Jagmeeta Thind Joy
Rock Garden, the famous tourist spot of Chandigarh, has for long been the ultimate destination to host plays, fashion shows and weddings. Though Chandigarh was built by famous architect Le Corbusier after India got Independence, many consider that Rock Garden creator Nek Chand gave a different identity to The City Beautiful.
Tourists make it a point to visit the Rock Garden. Even city residents often pay a visit to the Rock Garden during holidays. Youngsters are often seen clicking pictures posing in front of the waterfall.
While Nek Chand’s Rock Garden is a tourist special, it has over the years become the perfect setting for musical and fashion events. Singers Kailash Kher and Rabbi Shergill performed Sufi nights some time ago. Bollywood actor Katrina Kaif made her modeling debut here.
“The aesthetic of the place is very unique,” said city-based photographer Sumit Kumar. For Sumit, the arches, rocky terrain coupled with Chand’s sculptures at the Rock Garden is the best backdrop for fashion shoots. “It is aptly described as a fantasy garden. I have shot portfolios of many models here,” he said.
Speaking of fashion and fantasy, the Rock Garden has been the ideal venue for plays, too. Leading thespian from the city, Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry has been staging her plays at the Garden’s amphitheatre for three decades now. City fashion designers like Dimpy Gujral and Babi Grewal have showcased many of their collections here.
“It is an offbeat place that charms the visitors with its distinctive features. It also defines Chandigarh and proves the genius that Nek Chand was,” said Grewal who made her debut as a fashion designer some years ago at the Rock Garden.
The Rock Garden plays perfect host to weddings. “The trees and arches look artistic after they are lit up. I did a theme wedding last year and dressed up the venue with phulkari baghs and flowers. Rock Garden has a strong character,” said Neha Sharma, a city-based wedding and event planner.
Vineet Joshi, a head of a public relations firm, Rock Garden and Nek Chand have been the perfect host for their annual Holi bash. “We were lucky to have got permission for the event every year and the party was always a big draw. Rock Garden has put Chandigarh on the world map and we must cherish it,” he said.
This article first appeared in The Indian Express