In Kerala, stone sculptures play a major role in traditional architecture. In fact, we have some of the best stone sculpture artists in the country. Kurukkanpara is a village in Thrissur where numerous families are engaged with the profession of making stone sculptures. As you pass through the village, you will witness a row of small shops on the roadside that sell stone sculptures to people. This village is located in the Kunnamkulam – Guruvayur road in Thrissur, which is around 25 km away from Thrissur town.
Gods and goddesses, lamps, kitchen products, stones for architecture, tombstones, there’s a wide variety of stone sculptures in each shop in Kurukkanpara village. The art of sculpture-making in Kurukkanpara dates back to numerous years. Each sculptor in Kurukkanpara village has learnt the art of traditional sculpture making from their ancestors. But today, they incorporate modern technology and use machinery to cut and polish stones for the sculpture.
In Kurukkanpara, three types of stones are usually used while making sculptures. Whitestone, black stone, and Krishna Shila are the stones you’ll find commonly used. Every sculptor has numerous stories to tell about each stone they use for making sculptures.
The Kurukkanpara workers receive orders such as kitchen materials and building construction materials such as stone steps, slabs, etc. More than that, temple works are in high demand. Small stone materials such as Ammi Kallu, small stone grinder, etc. are easily available in their shops. But huge orders need to get booked in advance.
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Like other businesses, COVID has also affected the sculptors in Kurukkanpara. But their love and emotional connection towards their profession keep them going forward with the art of sculpture making.