Stone Work a famous Handicraft of Odisha

Stone Carvings is mainly used in the architecture of sculpts and temples. Stone Carvings are not only used for the architecture of temples and sculpts but also for household things. Odisha is mainly known for its stone carvings. Stone carving is a chief handicraft of Orissa. Sun Temple of Konark, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri and the temples at Jagannath, Lingaraj, Mukteshwar are the examples of Stone carving of Odisha art.

The origin of stone carving in Orissa started back to 13th century A. D. The world famous Sun Temple is one of the best examples of artistry. Since then this tradition is following from generation to generation. Even today Stone Carving is one of the famous arts in Odisha. Today there are many families who are engaged in this work as their livelihood.

Useful items like candle stands, pen stands, paperweights, bookends, lamp bases and stoneware utensils are also created from stones. The craftsmen make beautiful polished plates, containers, cups, glasses and Kunda from stone. For Pujas, ritual worships and for daily eating these things are used.

Types of Stones Used for Stone Carving

Sandstone, soapstone, Serpentinite, Makrana marble, and granite are mainly used in stone carving. White soapstone, Khadipathara, or the slightly harder greenish chlorite or Kochilapathara are the soft stones used by the skilled craftsmen. The pinkish Khandolite, Sahanapathara or Baulapathara and the hardest of all, black granite and Muguni Pathara are commonly used for stone carving.

Tools used in the Stone Work

Simple tools like hammers and chisel are mainly used for stone work. These tools are used to carve an outline on the stone and then to work on it.

Working Procedure for Stone Carving

First outlines are drawn on the stone. Once the outline is drawn, the unwanted portions are removed to het the final figure. Chiseling process is used for the harder stones, to remove the extra material. Scraping process is used for softer stones. Hammers and chisels of several sizes are used for carving.

The architecture and rock-cut sculptures of Lingraja, Jagannath, Mukteshwara and other temples of Odisha are the example of the numerous stone art of Odisha. Other monuments like the chariot of Sun God at Konark, stupas of Ratnagiri and Udaygiri, Surasundaris heavenly beauties playing on different musical instruments at Konark temple, the Konark wheel, horse, elephant, lion, Krishna and Radha, Laxmi, Vishnu, Durga, Buddha and Ganesha are the famous stone carvings.