The text of our latest press release:
The Taj Mahal of Agra has been fabricated in White Marble with semi-precious stones inlaid on its surface. This art of Marble Inlay (Pietra Dura) can be used in the design and decoration of modern homes and offices. Kashmir Handicrafts, an Agra, India based manufacturer of Pietra Dura handicraft items employs expert artisans and preserves this majestic art from of the Taj Mahal.
April 13, 2009 – Agra, UP India – The Taj Mahal of Agra, India is one of the seven wonders of the world. Created in the seventeenth century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in the memory of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal never ceases to amaze the world for its timeless beauty, breathtaking craftsmanship and romantic symbolism. The magnificent art of Marble Inlay (Pietra Dura) is the foundation on which the majestic beauty of the Taj Mahal is based.
This art, though originating in Italy (Pietra Dura is Italian for “hard stone”), was taken to dizzying heights during the construction of the Taj Mahal in the seventeenth century by amalgamation of Persian and Hindu architecture and craftsmanship techniques. More than 20,000 artisans drawn from all over the world spent nearly 20 years in crafting the Taj Mahal in the seventeenth century and most of them settled down in Agra during this period. Since then this exclusive art of Pietra Dura has been the cultural heritage of the city of Agra.
The art of Pietra Dura involves cutting out a design on the stone slabs, making of grooves on the surface, shaping of semi-precious stones using emery wheels to fit into the grooves and finally “inlaying” of the stones on the marble surface. Semi-precious stones like Agate, Amethyst, Blue & Green Aventurine, Cornelian, Jasper, Lapis-Lazuli, Malachite, Moss-Agate, Sodalite, Tiger’s Eye, Serpentine, Chalcedony, White Jasper, Hematite, Onex-Marble are shaped and polished and then laid into the marble with adhesive. The work of art is so fine that sometimes even a single magnolia flower may have more than 50 different pieces of stone inlaid on it.
Kashmir Handicrafts has been relentlessly striving to preserve and popularize this art. Contemporary items like table tops in black and white marble stone, jewellery boxes, medallions, coasters, plates, dining tables, elephants, chess and backgammon boards, garden furniture and planters are manufactured with extreme care and high quality of craftsmanship. Most of the artisans who work for Kashmir Handicrafts are the next generation of the same artisans who settled down in Agra while creating the Taj Mahal and thus use the same ancient styles and techniques of craftsmanship and design.
Kashmir Handicraft welcomes inquiries and information requests about the art of Pietra Dura as used in the Taj Mahal. Kashmir Handicrafts can provide comprehensive white papers and photographs. Architects and Interior Designers can look forward to receiving detailed information about the use of this art in contemporary structures, buildings, offices and homes.
About Kashmir Handicrafts
Kashmir Handicrafts (http://www.kashand.com) of Agra, India, is Government of India approved manufacturer and exporter of Indian Handicrafts since 1965. Kashmir Handicrafts specializes in Marble Inlay Pietra Dura craft in the style of the magnificent Taj Mahal of Agra. Kashmir Handicrafts employs 40 skilled artisans and craftsmen who are the next generation of the very same artisans who created the Taj Mahal in the 17th century. In addition to custom Pietra Dura artifacts, Kashmir Handicrafts also manufacturers Taj Mahal Replicas and Night Lamps, Alabaster Lamps, Life size Alabaster statues and Bronze life size statues of animals, Indian Deities and European figurines.