Dadu Aur Madak

The first day out of Delhi was a way of getting our feet wet in Indian driving--literally. We left town very early to avoid city traffic. This is actually fairly easy because most businesses in India don't open before 10am. We actually found this a bit odd considering the heat, thinking it would be better to get work done in the morning. What we found, though, is that the vegetable markets are actually open very early. This was not that fortuitous in that our route took us right past Delhi's largest vegetable market--an area about a half kilometer square--that was coincidentally situated by the first construction diversion we would encounter. This muddy mess was exacerbated by the throngs of people in trucks, on foot, with pushcarts, three-wheel bicycle carts, hand-carts, ox-carts, and any other conveyance you could imagine. Once clear of that it was smooth sailing until we were within twenty miles of our destination. Within that last twenty miles there were probably another thirty of those diversions. Once in Chandigarh, however, things were relatively easy to find. Chandigarh is perhaps India's only planned city. It was designed in the Fifties following India's Independence by the French Architect Le Corbusier. Laid out on a grid system--with streets that are actually marked--it was one of the easiest towns we've encountered to find your way around. One of Chandigarh's premier attractions is a labyrinthine rock garden designed byNek Chand. We found the ticket booth amusing.

The maze-like structure employs not only rock as a medium, but also clay, ceramics, concrete, and even salvaged electical insulators. Water features also take on an important role.

The multi-level structure even takes on an organic form. Here these "trees" and their root system are actually concrete.

Some of the sculptures are amazingly life-like.