Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Art & Crafts of India #4: Stone Sculptures of Mahabalipuram

When I think of 'Stone Sculptures' the first image that comes to mind is the amazing granite stone sculptures of Mahabalipuram, near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.There are various styles of stone sculptures in India but today I would like to share the absolutely stunning 'Pallava Style' sculptures from Mahabalipuram.(A small stone Ganesha in my balcony)

Apart from being a Unesco World Heritage Site, Mahabalipuram is also a hub for stone carvings & idols.
The sculptors or sthapathis as they are known in India, have been carrying on this rich tradition of carving from their forefathers where they use Vaastu Shastra as well as mathematical precison for the execution of such exquisite sculptures.
Here you'll find idols in various sizes and shapes, some specially made for temples, some custom-made for hotels and smaller ones for homes & gardens.
Idols of Hindu Gods & Goddesses such as Ganesha, Gaja-Lakshmi, Shiva, Nandi are common.

Here are some interesting ideas for using stone sculpture in home decor.
(A stone Ganesha in our balcony, I love decorating with fresh flowers:-) This pic is to show ideas for decorating with stone sculptures- This sculpture is Hoysala style*)
These exquisite pieces can be used indoors or in your gardens and balconies along with green plants...
* Will definitely post about Hoysala Style later in this feature:-)

(some images from Inside Outside, October 2005 issue)

17 comments:

vineeta said...

Beautiful post! I love that pic of the ganesha in your balcony. Is it safe to surmise that grey stone is distinctly 'Mahabalipuram'? cause most of the sculpture from other parts of India are warmer toned or marble.

Arch said...

Vineeta- Thanks :-)

I am not sure about all grey stone sculpture being 'distinctly Pallava Style'.
The Ganesha with lamps on my balcony has been posted to show decorating ideas using stone sculpture...it is actually from Belur & Haleibid which is 'Hoysala Style'
It's amazing the various styles present even in southern india...

designflute said...

I want more! Yes, such exotic decor ideas from you, more! Should I bring a pencil & paper? I'm queueing up outside your home.

Bhavna said...

I LOVE the pic of Ganesha in your balcony! I really enjoy glimpses of your beautiful home in your posts :)

sulia said...

I don't know how I came across your blog and I have never written before but I had to let you know how utterly beautiful I find your images and descriptions. Many thanks from Boston, Massachusetts...

Latha said...

Love the ganesha, the lovely hanging lamps and the shelf on which u're ganesha rests! I can imagine that u're balcony is a rustic and calm place to sip garam chai on a cool evening!
:-)

Maddie said...

I smiled when I saw Ganesh with his
perky little flower - the light is so
perfect that you captured in that photo:)

I have sculptures in my home -
I brought Ganesha back from India -
I have many Buddha's - they are lovely
works of art - in particular when you find
a beautiful artistic carving...

One of your photos looks like a silver bowl

of pomegrantites which is sooo beautiful!

beachbungalow8 said...

i love your blog!!! where have i been? i need to get out in the bloggerhood more often.

Vinita said...

Hi Arch,
What a pretty way to decorate your balcony..If just one corner of the balcony is so inspiring I would certainly love to see the entire balcony. I have always liked your nooks and conrner pictures.. you have beauty every where in your house. May be I should mail you some of my home pictures and ask for suggestions.Online consultation :))
Vinita

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Everytime I visit your blog, I drift off thinking of colour, flowers and more. I love this blog! Arch, you do such a fine job photographing your home...you capture the light perfectly. Thanks for sharing it with us!
xo
Blue

Vinita said...

Hi Arch,
Yesterday I had gone to IKEA,,It was a tax free weekend so wanted to shop a little. And the first thing I wanted to find was that green cup you have.. On your blog it looks huge and so pretty with those yellow flowers floating. I didnt know it came as a soup and sandwich combo plate and cup..If it was any other time I would have passed it without a second glance..but your post on that find gave me a new way to look at it. I am proud to say it now sits on my computer table ( still missing the yellow flowers though)
Thank you for those inspring post and photographs..You are changing our way to look at(regular and everyday ) things.. one person at a time.
As they say " when you change your way to look at things ... the things you look at change"

Vinita

Pacchai Milagai said...

lovely post. the pics of your balcony are really warm and inviting.

monica crowe said...

Lovely photos, and what intricate hand carvings. Fresh flowers always do seem to liven a space.

Arch said...

designflute, Bhavna- Thanks :-) I appreciate it:-)

sulia- Thanks for dropping by and do come more often:-)

latha- Yes, I have one solitary chair in my balcony where I sit and sip my evening chai:-)

maddie- Thanks a lot:-)

beachbungalow8- Appreciate it..Thanks:-)

Blue- Thanks a ton:-)))

vinita- Thanks for those kind words...!
Yes, the cup comes with a plate but we picked up only the cup;-) Congrats on ur new cup;-)

Pacchai- Glad to see u back..Thanks:-)

Monica Crowe- Thanks:-)

Life Unscripted! said...

Hey lil late on my comment (not well da :()
Have to say lovely post.
Loved the Ganesha in your balcony.
I love the art of stone carving. I too yearn to try my hand at it. Hopefully someday I would get the opportunity.

Absolutely beautiful!

~ Kanchan

designnewsonline said...

Beautiful Sculptures! Looks very exotic and adds very much Indian flavor to home. Like!! Like!! Like!!

Infofan said...

Lovely blog. I am looking forward to reading more posts on the Indian handicrafts.