Yesterday we spent a leisurely day checking out some of the sites this city has to offer and also learning a little history behind the construction of this first planned city in India. We visited the Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, spread over 30 acres it boasts over 50,000 rose bushes comprising 1600 different species and is the largest such garden in Asia. It isn’t the best time of year to visit so there weren’t many blooms but it was easy to imagine how beautiful it would be during the right season. So, no pics of the garden. Our next stop was something we have never seen before and is a special highlight compared to all of the temples, castles and ruins we’ve seen to date.
The Nek Chand Rock Garden. Wow!
But here is where a little more history comes into play on the building of Chandigarh city. Nek had a vision to use the stones, debris and other discarded junk that was left over from the destruction of over 50 villages to make way for the new city of Chandigarh. The destruction of over 50 villages! Not so good. We’ve seen this elsewhere in the world and people probably don’t realise what was done to the local village people to make this “fine example of a planned city”. Chandigarh is beautiful but beneath there is a story and I’m sure there was much misery and disruption that you do not read or hear about to make it the city that it is today.
The Rock Garden was surreal and as mentioned earlier, something we have never seen before and something very special. The talent of its creator is inspirational. Everything from old electrical plug outlets, broken porcelain squatter toilets, bangles, rocks, glass, and everything under the sun made up this amazing labyrinth of walled pathways, ancient forts, castles, waterfalls, villages, people and animals. How to describe? (Check Thesaurus for more descriptive words).