Makrana Marble is now a Global Heritage Stone Resource

The inclusion of the stone, which is behind the incredible marvels such as Taj Mahal in Agra and Moti Masjid in Lahore, in GHSR has not only brought a feather in the cap of Rajasthan but also good news in the state's stone market. (PTI File Photo)

Known for its fine quality, marble from Makrana in Rajasthan has become Asia’s first Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR), as confirmed by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

The Makrana marble is the first stone resource from India and Asia to get the GHSR status on July 19, confirms IUGS, an international non-governmental organisation devoted to international cooperation in the field of geology.

The inclusion of the stone, which is behind the incredible marvels such as Taj Mahal in Agra and Moti Masjid in Lahore, in GHSR has not only brought a feather in the cap of Rajasthan but also good news in the state's stone market.

"Good news for State that International Union of Geological Sciences, @theIUGS has confirmed #Makrana Marble to be #Asia's first Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR). It will give international recognition to Makrana Marble and help in its conservation too. #Rajasthan," Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot tweeted.

According to geologists, this news can bring researchers from all over the world to visit the place.

Makrana marble is a metamorphic rock, found in a single deposit in India, which has a range of about 90–98% Calcium Carbonate. The marble is found only in Makrana, a small town situated 110 km west of Jaipur.

Those associated with the stone industry see this as news that will bring inflation in the stone trade.

"Its a matter of prestige to everyone who is associated with Rajasthan, especially dealing with stones. After getting GIT awards, this new tag will bring Rajasthan on a world map and will help to flourish the depleting trade of Makrana marble, which is the best quality of marble in the world," Mukul Rastogi, CEO of Centre for Development of Stones and the organiser of Stone Mart, told DH.

At present, looking at the whiteness of the marble, the price of Makrana Marble range from Rs 150 per sq feet to Rs 1,200 per sq feet, Rastogi added.

The renowned sites where Makrana marble is used are Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi; Dukhnivaran Sahib Gurdwara, Ludhiana; Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Victoria Memorial in Kolkatta.

Besides its use in monuments, the marble is commonly used in the sculpture industry of India.

The sculptors see the newly attained tag as a revival of the art's popularity.

"This will certainly gain its lost popularity. From last few years, white marble from Vietnam was used as a replacement because it was less expensive. But now people will start buying the sculptures made from the original Makrana marble which will give a boost to the local marble industry", Satyaprakash Natha of Natha Moorti Museum of Jaipur told DH.

IUGS Executive Committee has ratified the GHSR proposals for seven new stones: Alpedrete granite (Spain), Bath stone (UK), Macael marble (Spain), Makrana marble (India), Pietra Serena (Italy), Rosa Beta granite (Italy) and Tennessee marble.

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