Stone Carving of Orissa

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. Conemporary artisans have made many a decorative and utility articles like ashtrays, paperweights, candle stands and book rests. The other set of products include stoneware utensils and kitchenwares.

India has a vast resource of different types of stones and the artisans of Orissa are equally at home while working with any of them. Only a few simple tools like hammers and chisels of various shapes and sizes better known as 'Muna', 'Patili', 'Martual', 'Thuk-Thuki' and 'Nihana' in local parlance 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.

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