Red Clay Pottery

Chunar, Mirzapur – Red Clay Pottery Products

  • Chunar is situated in the Vindhya range at a distance of 42 kms. Its District headquarter Mirzapur which is a very famous for its natural beauty, Historical events, Handicrafts & other Industrial setups and from the religious aspects as well. Especially Chunar town is existing in a triangular form on the right bank of holy   Ganga and the left bank of the Jirgo.
  • As Per Puranas the oldest name of Chunar was Charanadri as Lord Vishnu had taken his first step in his Vaman in carnation in the dynasty of Great King Bali in the age of Satyug. It also told that a very powerful man had travelled from Himalya to Kanya Kumari in the age of Dwapar and took rest here whose feet impression a rock became todays Chunar. The third one deals with Bhartihari, the ruler of Ujjain who came here for penance. A kingdom was later on built here. The fourth story sheds light on a rock statue built by Raja Sahadeo, who named the place as Nainagarh.
  • However Chunar is highlighted after the visit of Babar followed by Shershah Suri, Humayun, Akbar, Aurangzeb and finally,’ the Britishers.

Chunar, a small town in Mirzapur District of Uttar Pradesh, is known for its decorative Red Clay pottery. This pottery contains delicate designs made with silver paint.

A more elaborate variety is by producing a glossy finish using a special powdery preparation called ‘kabiz.’ This powder is made using the soil taken from rice field.

Cluster Development Scheme
MSME Development Institute, Allahabad, had taken up Cluster Development for ceramic products at Chunar in the district of Mirzapur. The institute organized Technology Development Programme, Financial Management Programme, Marketing Development Programme and also arranged visit of industrialists to places like Khurja, Chinhat, Kolkata for interaction and facilitating horizontal of Technology.

Programme Details
Chunar skills of making glazed terracotta artifacts using the Gangetic red clay has a hoary past dating back to the Mughal Period. After independence Govt. of U. P. set up a state pottery centre in 1953 to provide common service facilities to artisans at the location. However in response to market conditions, most artisans in the cluster have moved over to other categories of china clay, bone china and plaster of paris articles.

Structure of Chunar Pottery Cluster on the banks of Ganga in Mirzapur Dist. is as below:

Product Category No. of Entrepreneurs Annual Turnover Employment
Red Clay Glazed Terracotta 7 appx. 3.00 Crores Appx 10000
Plaster of Paris 37    
China Clay 30    
Bone China 2    
Adequate infrastructure for the benefit of artisan-entrepreneurs in the cluster is created by Govt. of U. P. However for various reasons much of it remains unutilized. In view of absence of agro-intensive activities in Mirzapur Dist., means of income generation are limited to artisan skills at the location. There was therefore urgent need to strengthen operations in the cluster.

completed Interventions are:
Up-gradation of technology to use oil furnace for baking operations
Capacity building for exports, advocacy, usage of BDS and scale of operations
Diversification of product range of the cluster to include festival time idols in states like Maharashtra and West Bengal. This will call for extensive work in the area of cost control to cover transportation and enhance competitiveness of the cluster.
Linkages with central Glass and ceramics Research Institute and Dept. of Glass and ceramics Technology of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi for technical support.

Action plan for this cluster envisages an expenditure of rs. 34.80 Lakhs over 3-year period 2004-2007. This includes a SIDO component of Rs. 24.61 Lakhs.

Pottery Cluster at Chunar

S. No. Category Activities  
1. Market Development 1. Market Study  
    2. Buyer Seller Meet with Fair Trade Bodies  
    3. Workshop on Marketing Management  
    4. Participation in Domestic Trade Fair  
2. CFC Creation Reopened closed Pottery Centre Permanent
3. Capacity Building of Cluster Actors Two Days Technology Awareness Seminar Visit to Khurja, Kolkata  
    Workshop on MCGF and its formation  
    Supplier Meet and RM Fair  
4. Misc./Other Creation and strengthening of Association Permanent
    Network Development Agent  

Important Chunar Contacts:

1. Chunar Pottery Association
station Road,
Govt. Pottery Centre, Chunar
Ph. 05443-222732

2. Unnayan Sansthan
Dhargah Sharif, Chunar
Ph. 05443 – 222256

3. Ceramic Crafts (India)
Station Road, Chunar
Ph. 05443 – 222421
E – mail :




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