The hard, solid substance, formed of non-metallic mineral is called ‘Stone’. Granite is a kind of igneous rock. When high-tempered magma cools down in underground, granite forms slowly. The minerals which contain this rock look like small flakes usually spread systematically throughout stone. They are backbreaking and impenetrable.
Chemical compositions of Granite
The hard and coarse-grained rock makes up most of the earth. It consists mainly of three minerals: quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase feldspar. Alkali feldspar contains alumina and silica. Plagioclase feldspar contains sodium and calcium. It also contains small amounts of minerals such as hornblende and biotite mica.
The uses of granite stone in ancient India
We come to know from India’s long history that dating back to 3200 B.C about the use and development of stones. On the architectural heritage of our country, there are deep embossments of dimension stones.
Innumerable temples, palaces, forts have been carved out of locally availablestones. Khajuraho temple, Konark temple, Elephanta cave are the good examples.The Taj Mahal in Agra is the age defying evidence which is made of marble
In the 3rd century Sanchi stupa — the ancient Buddhist monument- was built up by carving stone. Besides this, a lot of major archeological set-up and statuettes show the use of carving stones.
Typical uses of Granite Stone
Granite is generally used as building material. But it is also used as structural and decorative purposes. Typical exterior uses for granite include: ———-
- Ø Sculpture
- Ø Sculpture bases
- Ø Architectural garnish
- Ø Grave markers
- Ø Paving and curbstones
In ancient India, a lot of forts were built up by carving stones. In Southern India, Rajaraja Chola of Chola Dynasty built the world’s first temple made of granite. It is Tanjore, India built up in the 11th century A.D. In 1010 the Brihadeeeswarar temple was built which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The tallest temple in South India —— Gopuram is made of granite.
In ancient Egypt, the Pyramids were also built up by using granite. The Red Pyramid of Egypt, is third largest of Egyptian pyramids was built up in 26th century B.C. has granite surface.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, contains a huge amount of granite, fashioned of ‘’Red Aswan Granite’’. In ancient Egypt, granite was used widely to make columns, walls, floor etc. It is still a matter of debate that how the Egyptians worked the solid granite.
In Victorian Britain, granite memorials became a major status symbol. Aberdeen, in Scotland, is known as ‘’The Granite City’’ which is constructed mainly from local granite. Granite was generally used to build up the foundation of homes in England. Because, granite was abundantly found in New England. America’s first railroad, ‘The Granite Railway’ was built to granite. Is granite a stone?—can’t asked as there are number of proofs in support of this.
Many world famous memorials were made of granite.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
The world’s most recognizable granite monument is in the southeastern side of Mount Rushmore.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall
It is located Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The V-shaped memorial wall made from 500 feet of polished black Indian granite.
This memorial was dedicated in 1982 to pay the honor of soldiers who were died or missing in action.
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain
It is located I London’s Hydem Park. The un usual fountain was made from 545 pieces of Cornish granite.
Thee granite fountain flows in two directions from the highest point. According to Royal Parks officials, it is the symbol of the princess’ openness and equality. It was dedicated in 2004.
From the ancient age, stone has been used to express our thoughts, ideas etc. The architects, sculptures, memorials are the evidence of it culture. So, it can be said that, granite is not only a stone but the language of our civilization and culture.