The Potter’s Wheel – Khurja

Who doesn’t like these decorative and beautifully painted tiles, pots, home décor pieces? They are loved in every Indian household. India is a home to all kinds of arts, artisans, varied culture and traditions. These art forms are either ethnic or brought from other parts of the world, when our country was invaded; by different rulers, dynasties. Some of these art works are still practices in our country; however their origin is always questioned. The name Khurja is derived from Urdu, Kharija, meaning ‘condemned or cancelled’. Back in time when Khurja got its name, it was considered to be a wasteland as there were many swamps and agriculture was impossible.


#Women Voyagers thought “Enough is enough”. Travelling in groups is definitely banned, but road trips are always fun. Road trips help you to discover the real India, you not only see how crops are grown, but also how people live in villages. Women Voyagers decided to explore Khurja – a town which was established more than 600 years back. It still holds the legacy of rustiness, somewhere you are in the British era, that British touch is still prevalent in some parts of India.

The history of Khurja pottery goes back to around 14th century, when some wounded soldiers and commanders from Timur's army decided to remain. They had officially established Khurja as a town. These men were mainly from the imperial Kheshgi Dynasty of the Mughal Empire, descendants of the Kheshigs, who were senior officials throughout the Empire.


A number of these soldiers were potters and they brought this craft with them. Starting with red clay pottery, they moved on to blue glaze and on red clay articles During World War II, ban was imposed on various metals for making household utensils and import of ceramic goods was drastically curtailed. To meet the demand of ceramic wares mainly for war hospitals.

Khurja Pottery Manufacturing Process: I look forward to making another trip to the town to see the manufacturing process and especially the painting, also would love to talk to the people engaged in the industry. It such a learning experience to explore these hidden gems of excellence of our country. If you know wish to explore some of these gems, then come with Women Voyagers and learn more about our culture, our heritage, our history.


Kanji Wada is a variation of Kanji, a popular winter drink in north India. The Kanji is nothing but the fermented water, made from Rai (mustard seeds), salt and red chilly and Hing. Black carrots are added to this water. This drink with a tangy taste is a strong appetizer and will make you feel hungry after minutes of having it. It’s a sheer pleasure to drink this khaata, chilly drink, especially in summer.

Khurchan: delicious sweet made from milk. The top texture is a bit crisp, and the bottom layers are soft, and smooth. My quest for finding hidden gems of our country can never die. When I went to this small little sleepy town in western Uttar Pradesh – called Khurja – I realised that not only famous for its pottery, but the most amazing, delicious sweet called Khurchan. It is mildly sugared, which I instantly fell in love with. This sweet is prepared so laboriously, that only a handful halwais want to spend their time on this.

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