As the purchasing capacity of every Indian increases with improving per capita income; more and more people are shifting away from the conventional materials of building like clay and concrete. Marble has always been a material to the elite. However with improving purchase power, the middle class are also turning towards marble as a building material.
The Marble State :
Rajasthan is one of the biggest producers of fine marble in the country. There are about 4000 marble mines and about 1100 marble cutters spread over the 16 districts. The topper of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal in Agra has been built from marbles brought from Makrana in Rajasthan.
There are several categories of marbles depending on their shade, quality and brittleness. Makrana white variety was used to build the Taj Mahal. Other varieties include Super White, Albeta, Adanga, Kumari, Doongri, Pink, Dolomite, Rajasthan green etc.
Marbles have been used innovatively to produce various items like jewelry boxes, miniature figures of man and animals, miniature architecture like that of monuments like the Taj Mahal, table lamps, book shelves, flower-vase and many more.
It is interesting and even surprising how marbles have been carved to create lifelike portraits of human faces and intricate flower petals to name a few. The history of Rajasthan is the history of the Rajputs and contemporary Rajasthan is all about the historical baggage that it has inherited and its confluence with modernity. Marble cutting is one of those crafts that have been handed down through several generations that got modified with time and enhanced through modern technological achievements.
However it deserves a serious thought how huge marble slabs weighing up to several tones were moved to such distances and were hoisted to create magnificent monuments like the Taj Mahal.