Stone Art, Brief History:
Indian stone art is one of the most famous art forms and the most exclusive and unique. Stone art belongs belong to ancient times, however. Still, stone in utility and decorative articles have in demand not only in India but also all over the world. During ancient times in India, stone artwork was widely carved in temples and forts. The stone art also expresses the exclusive architecture with great attraction. We can see several stone figures on various walls and pillars in the temples and at the forts. This art became a tradition among the Indian people. The archaeological excavations and the ancient art form show us this art has belonged to the ages.
Evolution of Stone Art:
According to historical evidence, stone art came to light in India during the administration of the Maurya dynasty. When Buddhism was at its peak in Bihar, the monks encouraged the local artists to carve stone art on the stones used in Buddha Stupas. However, to stop the expansion of Buddhism, the Hindus encouraged other Hindus to raise their Vedic beliefs to bring back the glory of Hinduism. So many noble people, kings and artisans played patronage to build temples and carve beautiful sculptures with stones. The archaeological excavations in various places in India brought out the stone-carved deities during the Gupta era. Thus Gupta era is called the classical era for Indian sculptures. Many stone sculptures were carved and found in recent archaeological excavations during this period.
South Indian Stone Art:
In South India, during the rule of Cholas, the kings built several significant temples and sculptures in their reign. Primarily Brihdeswara Temple, built at the peak of the evolution of stone sculptures. During the 9th to 14th centuries, temples in India were produced with sculptures based constructions. The artists followed the union of marble work and stone art. The Konark, Khajuraho, and Dilwara temples at Mount Abu are the best examples of stonework mastery. They remain legendary for their fabulous sculptural deft.
Varieties of Stones:
There is much variety of stones available in India. So the craftsman has numerous choices to carve different objects in different colours. Some rocks are rugged, and some are soft. The artists carve the slender things in soapstone, chalk and pumice stones. The basalt and granite stones are difficult to shape the figures. The artists need iron tools to form these stones. The artists also carve some precious gemstones as magnificent figures and shapes.