Khurja considered one of the oldest Pottery Centre’s, was established in the thirteenth century by families of Afghan Potters, who specialised in making glazed tiles and some amount of utility ware. It is a small town in the state of Uttar Pradesh. There are nearly 400 factories here, making ceramic items, such as sanitary goods, electrical goods, tableware and decorative ware.
In the 1970’s the Government upgraded all the existing potteries and modernized the kilns. Today
it is the largest producer of utilitarian glazed pottery for the average Indian home. Due to large scale production the pottery is very reasonably priced, this has also increased its demand and helped exports. There is a regular influx of designers, giving new design inputs. The new contemporary designs have improved market prospects, especially in the hospitality industry.
Only a few of the families are still into the traditional form of this ceramic art. Of these Rashid Ahmed's Pottery is one of the best known. Belonging to an unknown family that migrated to Khurja from Multan with the army of Taimur the Lame, nearly 400 years ago, pottery obviously ran in the family. Rashid Ahmed's great-grandfather was so skilled that, in 1903, he won a merit certificate at the First Indian Craft Manufacturers' Exhibition in Delhi. Rashid Ahmed was born in Khurja and, till his death, worked there with his brothers. Rashid Bhai as he was called, was considered a wizard, not merely in shaping the clay, but in every ancient technique of this age-old craft. Because of him and the support given to him by the Government, it is possible to see this craft line, still in production even today. Today Khurja is a bustling centre of ceramic activity and a trip to this small city is a must for every pottery lover.
Khurja is about a hundred kilometers from Delhi. It can be reached by road or train. The drive takes about three to four hours with a stop. If one starts early enough a day trip is sufficient to see Khurja.