Remembering Nek Chand: Facts about the legendary Indian artist

Jun 12, 2017, 17:30 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Nek Chand

Nek Chand

On Chandigarh's famous Rock Garden creator Nek Chand second death anniversary, here's a look at some of the facts of the legendary artist who spent 18 years building a garden made out of scraps.

>> Nek Chand was the most-exhibited Indian artist ever with his creations being part of leading cities like Paris, London, New York, Washington DC, and Berlin, and numerous books in different languages being written about him. He had been offered the honorary citizenship in various countries.

>> Chand, along with his family fled his village and trekked for 24 days in 1947, after the India-Pakistan partition, on foot.

>> Chand toiled away secretly in the dead of night for 18 years to create his dream, the Rock Garden. Riding his bicycle after dark to a state-owned forest, he spent night after night clearing patches of ground and transforming the landscape into a majestic garden that would eventually cover over 20 acres.

>> In the 1950s and '60s, Chand worked as a road inspector in a construction project in Chandigarh.

>> He was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 1984 but the Nek Chand Foundation believes his contribution to Indian art deserves a much higher award.

>> All kinds of waste material like broken bangles, cutlery, chinaware, electrical fittings like switches, plugs and tube-lights, marbles, tiles, household junk, stones, building material waste and other things have found their way into art creations by Nek Chand.

>> The Rock Garden, located in Chandigarh's Sector 1 on a sprawling 35-acre campus can be best described as a 'kingdom' created by Nek Chand which depicts the life and ecology of India, including rural settings and palaces. It also has waterfalls, an open air theatre, and pools.

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