The Art and Crafts of Orissa is deeply ingrained in the very tradition and culture of Orissa. A look at the many archeological remains, monuments and temples in Orissa bears testimony to the exquisite Stone Carving and architecture that was and is prevalent in Orissa. Crafts of Orissa forms an integral part of the socio cultural system of Orissa. These artisans and craftsmen of Orissa maintain a high degree of craftsmanship. For many of the Stone Carving artisans, this was a craft that was prevalent in their family for generations. Their forefathers were known to create dreams in marble and sandstone. A look at the many temples of Orissa like the Lingaraja temple, Gopunath temple, Jagannath temple, and the Sun temple in Konark bears testimony to their exquisite handiwork.
The modern scenario in Orissa hasn't changed much as far as Stone Carving is concerned. These artisans are as deft and skilled as their forefathers. The only difference is that instead of carving temples they now do decorative and utilitarian pieces in stone. Simple tools like hammers and chisel are mainly used to draw carve an outline and then work on it. Marble, soapstone and black granite are generally used.
Stone Carving is practiced in different parts of Orissa, each with their own individual trats. For instance the artisans of Pathuriasahi use soapstone to carve exquisite temples and figurines. Craftsmen near Balasore and its surrounding villages carve out utilitarian utensils out of semi hard stone consisting of pots, glass, ashtrays, plates, dolls etc.
Take a leisurely stroll through the market place of Puri or the sea beach to check out the various Stone Carving objects that are on offer. It should be included in your list of best buys for its utilitarian purpose and economical price factor.