The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a sculpture garden in Chandigarh, India also known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden. It was named after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden secretly during his spare time in 1957. It is spread over 40 acres (160,001236547890m 2 ) of land and it is built of industrial waste, home waste and thrown-away items.
The Rock Garden located near Sukhna Lake is renowned for its famous sculptures made of recycled ceramic. It comprises of man-made interlinked waterfalls and many other sculptures made of scrap and other kinds of wastes (bottles, glasses, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, electrical waste, etc.) which are placed in walled paths. Chand in his spare started collecting materials from demolition sites around the city. He recycled these waste materials into his own vision of divine kingdom of Sukrani. He chose a gorge near Sukhna Lake for his work, it had been designated as a land conservancy, a forest buffer established in 1902. Chand’s work was illegal, but he had hidden it for 18 years before it was discovered by the authorities in 1975. In this duration, it had grown into a 12acre (49000 m 2 ) complex of interlinked courtyards, along with hundreds of pottery-covered concrete sculptures of dancers, musicians and animals.
Since Chand’s work was illegal, it was in danger of being demolished. But with the help of the public, in 1976 the garden was inaugurated as a public space. Nek Chand was given a new title as “Sub-Divisional Engineer, Rock Garden” and 50 laborers were appointed so that he could concentrate on his work completely. It appeared on an Indian stamp in 1983. With the government’s help, Chand managed to arrange collection centers around the city for waste, especially rags and broken ceramics. After Chand left the country for a lecture tour in 1996, the city withdrew its funding and vandals attacked park. The Rock Garden Society handled the administration for the upkeeping of this environment thereafter.