Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is the work of a rare genius.  Only a Nek Chand could have created such beauty from sheer waste.  All kinds of waste from pieces of broken bangles and porcelain articles to boulders and electric sockets are made efficient use of producing an aesthetic wonder.  

Nek Chand was not a trained artist.  Art was his hobby.  He spent his spare time creating works of art in a wasteland he cleared in Chandigarh.  As his work progressed and drew the attention of people, the government was in a conundrum.  How to destroy such exceptional artwork merely because it was built up on land belonging to the government?  Good sense prevailed (strangely!) and Nek Chand was given not only the permission but also regular employment with helpers to assist so that he could create the paradise in the semi-desert that Chandigarh is.

Below are some pictures from my recent visit to the Rock Garden.

Rocks welcome you


Nek Chand was not only an artist, but he had certain engineering skills too.  He observed the way the architects of Chandigarh built the well planned city and adapted many engineering feats in order to give shape to some of the intricate structures in the Rock Garden. 






Even the amphitheatre is created out of waste materials

As I sat in the amphitheatre, with Maggie beside me sipping fresh fruit juice to quench the dehydration produced by Chandigarh's merciless sun, I thought why there were so few Nek Chands in the world.  Nek Chand was a man with an obsession, or a passion.  I think all of us have our own obsessions or passions.  But why has money become the single or dominant obsession today?  Does capitalism inevitably make people greedy?  Does capitalism strip people of their nobler passions?  


Will a time come when the human species will evolve qualitatively?  As Bernard Shaw imagined in his superman?  Towards Teilhard de Chardin's Divine Milieu?  

Nek Chand's Rock Garden gave me some weird dreams.

29 comments:

  1. Weird Dreams :)
    Not that I speak from experience, but they say that it is those who believe weird/impossible dreams are possible, who make impossible possible - or something like that.
    I visited Rock Garden once. And it is on my list of places my children have to visit. It truly is a special place.

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    1. Everyone should visit the Rock Garden at least once, I think. We may be inspired in many ways.

      Dreams, yes; they do matter much.

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    1. Go ahead and visit the place, Paresh. Avoid summer; 49 degrees won't be the ideal temperature! Rock Garden is near to the Sukhna Lake, another beautiful place - I couldn't savour the beauty of the Lake since I left the Garden only at 8 pm when it was going to be closed.

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  3. Wowwww....God bless Nek Chand's soul...wonderful work of art....:-)

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    1. People like Nek Chand are the really blessed souls, Isaac.

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  4. Brilliant! There is so much of character to this place.. :)

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    1. Character, you said it. That's why I said "rare genius". This is something exceptional people think of.

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  5. I went to the Rock Garden in 1995. This post took me back to the time when as a kid on summer vacation, our parents took us to Chandigarh and Shimla! Rock garden is truly amazing - it depicts the power of passion! Parul :)

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    1. There's much info about Nek Chand in the Chandigarh Museum too. An aerial view of the Garden is given in the museum and it looks amazing. The photo I clicked in the museum didn't come out well :(

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  6. Nice place..hope to visit sometime..:)

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    1. Plan for the next winter or any season except summer.

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  7. Shila yugathile shilakalkkuellam, chiraku mulachirinnu...chilangakettiya swapnangalkkum chiraku mulachirinnu...by Vayalar is actualized by Nek Chand. go to you tube ..search for songs from film omana malayalam. you can experience the video

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    1. You're quite a romantic, Babychetta. I used to call Vayalar the revolutionary of romance.

      Thanks for the you-tube reference.

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  8. Replies
    1. Indeed. The place can fill one with wonder.

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    2. Indeed. The place can fill one with wonder.

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  9. Thanks for this insightful post. Beautiful place and your awesome adds to that beauty.

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  10. Really one of the places i have to visit... Have heard a lot about it..
    Good work by Nek Chand.

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    1. It's worth a visit, I assure you. I spent a hot summer evening there and found it enticing. The other seasons would be bewitching.

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  11. Well that is amazing...another absolutely my kind of a place

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    1. Easy to reach, Ritesh. Make it some day.

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  12. Memories bring smiles on our face.This is one of those memories.Had been to Rock garden few years back.Great art work from waste by Nek Chand.
    http://www.srikri.com/

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  13. Thanks for sharing your visit experience. I really liked your post. A living monument to Picasso’s adage “Everything you can imagine is real”, the breathtaking garden is a place of superlatives. Designed and established on a conserved land, it was the creator and artist Nek Chand’s own secret garden that he worked on in his spare time, beginning 1957, and it was about 2 decades before anyone discovered its existence. Check out more about Chandigarh Rock Garden also.

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