Nek Chand: a self taught artist and visionary

In 1951, whilst being a Road Inspector in the beautiful Garden city- Chandigarh, Nek Chand began collecting scraps from demolition sites, which he would use later to make his dreams come alive in the now famous Rock Garden in Chandigarh. 

Nekchand sculpture

There is at once something haunting, yet whimsical about Nek Chand’s characters.

Nekchand sculpture

Recycled stone and what appears to be bathroom tiles, take life in his intriguing sculptures. 

nek chand sculpture


As i walked through the Rock Garden, i found that he has tried to depict people of diverse backgrounds, maybe even religions.
This particular series (above) to me, look like nuns.
I see typical indian village folk, children, glamorous women, brave men, animals and dancers.

It’s much like a celebration of life, and everyone coming together.
No one is alone.

nek chand sculpture

nekchand sculpture

Wonderful colors brought to life in recycled glass bangles, these ladies are wearing as gowns…

nek chand sculptureMJ

Okay,so this particular one somehow really has a Michael Jackson vibe to it,
however the legendary king of pop wasn’t even born at the time. A little artistic foresight? 

rock garden

The path to these curious exhibits is nothing short of  lush and tranquil. Just as Nek Chand had envisioned. Here in the Rock Garden while Le Corbusier was building the first and only planned city in all of India,
Nek Chand was building his own vision of an exotic kingdom.


Nestled in gorges and waterfalls,
this serene garden tucked away in forested land near Sukhna Lake,

 makes the perfect setting for Nek Chand’s inspiring works of art.  

All images and text © Aditi Chengappa 2013


6 thoughts on “Nek Chand: a self taught artist and visionary

  1. Its indeed a great page, and i must say u have a vision for art.. I have visited The Rock Garden and its truly a treat to your eyes… Good show Aditi.. Keep it up.

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