The Secret World of Nek Chand - The Rock Garden in Chandigarh
On a summer’s day in Punjab in 1957, thirty three year old government roads inspector Nek Chand decided that the regimented and conformist attitudes of Chandigarh mentality suited him no longer. He began to create an illegal and secret sculpture garden on government land behind Sukhna Lake. He constructed interlinking waterfalls, pathways, walls, steps, miniature auditoriums, pools, caves, platforms and statues, totally out of scrap. His creativity extended to the use of ceramic crockery, bangles, pottery, toilet seats, and other plumbing items. In his free time, Chand collected household waste and transformed the dried out gorge into a haven of sculpted outdoor modern art for eighteen years when the authorities discovered his work. By this point, the artist had created a twelve acre piece and despite his defiance of regulation, public popularity prevailed and the area was inaugurated as a public space and Chand offered a salary as park supervisor.
Now this stunning creation is open to the public and receives approximately 5000 visitors a day. The city finally withdrew their funding and presently the Rock Garden Society controls the administration of this visionary and unique environment.