While in India, D and I were told that we should see the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. When I first heard of it I immediately thought of a flower-related rock garden since that is what is in my mom’s front yard. This rock garden is nothing of the sort. Rather, it is a very cool and interesting 10 hectare/25 acre outdoor sculpture museum. The garden and its artwork work was created solely by Nek Chand, a self-taught artist. He began to make sculptures in secret beginning in 1957. He found inspiration in the debris found during the construction of the city of Chandigarh. He utilized objects such as tiles, glass, ceramics, wires and the like. He scoured demolition sites and steadily formed art from all these recyclable items. Since the location he chose for his garden was on a protected conservatory (near Sukhna Lake), what he was doing was illegal. As a result, he created his art at night for almost 20 years. When local authorities found out about the then 12 acre garden its future was uncertain. In hopes of saving his art, Nek Chand turned to the public to garner support and it worked. And then in 1986 it was designated a public space. Today it is one of India’s most visited sites and I am very grateful and glad I had a chance to see this unique place. Nek Chand who, sadly passed away in 2015, shows us that art can be make from just about anything.
All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World