I had been planning to go for Stona 2008, an international granites and stone fair held in Bangalore. So, on last Saturday, 09th February 2008, I went for the show accompanied by my cousins. Stona 2008 was held from 06 – 10 February 2008. First three days of the show were reserved for business delegates and on the last two days, 09th and 10th Feb, general public was allowed view the exhibition. 2006 was the last time when the show was held. This time show was big with 2100 stalls (from 400 exhibitors) compared to 100 stalls in 2006. Exhibitors from Italy, China, Turkey, Egypt and other European countries were also present in the show.
Bangalore PalaceBangalore Palace Grounds near Vasanth Nagar, where the show was held was busy with activity. Red carpet welcome was at its truest sense when the whole Palace ground was covered with the same. People flocking to see granites, marbles, tiles and various creations from the same was a common sight. It being a second Saturday had attracted many people from the city to witness the stone wonders.
'No War' PistolWe started our Stona 2008 journey by visiting pure business stalls where information about the company and stones they dealt with, along with sample stones were on display. This as you would expect did not arouse much interest in us. I had seen photographs of some of the best stone creations in Stona 2008 in news papers, so was eager to see that. After visits of some similar business stalls, we saw those stone creations like – idols of Lord Ganesha, Lord Krishna and other gods, animals like elephant, lion, themes like a giant pistol tied at the tip saying No War etc. Stone creations have been fascinating men from pre historical times and in this modern age it was no different. Lord Ganesha was the favourite of most of the artisans at Stona 2008, with most of the idols being of Him. Lord Buddha seemed to be the next favourite.
Granite TrainApart from stone creations there were stalls which exhibited machinery which were used to give the artistic shape to a mere stone. Also on display were power tools, abrasives, house keeping chemicals, grinders etc. State owned companies in stone business from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too had their stalls. Andhra Pradesh map formed from various tiles available in the state was artistic. Apart from the business representatives, there were people buying stone work for that artistic and aesthetic look in their homes. One of the great attractions of the show was the train made out of granite by Granite Products Corporation.
FountainBut the biggest attraction of the show, what I felt was the Shilpagram. Shilpagram was a congregation of some of the best artisans, where they used to display their works. Idols of gods, animals, temples, abstracts were on display. Main attraction here was the giant Lord Ganesha idol which was on sale for some 35 lakh rupees. Fine carvings made on the idol for over 3 years by the artisans were the prime reasons for the price. Artisans from north, south, east and west of India were present in Shilpagram showcasing their talent.
Lord Ganesha idol in ShilpagramTruly it was an enjoyable experience in all, seeing the brilliant stone works on an otherwise usual Saturday!
For all the photos from Stona 2008, Bangalore click on the slide image below.