A visit to Chandigarh, Puneet's birthplace, included a trip to the Nek Chand's world famous Rock Garden, with all sorts of trashy sculptures (literally -- all the sculptures are made from discarded materials -- ie: trash!), and a stop at Punjab University where Puneet's parents picked up their undergrad and masters degrees. The university coffeehouse also serves up some of the tastiest (not to mention cheapest!) food in Chandigarh. During our trip we got to try some of their delicious veggie hotdogs, which happened to be as tasty as Puneet remembered them to be... certainly can't beat the price: only 6 rupees. More on our trip to the city at some later point. We would like to thank all our family who met us in Chandigarh for their wonderful hospitality: Ritu Bua (dad's cousin), her husband Vipin and little Addi; my cousin Alka and her daughters Neha and Nikita, and my other cousin Mona, her husband Rajiv and their daughter Ishita.
Puneet's relatives in Chandigarh. Think this is a lot? This is nothing, check out the blog on Dharamsala!
We stopped at the Punjab University campus where Puneet's parents spent their formative years earning their undergraduate and masters degrees in Biochem and Biophysics. The university campus was dear to Puneet because of the coffeehouse which served (and still serves) tasty vegetable hotdogs with pumpkin sauce and wonderful coffeeshakes.
This is just a sample of the creative and wacky artwork we saw at Nek Chand's Rock Garden. Chand worked on the garden in his spare time in secrecy (in many cases at night by the light of a tire fire) inside a foresty region in the town to prevent its discovery (he was building it on government property). Eventually it was discovered and due to tremendous public support the government decided not to demolish it but instead gave Chand a grant and land to continue his work. Now it is one of the most important monuments in Chandigarh.
By the way, if you like art like this, check out our blog on Tinkertown (located near Santa Fe, New Mexico in the United States). A special message to Clara (from Tinkertown): We hope you enjoyed this webpage (remember, we promised that we would post the pictures once we got here!) and that you get to visit some day.