Rockin' the Rock Garden

Chandigarh Travel Blog

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Rock Garden
    Despite good intentions to take an early bus, I slept in quite a bit in the morning.  I then took my free newspaper from the hotel and got on a shared tempo to the bus station.  The next bus wasn't for an hour so I got to meet an English girl who was teaching in Dehra Dun and chat with her for a bit.  I had a butter sandwich at the bus station for breakfast, not so bad actually.  The bus ride to Chandigarh was supposed to be 6 hours, but took closer to 7. 

 I arrived pretty late, so all I really had time for was to see the main attraction of Chandigarh, the rock garden.
Rock Garden
  Chandigarh is the only planned city in India and is supposed to be the cleanest.  It was generally clean, but still very dirty compared to most American towns and suburbs.  The nice thing is that the city is covered with trees and parks which makes it look very nice.  By the way, Chandigarh is the capitol of both Punjab and Haryana.

The rock garden has a very interesting story behind it.  Apparently a local man became upset when Chandigarh was being created because so much garbage was accumulating.  So he took all the garbage he could find and secretly began making walls and sculptures in a garden from it.  It was later discovered by the government and in a rare move, they decided to protect it instead of tearing it down and have funded further work.  It is now a huge recycling program and the garden goes on for acres.
Rock Garden
 

It's very unusual since it's not just sculpted walls, it's also an artist's work.  So most of the entances aren't very practical and remind me of the tiny doors in Alice in Wonderland.  But there are waterfalls and sculpted minature buildings all over which are all made of broken bottles or machinery pieces.  The best known works are the thousands of sculptures of people and animals.  Some of my favorites were made from bent bottle caps and were very colorful. 

I then had a burger at Nirula's since I was starving.  Since Hindus don't eat beef and Muslims don't eat pork they make their burgers out of goat meat.  Which actually wasn't that bad, a bit like a buffalo burger but with less flavor.  I then walked with my big bag all over looking for an internet cafe.  I finally found one, only to discover you had to be a member!  (I tried the day before too, but everything was closed for Sunday).  Then it was off to the train station again.  Luckily my train was on time, since this was the only point where I had to catch connecting trains.  My connection was at 1am and it went very well.  When I got on the second train, the train attendant greeted me at the door and walked me right to my cabin where he had already made the bed for me (usually you do it yourself).  I was able to go right off to sleep thankfully.
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Rock Garden
Rock Garden
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Rock Garden
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Rock Garden
Rock Garden
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Rock Garden
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Rock Garden
Rock Garden
Chandigarh
photo by: peeyushmalhotra