Stone carving is a very ancient tradition in Bihar and ancient techniques of polishing can still be seen in the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath. This is made of black stone and has a striking green lustre.
Stone carvers are mainly concentrated in Patharkatti in Gaya district and in Chandil and Karaikalla in Singhbhum district. Among the articles that are carved are stone deities to be worshipped in temples and homes, as well as a variety of products for everyday use. The include thalis or large plates, bowls, grinding containers, and glasses. Black stone artisans of Gaya in Bihar are also famous. Legend has it that 400 years ago, Rani Ahilyabai Holkar called the Gaur brahmin stone-cutters of Rajasthan to build the Vishnapad temple in black stone in Gaya. These craftspersons took on local apprentices for the work. The raja of that area was so impressed with the quality of their work that he offered them land to live on as well as a stone quarry nearby. Today numerous utility articles in stone of various colours are being made in Gaya town.