One of the key building materials incorporated into the recently revealed Ayodhya Ram Mandir is Makrana marble, the very same natural stone employed in constructing the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. What attributes of this stone render it indispensable in the construction of monuments with heritage significance and global renown?
Where is Makrana?
Located 110 km west of the state capital, Jaipur, Makrana is a town situated in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The city is known to produce an annual quantity of 19.20 million tonnes of marble. Around 40,000 men are employed across 900 mines in various ranges of the Aravalli Mountains to extract the marble. The Makrana marble sector generates an average annual revenue of Rs 10,036 crore.
What is Makrana marble?
Makrana marble is a metamorphic rock found in a single deposit in India. It has a range of about 90–98% calcium carbonate. It is found only in Makrana.
Its chemical composition is varied with different elements in different amounts, but the basic features are Monazite and Feldspar. Available in different patterns, colors and sizes, Makrana marble often showcases density varies from 2.7 to 3.4 tonne per cubic centimetre.
- Compressive strength: 157.0 MPa
- Flexural strength: 14.2 MPa
- Density: 2,560 kg/m3
- Water absorption:0.62% mass
Characterised by its bright white color with intricate grey or black veining, this marble is world-renowned for its exceptional purity and aesthetic appeal.
Makrana marble is available in the following variations:
- 100% pure white with no variation, known as Sang-e-Marmar 100% white calcite grains
- Limited variation relatively uniform in backdrop colour, movement and veins (silicate mineral impurities manifesting through streaks/bands of grey, green and pink shades)
- Moderate variation shows some variation in backdrop colour, movement and veins
- Wide variation shows a lot of variation in backdrop colour, movement and veins
- Antique variation shows overstated variation in backdrop colour, movement and veins
The purer the quality, the fewer the impurities. Understandably, pricing goes up, too.
Depending on its grade, quality, size and availability, the per square foot price of Makrana Marbles can range from Rs 150 to Rs 1,200 per sqft.
Makrana marble tile size
- 30×30 cm
- 60×30 cm
- 60×60 cm
- 60×90 cm
- 2 cm
- 3 cm
- 4 cm
- 5 cm
- 6 cm
- 260×180 cm
- 180×60 cm
A preferred choice for cladding, paving, flooring, and façade, this pristine white stone is used in commercial and residential buildings for countertops, wall copping, pools, ornate garden furniture, fountains, sculptures, architectural embellishments, etc. Bright, shiny and even surface finish, it is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications.
Cleaning and maintenance
Even though it is resistant to scratches, cracks and stains, this thing of beauty requires regular maintenance and occasional sealing. Regular cleaning with mild, pH-neutral cleaners and avoidance of abrasive materials and harsh chemicals is advised.
Marble from Makrana in Rajasthan has become Asia’s first Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR), according to the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The Makrana marble is the first stone resource from India and Asia to get the GHSR status in July 2019.
Iconic buildings made of Makrana marble
The spectacular marble has been used to build forts, palaces and archaeologically significant buildings in India and abroad. Some of the iconic buildings constructed using the Makrana Marble include:
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Taj Mahal in Agra
Moti Masjid in Lahore
Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi
Dukhnivaran Sahib Gurdwara, Ludhiana
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
Victoria Memorial in Kolkata
Ram Mandir, Ayodhya
Interiors of Khas Magal, Red Fort, Delhi
Interiors of Red Fort, Agra
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