Rock Garden of Chandigarh


Here’s a new kind of rock art! wood s lot has pointed to Carl Lindquist’s excellent photographs and essay on Nek Chand’s Rock Garden of Chandigarh. These are captivating, go look!

One day over 40 years ago, Nek Chand, a humble transport official in the north Indian city of Chandigarh, began to clear a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area.[…] Now over twenty five acres of several thousand sculptures set in large mosaic courtyards linked by walled paths and deep gorges, Nek Chand’s creation also combines huge buildings with a series of interlinking waterfalls. The Rock Garden is now acknowledged as one of the modern wonders of the world. Over 5000 visitors each day, some 12 million people so far, walk around this vast creation – the greatest artistic achievement seen in India since the Taj Mahal.

Read more about Nek Chand’s massive project.

Carl Lindquist writes that Chandigarh is a modern city, built in the 1950s from a design by the French architect Le Corbusier.[…] Built of industrial waste and thrown-away items, it [the rock garden] is perhaps the world’s most poignant and salient statement of the possibility of finding beauty in the unexpected and accidental. It expresses the fragility of the environment, the need for conservation of the earth’s natural resources, the importance of balancing industrial development and sound environmental practices. It attests to the ingenuity and imagination of the people of Chandigarh and their awareness of these global concerns. Above all, it is a community’s testament of appreciation for art, expressing ideas and problems in a universal language.

February 17, 2005 in Modern Rock Art, Other artists by Marja-Leena