Origin of Marble Carving in India
Marble carving is one of the oldest art forms involving marble. The craft of carving shapes from stones began long before painting. Artefacts have progressed from this point to where they are now. They are not only durable and resistant, but they also have a traditional sense of style. Marble carvings have a unique place in the world of art. In India, even before the Mughals came to power, the technique of marble carving was well-known and widely practised.
Most temples in India, particularly in the north, feature a lot of carved marble designs on the walls and ceilings. Artisans use marble to crave out the frames of doors and windows of the temples. They decorated it with floral patterns or other motifs and complex designs. The best marble carved sculptures artistically are on the Didwara Jain temples on Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
History of Marble Carving in India
Marble carving has a long history in India, dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1300 BCE). Since the 7th century BCE, masons’ guilds have existed, and marble was regarded as the most significant of all the materials they worked with. It was known as the ‘royal stone. As a result, carvers it utilised to construct temples, tombs, palaces, and other long-lasting structures.
The sculptors used Arascon hill’s white marble in the construction of Jain temples in North India. In terms of chemical makeup, limestone, a metamorphic rock is source of marble. The most frequent component of limestone is calcite, a crystalline form of calcium carbonate. According to historical records, marble carving reached its pinnacle during the reign of the Mughals in India. During Shah Jahan’s architecture, a noteworthy change happened, as he used marble in almost all of his monuments, which were largely noted for their victories.
Marble inlay work on architectural sites such as Agra’s Red Fort and Taj Mahal is another type of marble carving. The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, composed entirely of white marble. Between 1622 and 1628, Nur Jahan built Etmatuddaula, her father’s mausoleum, out of pure white marble.
Marble Carving in Rajasthan
Marble carving in India wouldn’t be anywhere without Rajasthan. Rajasthan’s marble carving capital is Jaipur. Craftsmen construct a variety of domestic objects, including bowls, trays, and devices for kneading dough, among other things. Murtikars, or Jaipuri marble carvers, created magnificent statues of Gods and Goddesses, temples, and inlays out of the purest marble.
Makrana, in Rajasthan, is one of India’s oldest and most prestigious marble quarries. Marble is a metamorphic rock. The quantity of calcium carbonate in the limestone, as well as the presence of mineral impurities, determine the quality and whiteness of marble. When limestone under goes the conditions of high temperature and great pressure, marble is formed. The purest marble, such as that mined at Makrana, is made up of almost 99 per cent calcite crystals. As a result, gives it its amazing pristine white colour.
Around 250 years ago, Sawai Jai Singh II, the Rajput monarch of Amber, relocated his capital to Jaipur and called all of the city’s renowned marble carvers. Jaipur is still the epi-centre of marble carving in Rajasthan. White marble is most predominant in Jaipuri carving style, which is located near Makrana. The Shilpa Shastra is gift or legacy from older generations to succeeding generations of artisans, just as Hariji wanted.
Famous Historical Monuments Made out of Marble
Here are some sculptures by 19th-century Jaipur painters showing the entire cosmology of Hindu and Jain deities.
Khazanewalon ka Rasta, a street within Jaipur’s walled city, is still known for work businesses that sculpt little and huge sculptures of Hindu deities for temples all throughout India as well as temples all over the world.
People honour Goddess Amba at the Amer Fort in Jaipur. The two most common building materials are sandstone and marble. Marble carvers made one for kings and rulers, while the other was created for commoners. Markedly, “Diwan I Khas” refers to royal carvings and “Diwan I Aam.” refers to commoners carving.
Lastly, the marble used to make the famous Taj Mahal . The manufacturers belonged to Makrana, Rajasthan.
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