Stone Craft of “BIHAR”
The origin of the stone craft is known to be from the land of Buddha and therefore reflects Buddhist traditions and their way of life.
The rich heritage of stone craft is quite evident from the ancient sculptures of the Mauryan period. The stone cut area of the NeemchakBathani block of Gaya is one such major spot for the stone craft.
Stone craft has been an important part of life in Bihar since the beginning. The craft has not only been associated with
religion and deities but also focuses on making household items such as thali and bowls. The Gaya town of Bihar presents a huge variety when it comes to stone craft.
The process of making stone craft is very much different than all other art and crafts.
Firstly, the stones are selected by the people and then the shape of the idol is carved on the stone according to the need and preferences. The waste parts are then dismantled and thrown away. In ancient times this work was carried on with the help of a chisel – hammer, but with the help of new inventions like drillers, molding machines, and cutters the work nowadays is finished at a much faster pace. However, it requires experience, great eyesight, and tons of patience, as one little mistake could lead to a loss of thousands.
The next stage entails polishing the stones.
This abrading or wearing away brings out the color of the stone, reveals the pattern, and adds some shine to it. At last, the sculptures are made by mixing silver or gold paint.
Many places in Gaya and Bihar are famous for carrying out this craft, like Patharkatti, Khukari, and Kaimur villages and even today statues of Buddha are being made in the Gaya region. These places are the main attraction of stone craft. In fact, all the various stupas and monasteries are great examples of the outstanding artistic quality of the artisan of Bihar.
The availability of a huge variety of stones and skilled artisans are the main reason for the development of this craft. This art and craft has emerged as a business in Bihar offering monetary support to the artisans and in today’s time has become a global attraction.