Origin: Around 15th century, at the Nagarjuna Konda Hills, a group of 300 Buddhists followers came together to carve Buddha statues, idols and stupas illustrating Buddhism. So, was born the Durgi Craft. In order to execute the Nagarjuna Sagar Irrigation Project, these craftsmen were moved down. In 1962, the group shifted base to a temple town of Durgi, making it the home to Durgi Carving. Durgi Stone Carvings are carved from soft lime stone addressed as "Sudda Rai" in local language. Durgi Stone Carvings are available only in this region.
For generations, these carvers have followed the traditional techniques of Durgi Craft. Since ancient times, they have derived inspiration from mind, mythology and real life. The epicentre of theme is spiritual values of life.
Present Day: The Chennai GI registry finally granted Geographical Indicator (GI) tag to the sculptures.
Today, the repercussions of commercial demand is that stone carvers are making simple, utilitarian designs such as paperweights and lampshades. Other craft items carved by artisans are statues of god & goddess, human form, animals and nature, utilitarian products, gift & decorative items, stands, lamp shades, shades, flower vase, tulsi pots, urli, jewellery boxes etc.
Presently, the ancient Durgi craft is carried forward by only 22 members and their families at Durgi in Guntur. Duri Village has started attracting a large percentage of tourists who are interested in learning about Durgi Craft and how they are crafting temple chariots and Hindu temple dome models.
Marvelous Durgi stone crafts can be admired at Nagarjunakonda museum and Durgi region.
Procedure: Durgi Stone carvings are a tribute to the rich and wealthy legacy of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The procedure calls for artisans working magic on hard and rigid lime stone while transforming it into gorgeous craft items. Durgi Stone carvings narrate the tales of Buddhism, mythology and Spiritualism.
Rigid lime stone is the most essential raw material of this craft. Locally, titled Shuddha Ral, it can be bought from the Govemment notified lime stone quarry located in close proximity to Durgi village.
Bring Home Durgi Craft of Andhra Pradesh: Most of the craft stores in Andhra Pradesh house a spectrum of idols craved the Durgi way. You can shop for this craft at Aristocraft, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Elegant Novelties, Amrit Nagar Colony, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Kiran Industries, Khokerwadi, Hyderabad, A R Stone Craft Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad, Gemstone Healing Craft, Andhra Pradesh etc.