Nek Chand ROCK GARDEN – A mosaic fantasy waterfall – the black samurai

Nek Chand Garden Mosaic Sculpture fountain chdigarh, india – savagecorp

India’s Vast Trash Garden a Monument to Recycling

Pallava Bagla
in Chandigarh, Punjab, India
for National Geographic News
October 7, 2002

A glorious testament to the artistic and intrinsic value of trash stands in the middle of the northern Indian city of Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana, India’s storied northwestern state on the border of Pakistan.


Rock Garden in Chandigarh on Flickr – briandubois

Called the “Rock Garden,” this sprawling amusement “kingdom” has been made completely from waste materials.


Nek Chand’s Junkwall detail on Flickr – diametrik

“Built of industrial waste and thrown-away items, the Rock Garden in the city of Chandigarh is perhaps the world’s most poignant and salient statement of the possibility of finding beauty in the unexpected and accidental.” Carl Lindquist – Nek Chand’s Rock Garden at Chandigarh, India



Nek Chand Rock Garden Outsider Art Wall of Electricity on Flickr – Uri Zer aviV

Created by celebrated artist Nek Chand, the garden highlights the value of materials many people consider trash.


Nek Chand Rock Garden Recycled materials – ska ska202

For Chand, the Rock Garden is an expression of his hope for humanity and an idea that came to him four decades ago. “It all started out of personal curiosity,” said Chand, emphasizing that while others looked at trash as a problem that needed to be “hidden away,” he saw it as something that could be creatively transformed into art.


Mosaic Artist Nek Chand – Recycling Genius, Outsider Art – rougetete

Nek Chand started building his trash garden in the 1950s with urban and industrial waste, using everything he could lay his hands on, including stones and boulders to represent humans and animals. Pallava Bagla – India’s Vast Trash Garden a Monument to Recycling

Who is Nek Chand?

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.


ROCK GARDEN Mosaic Pebble man – the black samurai


Nek Chand Rock Garden Pebble, Rock people Chandigarh, India – morleyroarly

He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures


Nek Chand’s mosaic material stash ceramic tile broken crockery china– ToreaJade

recycled from materials he found at hand.


Nek Chand Rock Garden Mosaic Sculpture Bangle dudes – Carol Mitchell

Gradually Nek Chand’s creation developed and grew;


lil ppl rock garden ceramic tile mosaic art NeK Chand on Flickr – krazykrayons

before long it covered several acres


Figurenpark im Nek Chand Rock Garden von Chandigarh on Flickr – Uli Franke

and comprised of hundreds of sculptures


Bunte Figuren im Nek Chand Rock Garden von Chandigarh on Flickr – Uli Franke

Neck Chand monkey pebble art sculpture in rock garden on Flickr – baignid

set in a series of interlinking courtyards.

After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered by the authorities.


Recycled Wall Art ceramic tile, motors, sockets, ceramic pots – Ajay in India Tallam

When they did discover Chand’s garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal – a development in a forbidden area which by rights should be demolished.


Nek Chand Picassiette Ceramic Tile Mosaic Art Garden – Angad

The outcome, however, was the enlightened decision to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers.


Nek Chand Rock Garden A Fantasy Monument Chandigarh, India – raksh

Nek Chand’s great work received immediate recognition and was inaugurated as The Rock Garden of Chandigarh.


Nek Chand Mosaic ceramic tile picassiette steps on Flickr – travellingjohnny

Now over twenty five acres of several thousand sculptures set in large mosaic courtyards

linked by walled paths and deep gorges,


Nek Chand Rock Garden chandigarh india cathedral on Flickr – diametrik

Nek Chand’s creation also combines huge buildings


Figuren über Wasserfall im Rock Garden von Chandigarh on Flickr – Uli Franke

with a series of interlinking waterfalls.


Nek Chand’s Sculptural Army above waterfall on Flickr – Uri Zer aviV

The Nek Chand Rock mosaic art people fountain sculpture – Matthew Winterburn

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. Nek Chand Foundation

Where is Chandigarh?

Lower Shivalik Mountains on Sukhna Lake on Flickr – Pradeep

Chandigarh is located near the foothills of the Shivalik range of the Himalayas in Northwest India.


Le Courbusior Sculpture Open Hand official emblem of city of Chandigarh – Koshyk

Chandigarh, also called City Beautiful, is a city in India that serves as the capital of two states, Punjab and Haryana, and is a union territory of India.


Le Corbusier Chandigarh, India on Flickr – duncid

Known internationally for its architecture and urban planning,


Fine Art Museum-Punjab University, Chandigarh on Flickr – Shubh M Singh

Chandigarh is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki, and Albert Mayer.


Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, India on Flickr – Shubh M Singh

The city boasts a high standard of living with the highest per capita income in the country. Chandigarh – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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