Stone carving It is the ancient art of cutting natural rough rocks or stones into utility and decorative items. The end products are permanent and are least affected by forces of nature.Granite is easily available in Tamil Nadu and a large number of temples are carved of this stone. The artisans around Mamallapuram chisel great blocks of granite to produce massive pillars as well as small icons. Stone carving is also practised in other parts of Tamil Nadu like Thirunelveli, Ramnad, Madurai and North Arcot districts. The sculptors belong to the Vishwakarma or Kammaalar community.The Shilpa Shaastras or the treatise on crafts detail the measurements and techniques of sculpting, the quality of stone, its maturity, texture, colour and so on. They are polished by hand to give the figures a good glaze and glare. Rubbing with wax is also done to give the figures a lustrous appearance.One of the specialties of stone carving at Tamil Nadu is the illustration of animal and bird life. One common animal is the Yali, a combination of an elephant and a lion widely found in South Indian cosmology.