Traditionally rock gardens are meant to feature the variety and natural beauty of rocks, stones and boulders and is also often called rockery or alpine garden. With diminishing area under green cover in cities these days, the existence of traditional rock gardens has greatly been affected. On the other hand, rock structures and formations attract people and they travel miles to see the heritage sites featuring them. In order to cater to these both, many cities have started coming up with modern day rock gardens, and there are already a handful of them in India now. In order to help its readers prepare their bucket list, Touriosity brings this Snapshot that features a list of the most important rock gardens in India to check out.
1. Rock gardens Chandigarh
The rock garden in Chandigarh is by far the most popular one in India. Officially known as Nek Chand’s Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand Saini, it is basically a sculpture garden that features sculptures and structures using industrial and domestic waste. Although the idea was not really to feature rocks, it ultimately ended up being called so as the area uses rocks in great number. Nek Chand was a government employee who secretly started collecting the wastes and converting them into sculptures in 1957. Today it is no secret and is spread over 40 acres of land near the prominent location of Sukhna Lake. The garden receives visitors close to a million annually.
2. Jatayu earths centre
This is one of the newest entries in this list, but not the least significant. Located in the Kollam district of Kerala at Chadayamangalam, this park is also known as Jatayu Rock or Jatayu Nature Park. It has the largest bird sculpture in the world, that of Jatayu. Located on the peak of a hill overlooking Kollam, the bird measures 61m in length, 46m in width and 21m in height.
3. Rock garden Jamshedpur
There is a rock garden in Jamshedpur, although many may not be aware of it, the reason being lack of efforts at popularising it. This rock garden is very basic and is located in Telco Colony.
4. Rock Garden, Darjeeling
In a hill station that is already so popular with tourists from all over, this is the newest addition to attractions. Also known as Barbotey Rock Garden, this attraction is located near the Chunnu Summer Falls and Ganga Maya Park. It is 10km from Darjeeling on the way to Ghum. It is surrounded by lush green tea gardens. It is not a rock garden in the traditional sense. It has a rocky waterfall and a lake inside. In Darjeeling one finds another rock garden as a part of the Lloyd’s Botanical Garden.
5. Utsav Rock Garden
Built mainly as a picnic spot, this rock garden is located near Hubli in Karnataka. This place brings together art, culture and nature at one place and is a good place for a day out.
6. Oravakallu Rock Garden
Also known as Orvakal Rock Garden, this is a 1000-acre sculpture garden park near Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh. The park features some ancient caves and igneous rock formations. There is a walkway for visitors to have a look around.
7. Rock Garden Ranchi
In the city of waterfalls, this rock garden is one of the most visited places. Built out of the rocks of the Gonda Hill, this garden is about 4km from Albert Akka Chowk. There are rock sculptures, waterfalls and a lake inside and the place is great for picnics.
8. Venkateshwara Rock Gardens, Tirupati
This rock garden is also known as Silathoranam, this is basically just one rock that has the shape of a natural arch that captures the attention of people. Its formation dates back from the Pre-Cambrian period and there is no such formation anywhere else in Asia. People here believe that Lord Venkateshwara walked on this arch on his way from Tirumala to Vaikunth. This protected place is frequented by tourists.
9. Rock Garden Dhanbad, Jharkhand
There is a rock garden at Sardar Patel Nagar in Dhanbad.
10. Nartiang Rock Garden
This is not a modern day rock garden like the other entries in this list. It is an ancient one, with a beautiful history and legends associated with it. This is an area of monoliths in Nartiang in Meghalaya and the monoliths are associated with the Jaintia rulers who ruled over the region about 600 years ago.
11. Eco Park, Kolkata
The Eco Park in the newly developed New Town Rajarhat area of Kolkata is one of the latest crazes in the city. both with the locals and tourists. The huge park is home to many gardens including flower garden, butterfly garden, mask garden, sculpture garden, architecture garden, artificial forest and so on. The latest addition here is the Seven Wonders Park here which features miniature versions of the modern day seven wonders of the world. The Moais of Easter Island have been beautifully replicated in this park and these, along with the other attractions, are quite popular with visitors and photo hunters.