is not only prominent for the courageous deeds and heroic sacrifices
of its fighters but Rajasthan is also famous for its wonderful
architectural monuments made of stone. Forts, palaces and Temples are
wonderful success of the craftsmen that have few competitors. The
rulers’ support and keen interest in the growth of architecture led to
many improvements in the style.
Rajasthan, rich in diverse types of hard rocks like slates, quartzite,
granites, marbles and other metamorphic rocks, has been a heaven for
stone-carver’s. Arts and crafts of Rajasthan are commanded by the
availability of indigenous raw materials in the region. Marbles and
sandstones are available in large quantities in the dry lands of the
state. Stone art and masonry are vital art forms that cultivate noise
in the state.
The forts and palaces and beautiful havelis of Rajasthan are all great
examples of the wonderful mason work of the state. The fine
stone-carving or fragile jali work in stone of this area is very
typical. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Thanagazi, Kishori Makrana, and
Dungarpur are the main centres. Well decorated domestic wares in stone
is wonderfully planned with lot of attention to the art and its style.
An extraordinary characteristic is the statue of the Sun God, which is
not found in other parts of Rajasthan. In the heart of the desert from
Dholpur near Bharatpur to Barmer, the shape of the stone mason is put
to incredible use as he commands everything from pink and red
sandstone to marble.
Jaipur-The Heart of Marble Carving
the heart of marble carving in Rajasthan. Here artisans construct
marble images of the deities as well as domestic utensils such as
bowls for grinding spices and kneading dough. Centres like Jaipur,
Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Ajmer, are very excellent examples of
'jali' or lattice, worked on screens and panels in the palaces of
Today, the stone carvers have to do with idol making and statues. The
center of this industry lies in the southwest quarter of Jaipur. White
Makrana marble is carted here in roughly-shaped blocks. A row of holes
is drilled and iron wedges striked into it till the block breaks down
along its line of weakness.
To craft the figure, a perpendicular line is drawn along the axis and
the sculptor keeps shaping the outline as he goes along. It's all done
very carefully as even a small crack make the idol useless for
worship. Apart from gods and goddesses, these men who convert stone
into poetry, also fashion animals, human figures and plain geometric
The rise of
Rajputs indicates a new era in architectural history. Strategic
considerations of the time forced the states to strengthen their areas
strongly. The forts of Kumbhalgarh, Jalore, Jaisalmer, Amer,
Ranthambore etc. jump up. They not only had big four walls of stone
and lime but were equipped with attractive temples and palaces of
artistic taste provided by the builders. Temple builders do extremely
well in the stone art by building religious temples at Pushkar, Ajmer,
Kota. Barmer, Delwara Ranakpur, and Jodhpur.
South Indian artists were specially invited and given all services and
support to translate the dream of the rulers and their people into
stone structures. The dream temple of Ranakpur planned by an artist
Shoba Dev signify the wonderful age of stone carving craft in
Rajasthan. Another centre of artistic attainment was at Dilwara.
Builders of the temples were influenced by South Indian and Gujarat
Stone carving skill was not restricted to temples and forts but also
helped in planning the domes and artistic nauchakis located at 51km
from Udaipur. The artificial lake of Jaisamand speaks of the thoughts
and talent of the builders. Nauchakis at Rajsmand and Anna Sagar at
Ajmer represent Rajput structural design and style. The building of a
variety of mosques and tombs did not affect the secular character of
Rajasthan architecture. Rajput rulers also support and encouraged the
Muslim masons. The Dargah of Khwaja Sahib at Ajmer constructed in the
15th century is one of the first tombs of architectural skill. The
minarets and mosques of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Kota and Merta are
illustration where stone carvings attain its glory.
Marble and Sandstone
and sandstone used in city palace, Tripolia gate, Jantar Mantar
(Observatory), and temples of Govind Dev Ji, Raj Rajeshwar,
Madhobehari and Radha Vinod and its structural designs has placed the
city on the world tourist map. Jodhpur is another city which has red
stone buildings and palaces like Ummed Bhawan and Chittar palace.
Jaisalmer city is prominent for its red stone Havelis with skilled
carvings and craftsmanship. It is also named as ‘Rose in the Desert’
city for its red buildings. Bikaner is well-known for its Jali work on
the stone slabs.
White marble stone which is well-known all over the country was used
to construct Taj Mahal at Agra. Also many other buildings were made
from this stone which had shining and everlasting polish. Sawai
Madhopur possesses acquit green spotted and copper colored Tamra stone
in abundance. It is generally used for making images. Soft Chloromatic
stone of Dungarpur is used in icon making. The feature of this stone
is that it turns black on oiling. The soft stone of Bhilwara is used
as a alternate of alabaster.
Jaipur is the main centre for production of marble items. Traditional
images of deities, dinner sets, chaklas and belans, punch bowls with
glasses and table ware are some of the articles which are gracefully
carved. The craftsman shaped these items with perfection and skill.
The carving of sun god in the black stone is the specialty of
work that was shaped at Jaipur is famous all over the world.
Rock-crystal is cut into beads, necklaces and dagger handles etc. by
the craftsmen at Jaipur also. Cups, saucers, trays, paper-weights and
animal figures are prepared at Jaisalmer with yellow lime-stone,
blended with a substance which looks like red ochre and other similar
Rajasthan inherits a rich heritage in the stone carving art and the
present day craftsmen have given it a new touch and shape to make
these articles more beautiful, attractive, and valuable handicrafts.
The small items prepared from stone in Rajasthan are very popularly
being used also as reminders by the purchasers.
Jali / Stone - Tracery
decorative art,is the Jali or stone- tracery, implemented both in red
sand stone and in the crystalline white marble of Rajputana. The Jali
is a fine ornamental art of marble or sand stone fret into an almost
endless net-work of geometrical arrangements. The necessities of the
climate of Northern India for some material which should, like glass
afford security from the weather and at the same time admit free
airing have been satisfied by the elaboration of this incomparable
Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are the main
centers of marble and sand-stone carvings.In Bharatpur and Dholpur
only sand stone is used by the masons.
circular pieces are used for making plates, astrays,thals,and bowls
etc. The bottom surface of these discs are scraped and heated over a
wood fire and grains of seed-lac are placed at the heated spot. A rope
is injured round a machine tool with knot at the end and is pull to
rotate it, generally done by women. When the article has reached the
desired size and shape, it is polished with a shaping tool to get it
ready for designing. Quite a few designs are fixed on the objects. The
Tana Buta pattern comprises of irregular curves of zig zag lines
positioned at systematical distances from each other; while Jata
Bhista comprises of straight lines meeting to a centre and slanting
lines placed at symmetrical distance from each other, so that in the
total effect the inclining lines appear like a while the converging
straight lines form a kind of a star. Ank (Aankh) is another
attractive design made of concentric circles to resemble the eye, and
though simple is used as decorative patterns.”
Dulmera Stone Carving
Stone Carving of Rajasthan
Jaisalmer Patwa Haveli
Yellow Stone Carved Flower Pot
Carved Stone Window of Hawa Mahal
Rajasthan Stone Carving