GREAT SLABS of hewn marble indicate that Makrana is a highly commercial stone-quarrying centre. The quarries stretch over a distance of 20 km (12 miles) and produce the highly-prized luminous white marble that was used to build the Taj Mahal. Quarrying began several centuries ago, and traditional open-pit methods are still used to excavate the stone. The demand for good quality marble has not lessened, and nearly 50,000 tons are mined annually and transported throughout the country.
The town is also a good place to pick up gifts and souvenirs. Many small workshops have sprung up where artisans carve statues, pillars, vases, lamps and other objects for local sale and export. Objects are also sent to Agra where marble inlayers re-create the same delicate floral patterns as seen in the Taj Mahal.
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