Incredible Sculpture Garden in India Has Taken 50 Years to Build (and It’s Still Not Finished)

Teddy Minford

In Chandigarh, India, there’s a rock garden like nothing you’ve seen before. Started in secret in 1957 by sculptor Nek Chand, the garden began as a mosaic of river rocks and scavenged mosaic tiles from broken bathroom fixtures. Eventually, it was discovered by the authorities in the 1970s, and after some debate, the sculpture garden was allowed to stay. Over years, the small mosaic garden has grown to over 40 acres—and it’s still growing. A trip to the Nek Chand Foundation is a maze through secret passageways, under waterfalls, and over bridges, all surrounded by thousands (and possibly hundreds of thousands) of sculptures.—Teddy Minford

Nek Chand Foundation

The scope of the park is huge, but it’s hard to tell at first. Each section is separated by a high wall and a small door, so it’s impossible to see the whole park at once.

Nek Chand Foundation

All of the art is made from recycled and found objects.

Nek Chand Foundation

There are colored glass and ceramic tiles from discarded fixtures and bottles.

Nek Chand Foundation

Each passageway has its own secrets—like these tiny houses built on top of a wall.

Nek Chand Foundation

The park starts small in scale as a series of “rooms” surrounded by mosaic walls and sculptures.

Nek Chand Foundation

Some of the sculptures are shaped like people.

Nek Chand Foundation

Some are shaped like animals, like these creatures made out of bottle caps.

Nek Chand Foundation

Some are shaped like other things.

Nek Chand Foundation

The park narrows again, funneling visitors through tiny doors. If you’re over 3 feet tall, you have to crouch to scramble through, taking care not to bump your head.

Nek Chand Foundation

Eventually, visitors go through a dark passageway and the park opens up into huge space with castles and towers.

Nek Chand Foundation

There’s even a waterfall.

Nek Chand Foundation

There are plenty of places to lounge and take it all in, or relax in the shade.

Nek Chand Foundation

On weekends, the park is popular with families, teenagers, and tourists. The Nek Chand Foundation is open daily from 9am to 6pm.

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