After an early morning visit to the Taj Mahal, our guide took us to what some would call a tourist trap. An excuse to get tourists to buy wares or not, it was very interesting. There was a short film about Makrana where the marble used at the Taj Mahal originated. Then some Agra locals showed us how the semi-precious stones are ground down for use in marble work.
The girls were able to use the tools and feel how it is actually done. Little one could have stayed here at the wheel for hours helping them.
They use a natural orange tinted stain on the marble. With this they can better see the designs and chip away at the marble.
Once the design is carved, the gems are placed and glued. Then the marble is cleaned back to its natural, shining, white color.
These artisans complete marble work the same way it was done on a much larger scale over 350 years ago. Watching the labor that goes into the small pieces makes the wonder of the Taj Mahal being built in just 22 years even greater.
There is fine detail in the lattice work and gem inlay on each and every corner of the Taj Mahal.