Friday, November 6, 2009

Matka Market (Pottery Market) – near Sarojini Nagar

Matka Market as its name suggests is a market for pots and is located near Sarojini Nagar, a well known thrifty market place. Markets for Matka or pottery dot all Delhi neighbourhood. Indian pottery comes in various hues, sizes and colours coupled with a host of techniques to make them. Jaipur blue pottery, Kagzi, Manipur black pottery are some of the ones which spring to mind not to mention the Khurja pottery which has made a name in itself.

So a mention by someone close of a market for pottery near S.N.Depot (Sarojini Nagar Depot) on the way to Chanakyapuri pickled my interest. The market’s presence was reiterated by my parents who had bought plenty of “martbaan” - the pickle jars, bowls in various sizes so famous from North. They further added that it was made at Gwalior potteries, the huge compound which once churned a lot of pottery / ceramic ware. My research on it and its product, whether it is still being made is on the “must do” list. My parents though weren’t sure if with all the changes in Delhi, the market and its potters were still there. The potters used to sit in an inside lane on the back wall of the compound of Gwalior pottery and sell beautifully finished hand glazed ware. Many of the pickle jars, bowls that we use at home were procured from here. So armed with so much information I set out in search of the martbaan sellers. The market is there alright but the martbaan was sadly missing, which was a bit of downer for me. Going with a prefixed notion has its pitfalls. Anyways the range is not so bad, quite good and reasonable. It is more towards terracotta – pottery for the garden and home, possibly this sells more than martbaans. Who does make pickle now?? It is bought off the shelf!!!

So there is plenty to choose from, terracotta Bankura horses, wax filled diyas, figures of Ganeshas, lovely garden pots – mural like vases, bells, hanging ones, chimes..….. of course Matka – possibly the name Matka market. My trip immediately after Diwali might have been the reason for the hangover of Diwali items! The prices - very reasonable. Another disappointment, the shops simply sell what is made elsewhere. There are no potters – so one cannot see what is being made. I did not enquire about the “martbaans” or Gwalior potteries, am planning to do so on another visit, which of course means another post!

Location – In a bylane on the road towards S N Depot – Sarojini Nagar Depot. To be precise on the Ring Road turn in to the right at the Bhikaji Cama Place crossing, simply follow the road and you can view the market on your right. It is opposite to the petrol pump next to the bus stop, near a school run by the Government. The lane is visible from the main road with pots piled high. Behind Gwalior pottery.

Timings – Open all days, morning 10:00 am onwards. The sellers also have their homes there.

Highlight – The range is pretty good and it is possible to make products on order. The range includes tortoise shell plant holders, tortoise shaped piggy banks, multiple pots, matka, bird baths, diyas filled with wax, figurines of Gods & Goddess….with good stock quantities. Painted ones are also available. It is ideal to pick up pots for the garden and bird baths.

Insider Tip – It is possible to bargain, there is a discount for wholesale meaning yes if you buy more number of pieces, it is possible to strike a better bargain. The prices are quite nominal. The road is nearly empty and is ideal for quiet browsing. In another otherwise traffic filled Delhi, it is peaceful with nice wide roads and interesting browse.

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