Stone carving had achieved a high degree of excellence in this southern state very early in history. Today, granite carving is confined to the areas around
Mamallapuram and Chingleput. The sculptors here belong to the
Vishwakarma or Kammaalar community. A subsidiary form of carving is soapstone or maakal carving, found in the region between
Pondicherry and Cuddalore and around Salem.
Artisans of the Vishwakarma community are engaged in this art. The task of accomplishing perfection in stone requires dedication, skill and hard work : qualities that members of this community possess in abundance. Their glorious creations housed in temples and homes all over the world are proof of this.