Guest Blogger continued…
Upon closer inspection of the Taj Mahal, the workmanship of the building is amazing. All the designs and writings are done with inlay technique using precious and semi-precious stones.
After our visit to the Taj Mahal, we went to Marble Krafts to see a demonstration of the artisans making the marble inlays using the same technique as found on the walls of the Taj Mahal. The family artisans create their own designs but will do special orders as well. We were told during the demonstration that the artisans are descendents of the original craftsmen who worked at the Taj Mahal. But the tour guide also told us about the legend of the Black Taj Mahal which has been refuted. Hard to know what to believe…
The semi precious stones such as Lapis lazuli, Onyx, Jasper, Cornelian, etc are combined with various marble colors to create items such as small boxes, bathroom tiles, chess boards & table tops. The decorative art is known as pietra dura inlay which has floral and geometric patterns ~ creating a beautiful result.
I’ve had an opportunity to travel extensively but can’t always take my family. During my travels, I like to bring a little something home and I started bringing small locally crafted boxes for my daughter. This box seemed perfect to add to her collection.
Speaking of shopping, upon returning to New Dehli, a few of us decided to go to the Dilli Haat Market. What a great place ~ it is organized with stalls from all the different regions in India. Also, there’s a nominal entrance fee (about 20 rupees) which means there weren’t any pickpockets or beggars to distract while we walked around the stalls. The central food area looked interesting but since I had just recently arrived in India, I was still not ready to tackle street food.
Hand stitched pashmina.
Before I went to the Dilli Haat market, I had never heard of a pashmina but after speaking with the vendor from Kashmir, I was convinced I had to get one for my wife. He said the material came from the neck ~the softest part. Later I learned there’s a trick to telling a good pashmina. Pull it through a ring and if it goes through smoothly, it’s good quality.
For more information on:
Marble Krafts, click here.
Dilli haat Market, click here.