Rock Garden of Chandigarh

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The rock garden or Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a Sculpture garden in Chandigarh, India, also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957. Today it is spread over an area of forty-acres (160,000 m²), it is completely built of industrial & home waste and thrown-away items.[1][2]

The garden is most famous for its sculptures made from recycled ceramic

It is situated near Sukhna Lake.[3] 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.[citation needed][4]

In his spare time, Chand began collecting materials from demolition sites around the city. He recycled these materials into his own vision of the divine kingdom of Sukrani, choosing a gorge in a forest near Sukhna Lake for his work. The gorge had been designated as a land conservancy, a forest buffer established in 1902 that nothing could be built on. Chand’s work was illegal, but he was able to hide it for eighteen years before it was discovered by the authorities in 1975. By this time, it had grown into a 12-acre (49,000 m2) complex of interlinked courtyards, each filled with hundreds of pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians, and animals.[5]

His work was in serious danger of being demolished, but he was able to get public opinion on his side, and in 1976 the park was inaugurated as a public space. Nek Chand was given a salary, a title ("Sub-Divisional Engineer, Rock Garden"), and a workforce of 50 laborers so that he could concentrate full-time on his work. It even appeared on an Indian stamp in 1983.[6] The Rock Garden is still made out of recycled materials; and with the government’s help, Chand was able to set up collection centers around the city for waste, especially rags and broken ceramics.[7][8]

When Chand left the country on a lecture tour in 1996, the city withdrew its funding, and vandals attacked the park. The Rock Garden Society took over the administration and upkeep of this unique visionary environment.[9]

The garden is visited by over five thousand people daily, with a total of more than twelve million visitors since its inception.[10]


Further reading[edit]

  • Nek Chand's outsider art: the rock garden of Chandigarh, by Lucienne Peiry, John Maizels, Philippe Lespinasse, Nek Chand. Published by Flammarion, 2006. ISBN 2-08-030518-2.
  • The Collection, the Ruin and the Theatre: Architecture, sculpture and landscape in Nek Chand's Rock Garden, by Soumyen Bandyopadhyay and Iain Jackson. Liverpool University Press, 2007. ISBN 1-84631-120-9.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nek Chand Rock Garden Sublime spaces & visionary worlds: built environments of vernacular artists, by Leslie Umberger, Erika Lee Doss, Ruth DeYoung (CON) Kohler, Lisa (CON) Stone, Jane (CON) Bianco. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. ISBN 1-56898-728-5. Page 319-Page 322.
  2. ^ "Night tourism to light up ‘rocks’". The Times of India. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Working wealth out of waste". 
  4. ^ "Chandigarh, the City Beautiful: Environmental Profile of a Modern Indian City". 
  5. ^ "Picturing South Asian Culture in English: Textual and Visual Representations". 
  6. ^ "Pak scribes tour city, visit Rock Garden". 
  7. ^ "'Pricey' weddings at Rock Garden". 
  8. ^ "Chandigarh Rock Garden to get a face-lift". 
  9. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Tourism Resources in India, Volume 1". 
  10. ^ "Discover India by Rail". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°45′07″N 76°48′25″E / 30.752°N 76.807°E / 30.752; 76.807