From here onwards, ‘the gift galore’ will invade, butt-in and interrupt my all other blogging topics. With Christmas around the corner, and a much awaited birthday (of a girl who will turn 25 this January, 12th), there remains much to display and feel lucky.

Do you remember my post entitled ‘The Taj-Mahal’? Where I mentioned about a gift from R that I was awaiting? I’ll begin my gift galore section with this. R got me this beautiful marble inlay box from Agra, the inlay of which is a replica of what’s found in the Taj Mahal. Inlaying: what an interesting process!

Taj-Mahal was built in 1653 by Shahjahan, the 5th ruler of the Mughal Empire, for his beloved Mumtaz-mahal, on the banks of river Yamuna. A romantic setting per se, folklore goes that the Taj Mahal looks its best and alive on a full moon night!

The process of inlaying marbles with precious stones or gems to create an image or design as found in the Taj-Mahal or, to speak of, in almost all Mughal monuments, is called Pietra Dura or Parchin Kari. Considered as a decorative art, Pietra Dura typically follows the following process:

  1. The design is etched
  2. The stone work is assembled loosely
  3. The stones are glued to the substrate
  4. The stones are sliced and cut in different shape and sections
  5. Assembling and polishing so that the contact between each section is negligible.
  6. Grooving of the undersides for maximum stability.


And perhaps that is why, a marble inlay table top approximately takes 6 years to get completed! Think it’s tedious? I say that is art. Beyond the reach of ‘just anyone’, beyond erosion, eternal and never passé! Passed on to the next generation from the previous, marble-inlaying makes Agra, a must visit, apart from the Taj Mahal- that till date remains the biggest achievements of the Pietra Dura artisans.


Thank you R, for two wonderful slivers of eternal art to ponder on. You are such a great man. How you always know what I’ll love!


7 thoughts on “The Gift Galore: Marble marvel”

  1. They’re absolutely gorgeous. I especially love the first one with all that cutwork. Lucky you!
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Arent they? I knew you would love this. And i do feel lucky, alright 🙂

      Merry Christmas to you too. Wishing you and your family a very happy and a prosperous new year. Pass my love to the magic wicker basket.

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