India’s history, dating back to 3200 BC has been influenced considerably by the disposition, development and use of stones and other construction materials. India possesses a wide spectrum of dimensional stones that include granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, slate, and quartzite, spread out all over the country. India is also amongst the largest producer of raw stone material.India has varieties of granite in over 200 shades. Sandstone reserves in India are found over the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
There are huge variations within each of the rock types, caused by specific mineralogy and geology conditions, and while any stone can be used for building, they each have constraints that make them more or less suitable for different purposes. Granite, sandstone and limestone can all be used for building walls, but slate is only suitable for roofs and floors. Some types of granite can contain mineral salts that cause spalling, where the outer face of stone falls off; slate can contain harmful minerals that break down on exposure to the atmosphere causing stone damage; and sandstone can be too porous and fragile for load-bearing structures. An understanding of how the rock material was formed will reveal how it can be used in a building, what its limitations are, and how it will weather over time.
Some of the stone techniques involve Dry Stone stacking, random rubble masonry, dressed stone masonry. Mortared stone structures are less durable than dry stone, because water can get trapped between the stones and push them apart. Traditional stone masonry is rarely used today, because stone is expensive to quarry, cut and transport, and the building process is labour and skill-intensive stones are still the mainstays of civil construction in India, with stones being used extensively in public buildings, hotels, and temples.