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Handicrafts of India


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Stone Crafts

Sculptures and Stone Crafts

Stone craft in India has been in existence for a very long time. From the time of the polished sandstone lion edict of Sarnath to the present time, this craft of stone has traveled a long distance. In its course it flowered, transformed and gave expression to many styles known today as the Maurya, the Gandhara, the Gupta, the Chalukya, the Chola, the Vijayanagar, the Orissa, the Hoysala, the Mogul, the Indo-Muslim art of the Deccan and the like. The rock-cut caves of Ajanta, Ellora and Udayagiri; the Chalukyan temple of Virupaksha, of Pattadakal, the great Chola temple of theNayakas at Madurai, the Indo-Aryan temples at Bhuvaneshwar, Puri and Konark, the Sun temple of Modhera, Gujarat and the Chandella temples of Khajuraho: these ageless edifices present an endless variety of exquisite stone carvings. Today, the stone artisans draw much of their inspiration from these monuments and statues. The glamorous delight of the Taj Mahal in Agra is captured in the marble craft of India. Most of the statues in Orissa show similarity in form and details to the sculptures of the Jagannath temple at Puri. Traditional motifs such as standing Deepalakshmis, courting apsaras (temptresses,) lotus blossoms are all adopted as decorative stands for table lamps, ashtrays, or stone flower vases.


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