Destinations Magazine

Postcards from Pottery Town: Clay, Creativity and a Glimpse of Old Bangalore

By Rashmi Gopal Rao

If treading off the beaten path is of your interest and exploring Bangalore beyond its monuments and pubs is on your agenda, head to Pottery town located in the Cantonment area (near Benson town) of the city. A unique locality that has been in existence since the times of the British Raj, pottery town is a place that will take you back in time, a time when life was slow paced, simple and carefree!

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old BangalorePottery town, Bangalore

With oodles of old world charm, this interesting area is home to pot makers who mostly operate out of their homes and keep busy whilst making pots, pans, ‘urlis’, diyas, tandoor ovens and the like.  All products are handmade and reasonably priced.

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore
A house in Pottery town

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore
A glimpse of Pottery town products

Keeping pace with the times and the needs of the modern consumer, contemporary products like pencil stands, vases etc are also made in huge numbers.  You will also find earthern cookware including handis, thanks to the renewed interest in ‘ecofriendly and healthy’ cooking.

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore
Pencil holders, vases et al

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore

Pottery town comes alive during festival time whether it is Ganesh Chaturthi or Diwali.  The demand for Ganesha idols and diyas respectively is at its peak and the town is a picture of hustle, bustle and frenzied activity.

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore
Ganesha in the making

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore

But all is not rosy for the inmates of pottery town as they face several challenges.   Availiability of raw material is a major issue and most of it is now sourced from far off places like Kolar and Hoskote.  Earlier, clay would be easily available in Bangalore lakes.

Postcards from Pottery Town: clay, creativity and a glimpse of old Bangalore

While the number of families in the trade has now come down to about 35-40, most of them feel that the numbers will come down further as there is no real recognition for their work from the government and the next generation prefer more lucarative jobs.  The entire locality also faced threat of relocation recently due to metro work construction but the inmates did confirm that this issue has now been mitigated.


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