Utilitarian Products of Clay & Terracotta

Utilitarian Products of Clay & Terracotta

On any day of the week at the Potters' Square, just south of Durbar Square in Bhaktapur, a wonderful sight can be viewed. Thousands of pots are neatly lined up all across the square and in the shelters around the sides of the square with the potters busy at the wheel as they turn out more and more. Terracotta pots and containers of all sizes and shapes crafted by potters, locally known as kumhars/kumhale or kumbhakars, are on display. High round pots to hold grain, medium-sized one for water, other products serving as containers for tea, dishes for yogurt, holders for the coal of the smoking hookah pipes and oil lamps abound.

The square itself has two small temples, a solid-brick Vishnu temple and the double roofed Jeth Ganesh Temple. The latter is an indicator of how long the activity all around the square has been going on as it is believed that the temple was donated by a wealthy potter in 1646 - to this day its priest is a potter. Pottery is very clearly what this square is all about. Under the shady open verandahs or tin-roofed sheds all around the square, the potters' wheels spin and clay is thrown. In the square itself, literally thousands of finished pots sit out in the sun to dry, and are sold in the stalls around the square and between the square and Taumadhi Tole.

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