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Stone Crafts

Dravidian style Stone Sculptures

Pallava architecture and the Pallava Lion, inspired the architecture of the Hindu colonies of Indonesia and Cambodia and later the Singapore Merlion. The Pallava dynasty ruled from Kanchipuram and Mamallapuram and greatly influenced art and architecture of the time.

Sculptors – mainly around the shores of Mahabalipuram – come from a tradition and training of Dravidian style of sculpture, trained at the Shilpashastra based Sculpture and Art college. The sculptors have experience of having worked on temples around the world and on small and large complex installations and projects. They are well versed with the traditional and religious aspects of sculpture. They work with different techniques to cut, sculpt and finish hard granite to perfection. Work is done on sculpture pieces ranging from 6 inches to 20 mtrs in height.

Making Process

Hard granite stone mined in the Swamimalai and Kanchipuram areas is brought in truckloads and then offloaded using robust material handling cranes. They are then hewn into the correct sizes for a particular sculpture. Rough

cutting of the shape of the sculpture and a few marking strokes are done with a marker to start the process of detailed sculpting. A combination of grinding, sculpting and finishing then completes the sculpture after many hours of hard-work by master craftsmen.

The science and the art of sculpture is applied here to sculpt various religious icons – including Ganeshas, Shiva, Parvati, Durga, Laxmi, Sarawati, Murugan, etc. – all in the Dravidian style and iconography

Sculptural Panorama

The stone sculpture studios around Mahabalipuram are abuzz with activity – sculpting figures that will be shipped to various parts of the globe.

A – Inspirational bass relief at Mahabalipuram
B – Large 2 sided Ganesha ready to be shipped
C – A work in progress Pallava Lion
D – Sculpted figurines racked to ship
E – Master sculptor at work