monuments are fairly common all over the country. They are
magnificent structures of sublime grandeur with perfect symphony
between their architecture and sculpture. A major tradition of
stone carving seems to be focused around temples in India. Using a
variety of stones, ranging from soft-brittle sandstone
and patchy red stone to hard granite, the craftsmen mould replicas
of the shore temples at Puri, Bhuvaneshwar and Konark, images of
deities in various sizes and postures and utensils of all sorts.
The innumerable figures with their exquisite expressions, fine
detailing of ornaments and dress, the traditional poses of the
epic heroes from Hindu mythology are all gifts of creativity.
glory of stonework is truly revealed in sculpture and
architectural facades. Sculptures of the Mauryan period, Buddhist
carvings at Bharhut and Sanchi and the rock-cut caves of Ajanta
and Ellora and Khajuraho have no parallels. In Tamil Nadu, the stapathis
are engaged in the temple construction and repair works in
Thanjavur, Tiruchirapalli, Mahabalipuram, Ramanthapuram,
Kanyakumari and other places.
The stone carving tradition in Himachal Pradesh is aptly
displayed by the giant monolithic carving of the rock-cut temple
at Masrur in Kangra district.
inlay of colourful stones on marble and sandstone surfaces is
characteristic of the Mughal period, the most beautiful example of
which is Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb near Agra.
Agra is famous for its marble work, especially models of
Taj Mahal. In the marble inlay work of Agra, floral, trellis,
creeper and geometric patterns are carved on to the creamy-white
marble surface, and semi precious stones set into it in the manner
of damascene work. The
white Makrana marble (sange malmal) of Rajasthan has a
great demand as a building and decorative stone.
Jaipur is another area that is known for its marble
for storage, bowls and simply ornamented single-wick lamps are
some of the common stone products of Tamil Nadu. Orissa's popular
stoneware articles include black stone bowls and plates,
multi-coloured stone statuettes and delicate soapstone articles.
Red sandstone is widely available in Rajasthan and it encourages
the making of a host of everyday articles and ornamental
stonework. In Gujarat and Rajasthan the sculptures and stone
workers have adopted the Hindu and Jain tradition of temple
architecture and image making. Hundreds of artisans in Gujarat are
engaged in the art of cutting and polishing semi-precious stones.
In Bihar, the black stone is used for making everyday utensils.
in Bihar is known for its lampshades, incense stick stands and
other products made out of a dark brown stone called sange-rathek.
Midnapur in West Bengal is famous for its phyllite stoneware
produced by the karga craftsmen.
Hamirpur in Uttar Pradesh is noted for its stone carving
works carried out by the raidas community.
Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh is famous for a number of small
greenstone items like animals, boxes, trays, etc.
stone carvers in Himachal Pradesh produce several artifacts of
domestic use like the traditional stoves (angithi),
circular pots for storing (kundi), pestle and mortar (dauri
danda), millstones (chakki) and other things. The
centres of sculpting in Himachal are concentrated mainly in Mandi,
Chamba, Kinnaur and the Shimla Hills.