Close to the Capital Complex, the Rock Garden is a surreal fantasyland fashioned from fragments of shattered plates, neon strip-lights, pots, pebbles, broken bangles and assorted urban-industrial junk. The open-air exhibition was a labour of love by retired Public Works Department road inspector Nek Chand. Inspired by a recurrent childhood dream, he began construction in 1957. His intention was to create just a small garden, but by the time it was discovered in 1975 – to widespread astonishment – it covered twelve acres. Though it was completely illegal, the city council recognized it as a great artistic endeavour and, in a conspicuously enlightened decision, awarded Chand a salary to continue his work (which he did until his death in 2015), and a workforce of fifty labourers to help. Opened to the public in 1976, the garden now covers 25 acres and contains several thousand sculptures.

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