Scraps Used To Create A Beautiful Sculpture Garden

Repurposed waste materials are given a new life in this eco-friendly urban paradise

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Pradeep Chamaria
Pradeep Chamaria
I am a photojournalist. Love to travel to unknown and unexplored vistas. Since 1992, I make places desirable for other travelers through experiential Travel Writing.

INDIA. Chandigarh. This city has the distinction of boasting a unique and world acclaimed rock garden created by Shri Nek Chand, a road inspector in the engineering department of the Chandigarh Capital Project. The garden was inaugurated in 1976. It is kind of an open-air gallery where scrap articles like industrial and urban waste have been used to create various art objects that please the eyes of visitors. It sprawls over a vast area in the woods in the heart of Chandigarh and consists of a theatre trove and a miniature maze all rolled into one vast fantasy landscape. This should definitely be on your tourist itinerary while visiting Chandigarh.

It’s a heritage site now. The down-to-earth entrance of the garden leads to a magnificent and almost surreal arrangement of rocks, boulders, broken chinaware, discarded fluorescent tubes, cast away glass bangles, building waste, coal, and clay. All of these are arranged in an amazing way to create a dream world of palaces, soldiers, monkeys, village life, women, and temples.

Environmentally friendly artistry

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There are shapes sculptured using a variety of discarded materials such as frame, vehicular mudguards, forks, handlebars, metal wires, play marbles, pieces of slate, burnt bricks, and even hair recovered from barbershops. This is a beautiful example of how urban waste can be fruitfully recycled.  

The open-air sculptures, concealed gateways separated by a waterfall, tranquil pools, and an open-air theater create a setting of enchantment. The moment one enters the garden, the small entrance doors make the head bow and opens up to an ambiance of regal humility.

Sections inside the garden

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The garden has fourteen different sections housing natural rock-forms, a pond, a hut, depictions of gods and goddesses, and more.  One section is comprised of waterfalls, a village, mountains, bridges, pavilions, and other areas. Special attention has even been paid to children. A kid’s zone is available to entertain the young ones with camel rides and more. When patrons get hungry, they can grab a bite at the “not so good” restaurant available at the end of the garden.

This urban paradise is also the focal point of quite a few festivals in the city. During the Teej festival, the rock garden assumes a festive look and becomes a special attraction for tourists. It is a fairly big park and an interesting attraction for artists and photographers.

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You won´t be able to grasp its vastness at a glance, but while walking through the sections, hidden worlds continue to reveal themselves. It is easy to spend a day strolling through this wonder of modern art. Before planning a trip, it is worth knowing the summer months can be a killer, as it becomes really hot and stifling inside the garden.

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