Orissa News

Stone Carving

The tradition of stone-carving is very rich in Orissa.Craftsperson from Orissa had since the ancient time in Orissa had achieved a very high degree of expertise in stone carving. The huge repertoire of stone carving is best revealed in the architecture and rock-cut sculptures of Lingraja, Jagannath, Mukteshwara and other temples of Orissa. Other noteworthy monuments include the temple chariot of the 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. Other motifs include Krishna and Radha, Laxmi, Vishnu, Durga, Buddha and Ganesha. Stone carving as a form of Orissa Craft is still practiced by many craftspersons.

Only a few simple tools like hammers and chisels of various shapes and sizes are enough to carve the ultra soft white soapstone, or Khadipathara, harder greenish chlorite or Kochilapathara and pinkish “Khandolite” or Sahanapathara or Baulapathara and the hardest of all black granite or Mugunipathara.Stone carving in Orissa as a traditional craft and has been practiced for centuries and had reached dizzy heights of excellence due to disciplined efforts of generations.

There are also a variety of household products that are made from sand stone while granite is used to make images modeled on temple figures. Contemporary artisans have made many a decorative and utility articles like ashtrays, paperweights, candle stands and book rests out of stone carvings. Even kitchenware and stoneware utensils are not uncommon in this part of the world. Patharasahi is another important stone-cutting and stone-carving centre. Puri specializes in icons and figures carved in different dance poses.

Stone Utensils of Keonjhar

These stone utensils are mainly found in the centers of Lulung and Bolgariah of Keonjhar district. They are made by using a hand-turned lathe. The design and shape of these utensils is very unique. These utensils are valued for religious purposes and are also supposed to have a curative medicinal effect on diabetic patients.