With its foundation stone laid in 1952, Chandigarh became the first planned city of post-independent India. The city’s planning and architectural project were helmed by a French architect Le Corbusier. Today, after more than six decades, the city continues to stand tall with its well-planned roads, infrastructure, ample greenery, an impressive level of cleanliness, along with strict law and order situation. Chandigarh is also well-known for its bespoke Rock Garden that keeps art connoisseurs and environmentalists hooked to this place for its uniqueness and mind-blowing creativity of its creator Nek Chand. So, if you happen to be in northern India, don't forget to plan a trip to this environmental marvel of Chandigarh to revel in its beauty truly.
The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is a one-of-its-kind place in the world. Spread over 20 acres, the garden exhibits figurines, models and sculptures made out of rocks, boulders, porcelain, crockery, stoneware, discarded electrical appliances, tiles, broken bangles and even building waste. There are so many creative sculptures inside this garden that you can’t help but admire them. With dramatic Bollywood movie-like sets, waterfalls, big hanging swings and an open-air theatre, the Rock Garden is a perfect place for art enthusiasts and environmentalists.
One can spend a pleasant day here with family, friends and kids with ample offerings for everyone. From swings to food to splendid artwork that will allow you to learn, get inspired and marvel at this stunning garden - one can find many reasons to visit it.
The garden emphasizes the philosophy of recycle-reuse and how it is possible to create everything if one sets their mind to it. That’s how the creator of this garden, a government employee Nek Chand took forward this project. In the late 1950s, Chand started collecting abstract looking stones and creating structures out of them. He even collected junk and debris from around 50 villages, that were destroyed in order to build the city of Chandigarh. In 1976, the Rock Garden was inaugurated when some government officials discovered Chand’s artistic creations. The officials decided that the garden must be preserved in its natural form and kept away from any interference of architects and designers.
Every year during the month of July, August or September (also known as monsoon period), the Hindu festival of Teej, which is devoted to Goddess Parvati, is celebrated. During the festival, the Rock Garden is usually decked up like a bride. Several cultural activities and Punjabi dance performances such as gidda and bhangra are organized to spread the festive fervour. Food and henna stalls are also put up to attract more tourists during this period.
Interestingly, despite being a part of India, Chandigarh is unlike any other chaotic Indian city. At times, it can be quite a surprise that such a planned city could also be a part of India! So, if you are planning to visit this part of India, don’t forget to add the Rock Garden to your itinerary and make it a memorable trip to the environmental marvel of Chandigarh.
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