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• Granite is a very hard, crystalline, igneous rock primarily composed of feldspar, quartz, orthoclase or microcline accompanied by one or more dark minerals. It is visibly homogeneous in texture. It is the most common plutonic rock of the Earth's crust, forming by the cooling of magma (silicate melt) at depth. • The term 'Granite' is derived from the Latin word 'Granum' meaning 'grain' because of its granular nature. Italian granito, from past participle of granire to granulate, to make grainy, from grano, grain. • Granite is the hardest building stone and occupies a prominent place among dimensional stones on account of its hardness, resistance to weathering, capability to take mirror polish, fascinating colours and textural patterns. • The principal characteristics of dimensional granite also include high load bearing capacity, crushing strength, abrasive strength, amenability to cutting and shaping without secondary flaws, ability to yield thin and large slabs and - above all - durability. Due to its dense grain it is impervious to stain. Polished granite slabs and tiles have achieved a special status as building stones world over. • Granite is used as a building material in the form of granite tiles and granite slabs for wall cladding, roofing and flooring and a variety of other interior and exterior applications and especially for counter tops, kitchen work tops and vanity units and is the most popular material for monuments and memorials.