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Facts about Khurja Pottery

Nestled in the heart of the Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh, India, lies the town of Khurja, affectionately known as ‘the ceramic town.’ It is here that one can uncover the rich tradition of Khurja pottery, a centuries-old craft that has not only stood the test of time but has also made its mark on the world stage.

A Glimpse into Khurja’s Pottery Heritage

Khurja pottery is a true testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of India. Crafted meticulously from clay, it’s a quintessential example of handmade and hand-painted handicraft. This pottery tradition finds its roots in the grandeur of the Mughal era, dating back over 500 years. It’s a legacy that has been passed down through generations, preserving the essence of an art form that continues to captivate.

Khurja Pottery Servewares | Image by Hisour

The Craftsmanship Behind Khurja Pottery

Creating Khurja pottery is a labor of love, involving several intricate steps:

1. Preparing the Clay: It all begins with the selection and preparation of clay, which forms the foundation of these exquisite creations.

2. Clay Molding: Expert artisans then mold the clay into various forms, ranging from ornate pots to delicately designed vases.

3. Smoothening and Painting: The surfaces are meticulously smoothened to perfection, and then the true magic happens—each piece is painstakingly hand-painted with intricate designs and patterns.

4. Glazing: To ensure the pottery’s longevity and luster, a glazing process follows, adding a protective finish that enhances its beauty.

5. Firing Process: The final step involves firing the pottery at high temperatures, which not only imparts strength but also brings out the vibrant colors and distinctive black hues that characterize Khurja pottery.

Khurja Pottery’s Unique Advantages

Beyond its aesthetic charm, Khurja pottery offers numerous advantages. Clay pots from Khurja are renowned for their culinary prowess. They maintain the pH balance of food, resulting in less acidic dishes, require less oil for cooking, and help retain the nutritional value of the ingredients.

Geographical Indication Protection

Khurja pottery has rightfully earned recognition and protection under the Geographical Indication (GI) status, as per the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This status safeguards the authenticity and origin of these exquisite creations.

The Artisans of Khurja

Khurja owes its vibrant pottery tradition to its skilled artisans, often referred to as Multani Kumhars. The term “Multani” harkens back to their origins in Multan. These talented craftsmen and women have transformed pottery-making into a livelihood that sustains many families in Khurja.

Modern-Day Khurja Pottery

Today, Khurja is home to nearly 500 factories dedicated to producing Khurja artwork. This includes a wide array of pottery, including pots, vases, crockery, tiles, and various other ceramic products. Among these, the Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute stands as a prominent institution dedicated to the art and science of pottery.

A Global Presence

In recent years, Khurja pottery has transcended borders, making its mark not only in the Indian market but also on the international stage. Its unique blend of tradition, artistry, and functionality has garnered global acclaim, placing Khurja firmly on the map of world ceramics.

Khurja pottery is not just a craft; it’s a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess. Its journey from ancient Mughal times to the modern era, its unique benefits in the kitchen, and its expanding presence worldwide all contribute to making Khurja pottery a cherished and enduring tradition.

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