About the place:
Mahabalipuram is a small town in Kanchipuram district of Tamilnadu. It is located 60 Km away from Chennai. Mahabalipuram is also called as Mahamallapuram. This place has a great history for its traditional historical monuments. Stone carving in Mahabalipuram is famous for its 7th and 8th century art and architecture of Pallavas period.
Tamilnadu “The land of Temples” is rich in stone art. Mahabalipuram located 60 Km away from Chennai, is the main center for ancient stone carving. The Craftsmen belong to Viswakarma community which practices the craft. The carving style of this place is closer to the Kerala carving style as the region was once part of the state of Kerala. Red and black, white granites are available locally in Mahabalipuram. These stones are locally called as karuppu kal (black), Vellali kal (white). Granite is first stenciled and chiseled according to the determined lines. After carving the final product, the surface is smoothened and cleaned to achieve the shine luster. The products are the replicas of Hindu mythological epics. The rules of Shilpa Shastra are followed to carve granite stones. There are over 500 craftsmen involved in the carving.
The stone carving is also practiced in other parts of Tamilnadu like Mylaudy, Suchindram from Kanyakumari district and in Madurai district. Stone sculptures, small dolls, images of animals, agarbatti-incense stands and other decorative pieces are carved using soap stone, green stone, soft granite, Bijri stone, durki stone and marble.