January 13, 2022 - February 11, 2023
Stone crafts of Himachal Pradesh are an integral part of tourism. They carry a discernable variety and a distinct style of stone carving that are displayed in the creations of colossal constructions and the other items created out of stone. Himachal Pradesh has a variety of stones that are used for stone crafts. Among all, sandstone is predominantly used in the stone crafts of Himachal Pradesh. Even good quality lime stone is also used in large numbers. Rubble masonry is another stone which is mainly used for building purposes.
The stones are available in Kangra, Bilaspur, Mandi and Kulu and the artisans create wide varieties of objects out of them. Kangra, Mandi, Bilaspur, Sirmaur, Chamba and Kullu have been traced as the traditional centres of stone crafts of Himachal Pradesh. The people of Bataihra or Batada community are adroit in stone carving.
The stone crafts of Himachal Pradesh can be observed in various temples, materials and pieces. Some of the common examples of stone crafts are temples and utility items.The plentiful supply of sandstone on the Shivalik hills has encouraged the stone crafts in Himachal Pradesh. The landscapes of Himachal Pradesh are dotted with numerous beautifully carved temples which stand unique in their carving styles. The temples of Masroor, Baijnath temple in Kangra, Shiva and Devi temples at Jagatsukh, Naggar, Nirmand and in Kullu are the great examples of stone craft. In addition to these temples, the shrines located on the banks of the river Beas in Mandi, the temples at Brahmaur, Chhatrahi, Chamba, Bilaspur and Sirmaur are exemplary of the superb creations of the 7th and 13th century AD. Aart from carving excellent designs in temples and relief structural panels for temples, the artisans of this place create different utility items such as traditional stoves (angithi), circular pots for storing (kundi), pestle and mortar (dauri danda), millstones (chakki) etc that are used by the local people in day to day life.
The stone crafts of Himachal Pradesh with the creating variations of the craftsmen have occupied a distinct place in the arcade of craft because of its unique style and designs.