Khurja – A Potters Town & Its Delicacies

Surahi a pottery work of Khurja
Surahi a pottery work of Khurja

Khurja a small town, about 100 km’s east of Delhi is one of the hidden gems for travelers. Which has not yet been explored as a travel destination? It is in western UP, a part of Bulandshahr district. Now what makes it special is the huge pottery industry that it has, with a history dating back to few centuries.

Colorful Khurja Pottery
Colorful Khurja Pottery

Khurja Food Specialties

Food is one of the parameters that define a place. An important part to explore in a traveler’s itinerary. And if you look around any place, however small it may be, you will always find something special that the place has to offer. So in Khurja these specialties are Khurchan and Kanji Wada.


Khurchan is a sweet but a very mild one. It is made with layers of Malai and sugar and like a cake needs to be eaten with all the layers intact. Surprisingly, though made of Malai and sugar, it is neither very heavy nor very sweet. And leaves just a perfect taste in your mouth.

Kanji Wada

Kanji Wada is a variation of Kanji, a popular winter drink in north India. Kanji is nothing but the fermented water, made from Rai (mustard seeds), salt and red chilly and at times with Heeng (asafoetida). Usually, red or 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. What you get in Khurja is Dal Wadas added to Kanji instead of carrots. The small Wadas are left in the water and they soak in the fermented water. It’s a sheer pleasure to put it in your mouth. You would love this dish if you have a chatpata tooth i.e. if you like spicy street food.

Khurja pottery items
Khurja pottery items


While on food, if you are not a vegetarian, you may want to stop at Sikandarabad for the famous Aas Mohammad Qureshi’s biryani. He sells chicken biryani in the morning and evening and beef one in the afternoon. I am told that he sells at least 1000 plates a day at a price of Rs 25/- for a plate of 250 grams. Can you do a back of the envelope calculation and see how much business it translates into. If you look at his infrastructure, his kitchen is back of his house. His shop is a platform to make and serve kebabs and a push cart.

His restaurant area is 3 wooden benches fitted on a metal frame in one row against a street wall. He is located in not so clean area, almost on the road which has busy traffic. But in spite of all that within his premise, you would find relative cleanliness. The benches were cleaned as soon as one set of customers finish. There was an attention paid to every customer. And a huge smile on the faces of people serving. Unfortunately, being a vegetarian, I could not taste this famous delicacy. But I could read the satisfaction on the faces of my fellow travelers as they were eating the biryani.

Khurja Pottery
Khurja Pottery

Manufacturing Process

I look forward to making another trip to Khurja to see the manufacturing process and especially the painting. I would also like to talk to the people engaged in the industry as they are the major players in a ceramics ecosystem. This is my second discovery in UP after Amroha. It such a learning experience to explore these hidden centers of excellence in the country. If you know of some more such places, please do let me know.

Colorful Bowls
Colorful Bowls

Recommend you read following travel blog on places to visit in Uttar Pradesh.

  1. Taj Mahal – Most Photogenic Monument of the world.
  2. City of Jhansi Ki Rani – Tourist Attractions.
  3. Rhythm of chaos on the ghats of Ganga in Varanasi.


  1. Yes, the pottery is made for the modern living. As far as travel destination is concerned may be they need marketing, but as far as selling pottery is concerned, they do not need it, they are already selling it across the country and exporting it all over the world.

    In fact Amroha was more amazing, they were just basic in their working, but they also sell across the world.

  2. write well young lady.just read some of ur blogs nd impressed

    hav a nice life

    GOD bless

  3. wen u make ur next trip to khurja can u gather some info bout ghee industry esp mahesh ghee and d family that runs dis business. i av heard a lot bout dem but dere’s no article bout dem in the net

  4. Hi Anuradha,
    Can you specify the name or street of the shops where you’ve clicked the pictures from ?
    Any place where we can shop a variety at a decent price?


    • There is one road in Khurja and wherever you go, you would see these potteries. Just land up in Khurja and you will be surrounded by them. There are no standard shops but ask for Fayaz Bhai’s workshop and he has a large variety.