Allagadda stone carving is considered one of the important stone carving centers in Andhra Pradesh. Many historians love ancient sculptures and stone carvings. So for them, this topic of discussion would be great, isn’t it? Allagadda is primarily famous for sculptures. Mythological figures and the stone carvings of gods and goddesses in the temples in this region and other handicrafts are typical illustrations of the stonework. It has also been issued a Geographical Indication (GI) registration certificate by the GI Registry of Chennai.
The remains of sculpted stone artifacts and tools from the New Stone Age while the stone carving tradition in Andhra Pradesh dates back to the 2nd Century BC and when Amaravati was an important Buddhist center under the Satavahanas. Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic architecture in the region stand testimony to this craft due to its historical appearance. In Allagadda stone carving the sculptors widely use a Sand Stone called the Isula Rai in the local language and Krishna Shila Stone( Black Stone) called Pesara Rai in the local language. Allagadda Sculptors strictly follow the ancient knowledge of Shilpa Sastra which literally means the Science of Shilpa and in Vijayanagara style.
The Sculptors are following the Shilpa Sastras namely “Rupa Dhyana Ratnavali” and “Kashyapa ShilapaSastram” pertaining to carving divine creations of God and Goddess like Lord Ganesh and Gautam Buddha. These Shilpa Sastras and the ancient stone carving work have been evolved from ancient Shilpa Sastras, and are promoted by Tirumala Tirupathi Devastanams(TTD).
The Allagadda Stone carvings are mostly found in large size( usually in feet). The size of the Stone carving earlier was ranging from 3 feet to 40 feet height and presently around 3 feet to 7 feet stone carvings are sculpted in much demand. Also, this technique of stone art involves the usage of a fine different number of chisels which makes them look more attractive.
The products from Allagadda Stone Carving nowadays in Andhra Pradesh are displaying the superb creativity and skillset of the artisans and sculptors. Very fine structures of the carving, sharp features and the beautiful look of the products show the efforts and careful attention given by craftsmen. The primary focus of the theme they used while carving was not merely on physical attributes, but on higher spiritual values of life. To give expression to such abstract conceptions and human emotions, the sculptor consciously set their goal to make such a historical appearance.
Largely temple-related sculptures like Vigrahas or idols of God and Goddess, Buddhist Stupas, door frames for temples, and architectural elements such as lintels and pillars are carved in Allagadda clusters. They also make Dancing figures, human forms, kings and queens having attitude and emotions, animal figures, bird figures and stone furniture like chairs, dining tables, sofas and benches for gardens, wall- hangings, swings in lawns and terraces.
Allagadda Sculptors use a single stone for carving with at most attention without having any damage to the whole piece. The craftsmanship of the traditional Allagadda Sculptors like in the Andhra Pradesh region is exceptional and this remarkable skill has been acquired and passed on to the generations. Today also, the way of sculpturing and stone carving of Allagadda is inspiring many of the modern designers and sculptors.