(Last Updated on : 07/05/2015)
The stone crafts of West Bengal are centered round Simulpur in Midnapur, Patun, Dainhata and Burdwan. The traditional stone carvers are called by the name of Sildah or Bhaskars or Sutradhars in West Bengal. The most important centre of Bengal school of Stone Sculpture is located in Burdwan.
The stone crafts of West Bengal are well admired for the excellent sculptures, the carved panels and plaques in the temples in the region. The Bhaskars or Sutradhars generally use brick-red stone to create stone figurines for temples and sometimes for houses. The artisans of this state create a huge variety of utensils and other utility items with a semi-soft grey stone which is known by the name of Phyllite. This particular craft reached its zenith during the Pala dynasty. The Buddhist and Tantrik cult of that period have conceived their own god-form which became the subject matter of the creations of the local artisans. The artisans with their indigenous style and creativity make different articles like bowls, cups and plates of various shapes and sizes. Sometimes the mythological images and religious deities are created out of stones, among which intricately carved elephants and the idol of Goddess Durga are widely found in the local market of West Bengal.
The temple of Belur in West Bengal which was founded by Swami Vivekananda, the disciple of Ram Krishna, is an example of excellent stone work of the West Bengal artisans. This temple is built majorly on a chunar stone and some portions in the front part of the temple are made of cement. This temple exhibits three umbrellas like domes at the top which are built in Rajput-Moghul styles.
The stone craft of West Bengal, though rarely found, shows artistic capability and adaptability of incorporating the traditions of different religion and culture.
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