Rock Garden creator and Padma Shri awardee Nek Chand Saini, 90, breathed his last on the intervening night of Thursday. He died of cardiac arrest after his condition worsened that evening, reports Times of India
Nek Chand was born in Berian Kalan village, now in Pakistan on December 15, 1924. He emigrated to India with his family and settled in Chandigarh in 1950. It’s here that his transformation from a public transport official to creative genius acclaimed the world over took place.
Pursuing a vision, Nek Chand started off by clearing an area of jungle on the city’s outskirts. He amassed stones, bricks and materials retrieved from the city’s rubbish heaps in order to construct the Rock Garden.
In 1972, the municipal authorities discovered this environmental marvel, and decided to provide a team of labourers and financial support to enable him to continue his work.
The site, which came to be known as the Rock Garden, was officially recognised in 1976, and is a key tourist attraction of Chandigarh. His body will be kept at the Rock Garden, a fairyland he had created out of waste material so that his fans can pay tribute for at least a day.