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|Places of Interest|
Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world-acclaimed Rock Garden. It consists of art objects, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector 1. It nestles amidst 20 acres of woods in the form of an open air exhibition hall, theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy land of art and landscape. It is without doubt, a tourist spot that is a must on the itinerary of every visitor to Chandigarh.
entrance leads to a magnificent, almost surrealist arrangement of
rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes,
broken and cast away glass bangles, building waste, coal and
clay-all juxtaposed to create a dream folk world of palaces,
soldiers, monkeys, village life, women and temples. The open air
sculptures and concealed gateways separating them are at places
enhanced by a waterfall, pools and an open air theatre with proper
stage setting. Several prestigious performances have been staged in
this small but very artistic and naturalistic open air theatre.
Rock Garden has become almost a heritage site. Artists and
connoisseurs from all over the world flock to see this unique and
amazing creation. The concept is daring, the appeal perennial.
Visitors leave in admiration, only to return again. The creator of
the Rock Garden, Nek Chand, was a Road Inspector in the Engineering
Department of Chandigarh Capital Project. He roamed the Shivalik
Foothills and picked up stones resembling bird, animal, human and
abstract forms. He brought them on his bicycle. The first seven
years (1958-65) were spent collecting natural material, urban and
industrial waste. Gradually his collection mounted to a staggering
twenty thousand rock forms of amazing beauty. These were deposited
around a hut which he had built for his work and contemplation. He
built the Rock Garden from this improvised hut which was located by
the side of a stream.
Since the site where Rock Garden stands today was also used as a dumping ground for urban and industrial waste, Nek Chand picked up pieces of foundry lime-kiln and metal workshop wastes and also shaped them with his creative genius, resembling human, animal or abstract forms. These pieces have been innovatively displayed as sculptures in the garden.
layout of the Garden is based on the fantasy of a lost kingdom. The
moment one enters the garden, the small entrance doors make the head
bow, not only create an ambience of royal grandeur but also impart
humbleness. One has to pass through a variety of doorways, archways,
vestibules, streets and lanes of different scales and dimensions,
each one opening into a new array of displays or courtyards and
chambers lending an air of suspense and curiosity at every corner,
at every turn !
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