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These exquisite marbles will floor you

The ‘Makrana’ marble which was used in Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and even in our very own Charminar is in demand, writes Swathi. V

Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

Wide range: Nagole is the destination for those planning to buy marble.

Kanhaiya Singh from Bihar, now in Hyderabad for livelihood -- he earns Rs.1,400 per day when trucks from Rajasthan arrive on Sundays -- has deep scars on his weathered muscular shoulders. Recounting how he was injured while unloading a lorry he says,

“It is very sturdy. Not as delicate as it looks.”

That’s Makrana marble for you. Rock-hard, yet as soft as moonlight. Named after the town in Rajasthan to whose hundreds of dingy mines it traces its origin, the marble of Makrana has its glory echoed by monuments such as Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial and various Birla Temples across the country. “Even Charminar has this marble,” says Kesharam of Charbhuja Marbles in Nagole.

Nagole has about hundred such marble estates in its vicinity. While a few outlets deal only with Makrana and imported slabs, a number of others sell popular varieties such as Onyx and Morwad.

“Morwad is much in demand. Depending on quality, it costs anywhere between Rs.30 and Rs.100 per square foot,” says Prateek Agarwal of Marble Estate. His family owns a marble gang-saw unit in Kishangarh, Rajasthan. Many of the estates in Nagole were set up in 1990s by marble factory owners from the desert State. “Our survey about six years ago revealed that Hyderabad was the most happening place in terms of real estate and construction. That was when we decided to set up a branch in Hyderabad,” said Avinash Punglia of Suryaa’s Marble Estate that has its factory at Chittorgarh. Nagole, then on the city outskirts, has become a favoured destination due to cheap land rates and easy access.

Now the sprawling marble estates here have customers from places as far as Vijayawada, Khammam, Gulbarga and Bidar.

Various varieties of the much desired calcite slabs, Morwad from Morwad, Onyx and Green marble from Udaipur, Yellow marble from Jaisalmer, Indo-Italian marble from Aandhi and Katny from its namesake in Madhya Pradesh to name a few, are sold like hot cakes depending on users’ preference and affordability.

Makrana, Morwad, Onyx and Katny are the finest varieties with different ranges of price based on quality.

Baswara, the cheapest, is available at Rs.25 per square foot. Green and Yellow marbles are mostly used for bordering and patterning, explains Prateek.

However, Kesharam will not have anything classified on par with his pet, Makrana.

“Makrana is endowed with long life and eternal sheen due to the 98 per cent calcium it contains. Morwad or any other variety will fade within a year,” he says. Only 40 per cent of Morwad is marble, the rest being iron, confirms a worker of another estate. However, irrespective of this fact, customers hanker after Morwad, he laments. They have a good reason to do so.

The rate of Makrana can clamber up to Rs.900 per square foot depending on its elegance. Of all its varieties, Albeta and Dongri are rated the best.

Imported varieties include Australian White Marble and Italian Marble, the former obtained from Vietnam and the latter from Italy, Silvassa and Delhi.

Australian white marble, which costs Rs.200 to Rs.1000 per square foot, has fibre filling to add strength. Slabs are available in sizes of 2X1 and 10X6 feet.

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