Ever since I learnt throwing on a potter’s wheel, I’d been fascinated by the art. Its amazing how potters in no time give shape to something that was just clay.
It is also during my exposure as a pottery student that I came to know about the various methods of firing pots. So, to feed my craze for pots and the likes, I finally went to Khurja this weekend.
Khurja is around 90 km from Delhi and lies in the Bulandshar district of Uttar Pradesh.Primarily known for its pottery factories, Khurja supplies ceramics (also some bone china) all around India and is even a base for exporting to other countries.
Being in U.P., I was initially wary of the crazy traffic I’d get while going there and in order to bell that cat, I left early morning.
With sandwiches and cinnabons packed for the journey, the 2 hours drive got covered without any problem. The route is simple: one needs to take NH 24 and take the first exit to G.T. Road (NH-91 I think). The drive to Khurja from there is pretty much straight. Khurja is well mapped on NH-91 so after crossing Sikandrabad, the milestones will guide you all the way to your destination.
Painting the pots
Headed towards the source itself, it’s no surprise that the place has kilns and factories one after the other. The best part was that we got to see how the pots get made! Pots here are basically made from moulds, covered with various glazes to give the color and then finally fired in HUGH kilns.
A batch of pots ready to be fired
The pots are fired in kilns for as long as 16 hours, where these kilns guzzle gallons and gallons of Oil.
Some factories have whole sale shops and their so called emporiums setup as well. I agree with the tag emporium after I saw a shop having 4-5 levels, just for ceramics products. The magnitude of place gives you a high after you’ve been inside for a while. With so many pretty objects, I felt like buying everything…. let’s just say I splurged! All worth it though.
Kiln for firing pots
The trip gave us an bonus when we saw this huge place selling bonsais and pots. The pretty plants just drew us in and got us talking to the people tending to the place. Orignally setupin 1961 for pottery , It was 10-15 years back that the owner’s decided to make plants for passion: Bonsais. There were such amazing bonsai’s and plants all around… jade, ficus, cheeku, cactus etc.
Both plants and bonsai pots (pots made specifically for potting bonsais) here are for sale. However, there were 2 bonsais that were for display only. These were as old as 35 years and when asked how much they would sell for, we were given a whopping figure of nothing less that 3.5 lakhs!
It was nice learning about the history of the place and how things work there and after spending almost the entire first half of the day there, I returned home with all smiles!
Follow the link here to view more pictures from Khurja