The stone craftspersons of Himachal Pradesh belong to the batada or the bataihra community. Himachal has a fair variety of stone used for carving and construction. For building purposes, rubble masonry is used while sand stone is used for carving relief structural panels for temples. Good quality lime stone is available in Kangra, Mandi, Bilaspur, and Kulu and is used mainly for utilitarian objects.
The traditional centres for carving are Kangra, Mandi, Bilaspur, Sirmaur, Chamba, and Kulu. The traditional stone-carvers in the Dehlu village of Mandi chisel two- dimensional images of Deot Siddha, a popular demi-god worshipped in Mandi. They also carve large lingayoni stones to install in the temples. Domestic products like stoves, angithis, flour-mill stones, kundis, pestle and mortar sets, dauri danda, mill stones, and chakkis are still made all over the state. Fountain stones, locally called panihas, and erected to commemorate the death of a king, village hero, warrior, or clan ancestor are a common sight in Chamba and Mandi. They are probably referred to as fountain stones owing to their proximity to water springs or a temple complexes.
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