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Rock Garden of Chandigarh

A sculpture garden is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture, usually several permanently sited works in durable materials in landscaped surroundings. A sculpture garden may be private, owned by a museum and accessible freely or for a fee, or public and accessible to all. Some cities own large numbers of public sculptures, some of which they may present together in city parks. Exhibits range from individual, traditional sculptures to large site-specific installations. So today, let us have a look at the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, which is a rock sculpture garden in Chandigarh.

The rock garden or Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a Sculpture garden in Chandigarh, 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 and home waste and throw-away items. The garden is most famous for its sculptures made from recycled ceramic.

It is situated near Sukhna Lake. It consists of man-made interlinked waterfalls and many other sculptures that have been made of scrap and other kinds of wastes (bottles, glasses, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, electrical waste, etc.) which are placed in walled paths.

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.

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 labourers so that he could concentrate full-time on his work. It even appeared on an Indian stamp in 1983. The Rock Garden is still made out of recycled materials; and with the government’s help, Chand was able to set up collection centres around the city for waste, especially rags and broken ceramics.

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.

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

Other attractions around the Rock Garden.

Sukhna Lake: Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, India is an artificial lake at the foothills of the Himalayas, the Shivalik hills. This three km² rain fed lake was created in 1958 by damming the Sukhna Choe, a seasonal stream coming down from the Shivalik Hills. Originally, the seasonal flow entered the lake directly causing heavy siltation. To check the inflow of silt, 25.42 km² of land was acquired in the catchment area and put under vegetation. In 1974, the Choe was diverted and made to bypass the lake completely, the lake being fed by three siltation pots, minimising the entry of silt into the lake itself

Rose Garden: The city houses the largest rose garden in Asia. It also hosts annual rose festival, which is quite popular among local population.

Pinjore Gardens: Pinjore Gardens, also called Yadavindra Gardens, are 20 km (12 mi) from Chandigarh and 15 km (9 mi) from Panchkula, on the Chandigarh Shimla road. Taxis and buses ply regularly between Pinjore and Chandigarh. Pinjore lies on the foothills of the lower Shivalik ranges. The fascinating gardens in the Mughal style are one of the most popular picnic spots in the region. A mini zoo, plant nursery and Japanese garden, as well historic palaces and picnic lawns await tourists.

Museum and Art Gallery: Located in Sector 10, the museum and the combined art gallery is an interesting place to go to. Artefacts range from the Harrapan Period relics to the paintings and coins from different areas and time periods. The Art Gallery has good collections of ancient and modern Indian art. Fossils of the local dinosaurs found in the region are on show in the adjacent natural history museum. The buildings that the Museums and Art Gallery are housed in are attractive. The Chandigarh Museum, which is just next door, provides an interesting aspect on how Chandigarh was founded. It begins with the principles on which Chandigarh was built, selection of the Architects, the design for the people etc. The correspondence between the Punjabi officials overseeing the construction of the city, and the Federal Government in Delhi is fascinating, and well worth taking a few minutes to read.

Mohali cricket stadium: This is a lush green cricket stadium and people throng here in masses during the cricket matches, which the stadium hosts, on regular basis

Cactus Garden: Cactus Garden near Chandigarh, India is the largest succulent botanical garden of Asia. It is located at a distance of about 8 kms from the city of gardens. Situated in the heart of the city of Panchkula, it covers a total area of 7 acres. Cactus garden is known for its rare and endangered species of Indian succulents. You can spot nearly 3500 different kinds of species over there. Chandigarh Cactus Garden was set up in the year 1987. This unique garden consists of three green houses. It has been drawing more and more crowds every year, consisting not just of tourists, but botanists also.

So this is in short about the Rock Garden of Chandigarh.

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