I recently shared our stories of Chandigarh with a group of new friends over a beer and was shocked to find someone who not only knew of Chandigarh but also asked me what I thought about the “Rock Garden.”
As cool as the Nek Chand Rock Garden is, the story of its construction and evolution in the unlikely city of Chandigarh is even cooler.
Over 36 years ago, a man named Nek Chand began making sculptures out of industrial trash he found at demolition sites scattered around his northern Indian hometown, Chandigarh. The city was being rebuilt to Le Corbusier's vision of a new capital for the Indian Punjab (now referred to as Punjab and Haryana States).
Chand cleared a small area in the jungle and, knowing it was illegal, successfully hid his creation for over 18 years. Instead of fining Chand upon their shocking discovery, authorities granted him 25 acres of land to expand his dreams. And with that space, he created a mesmerizing sculpture garden park constructed of broken glass, tiles and Indian bangles.
His fantasy world was complete with waterfalls, swings and leagues of imaginary creatures.
How did we end up in Chandigarh?
We found ourselves in Chandigarh visiting a software programmer we had engaged on an outsourcing website to finish a small portion of our photo gallery. From awarding the project online to meeting our provider in person, globalization and outsourcing had come full circle for all of us.
Through a series of astounding meals (be sure to read Breaking Bread in Chandigarh), we made a connection with an unlikely Indian tourist destination.
No matter what may bring you to Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana States, be sure you visit Nek Chand's Rock Garden and see how cool it is for yourself.