his exceptional talent to create something worthwhile from waste. Indeed the Rock Garden is worth a personal visit to truly appreciate its beauty and magnificence.

Thanks for being here and for the votes and sharing.

@ rebecca - well, I agree. I'm glad to have your appreciation and thanks for visiting.

@ Happyboomernurse - Gail, I do hope you visit these museums to see them since they are so near to your home. glad you like the information. Thanks for coming by, for all the votes, the 5 star rating, sharing the hub and the good wishes. Very much appreciated.

Debby Bruck on November 14, 2012:

This is So cool Rajan. What a feat for someone to accomplish. Thanks for sharing all these colorful photographs and video. Nek Chand needed to create and create and let the world see his shapes, colors, forms, patterns and designs. Monumental artwork installation from his imagination. Blessings, Debby

sarovai on November 14, 2012:

Passion, Patience pays. Creation of Rock Garden really a great thing to be remembered all over the world. I see 5000 visitors in a day is small amount. But Hope Rajan Jolly has given more light about this , may create enough popularity.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 14, 2012:

Wow!!!! I loved reading about the talented visionary artist, Nek Chand Saini, and the rock garden that he built in Chandigarh.

The story of how he toiled in secret for many years building it on government grounds that were meant to be a forest reserve showed a determination that was amazing. And it was great that there was a happy ending.

I was happy to hear that some of his figurines are in American Museums which are within driving distance from my home.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful hub.

Gave it 5 stars, voted up across the board except for funny, and shared.

Good luck in the Rigorous Review Contest. This hub would surely be deserving of a win.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 14, 2012:

How very interesting this guy Ned is. He is a bit of a Johnny Appleseed sounding character. Thanks for another great 'armchair trip', rajan!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 14, 2012:

Thank you so very much for introducing this fabulous Rock Garden in Chandigarh to us. So glad that the government agreed to let the creations of Nek Chand Saini remain and even be expanded upon. It is incredible and pays homage to the idea of recycling things in an artistic manner. Many up votes and definitely sharing.

Mary Craig from New York on November 14, 2012:

Simply beautiful! This 'rock' garden shows what one can do with a little love, a lot of dedication, and a lot of hard work! Thank goodness the government decided to keep these wonderful works and opened it to the public. Your photos are fantastic, showing the imagination and creativity of this man.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 14, 2012:

Thanks Eddy. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for the vote and share.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 14, 2012:

A wonderful hub and thank you for sharing rajan ;I vote across board and share.

Eddy.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 13, 2012:

@ Rich - Thank you for giving the hub a read and for the appreciative comments. Your comments are truly valued and the visit much appreciated.

@ Deborah - Thanks you very much as well. your comments are appreciated from the heart and it's always a pleasure to see you here.

Deborah from Las Vegas on November 13, 2012:

Rajan, this hub rocks! Get it? Your hubs are so interesting, I look forward to them. This is really interesting and well written. Nek Chand was a suppressed artist that won because of the people who loved is art. What a beautiful story. Thanks!

Rich from Kentucky on November 13, 2012:

Rajan - What a beautiful creation! The pictures you supplied are great, but the video really helps to add scale to the size of the place. To imagine someone working to create this in secret is amazing. Thank goodness the public enjoyed it and kept the government from scraping the whole thing. Great job, my friend!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 13, 2012:

@ Rema - Am glad you gained useful info from this hub. Many thanks for reading and sharing. Much appreciated.

@ flashmakeit - Indeed Nek Chand spent his time most fruitfully and has left a lasting legacy for his numerous fans. Thanks for being here.

@ Mike - thank you for reading and of course sharing too. Yes Nek Chand spent a lot of time doing hard labor and it is heatening his work was appreciated on so many levels.

@ sid - thanks for your feedback. appreciate your visit.

@ shiningirisheyes - I believe you are right. In a way what he did then is very much the way to go now and we probably need to learn a lot from him. Many thanks for coming by.

@ bizwin - I do hope you get this opportunity to visit the rock garden. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Carol - Many thanks for coming by and am glad you ike the information. Thank you.

@ thumbi - thanks for reading. I'm glad you like the info. Thanks for sharing also.

@ Bill - thanks for coming by. Appreciate it.

@ Sheila - Yes certainly Nek Chand is a gifted man and a visionary in going green at the time. We need to emulate him in going green today. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Doodlehead - thanks for your views. Indeed, innovation needs to be appreciated on all levels. Thanks for stopping by.

@ Aurelio - thanks for appreciating and sharing.

Doodlehead from Northern California on November 12, 2012:

I found this a very interesting story knowing that regular people in other countries than mine are prevented from simply expressing their joy of living in the nearby nature area where there are so few people it took 18 years for him to be found out and when he was there was a commotion about it.

Governments everywhere want to stifle freedom of expression. It is really wonderful that the government listened to the people and so cool that this guy became the caretaker or whatever.

Fun and fascinating hub.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on November 12, 2012:

This is very interesting hub! I love all the ways he used rock and broken pottery for his designs. Not only was he "green" , but so talented as well. I am glad he finally was appreciated for his talent. Voted up and interesting! :)

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on November 12, 2012:

Rajan, looks fascinating. Would love to visit someday. Your photos are beautiful.

JR Krishna from India on November 12, 2012:

Sounds interesting..

Photos are lovely

Shared..

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on November 12, 2012:

You certainly went on a picture-taking spree at this rock garden, which is more properly called a recyclable garden. I'm glad the government decided to keep it because it's an excellent example of turning trash into something beautiful Voting this Up and Interesting. Shared.

carol stanley from Arizona on November 12, 2012:

I love the rocks..and all the information.. Can't write too much as the wifi may go off..Great hub as always.

Christabel Evans from England, UK on November 12, 2012:

Great hub. That is a very beautiful rock garden that I would love to visit. Nice sight.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on November 12, 2012:

It sounds as if the artist Nek Chand Saini was certainly ahead of his time when it comes to green recycling concepts. What an interesting way to put items to go use while so many are able to enjoy them.

Another lovely journey through your part of the world.

I thank you and am voting up.

sid76 on November 12, 2012:

Wonderful spot. I have visited couple of times!

Mike Robbers from London on November 12, 2012:

I had never heard of Rock Garden before this and find it absolutely incredible. The hours of dedicated labor that went into making this beautiful garden must be considerable.

thanks a lot Rajan, Voted up and shared

flashmakeit from usa on November 12, 2012:

Nek Chand was a busy man working all day. He really developed his own fantasy world. Vote up!

Rema T V from Chennai, India on November 12, 2012:

Beautiful hub Rajan. I have seen pictures of this rock garden earlier but did not get to read so many details about its making. What a great idea! And the lovely sculpted figurines made by Nek Chand are amazing!

Thank you for the knowledge. It's nice to learn something new from your hubs. Sharing this wonderful piece of information.

Cheers, Rema.