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Potter's Trail


God first created man in his image, and now, men create Gods in their mould! Discover this time-worn tale unravel itself in the happenings of an archetypal Indian village – sunburned and sleepy. At the village potter’s workspace, watching him surrounded by dolls of all sizes, in various stages of the making and you will recall many such visits across the expanses of rural India. Yet each one has its own narratives to share. It could be related to the native clay… the water… the very sunlight, which impacts the making…giving it a slight twist to what you would find elsewhere.

Why you will love it

  • Discover the special narratives of pottery making that are individual to the Madurai experience
  • Learn why are earthen horses, made by the velars (members of the potter community) are offered to the deity Ayyanars here?
  • Get your hands dirty and try your hand at the potter’s wheel

What you will experience

Join us on a visit to Tamil potters’ village, and watch mud go from the mundane to the sublime. At the workshop we will watch magic created by a simple villager, who by plying his ancient craft becomes creator who can just by the studied movement of his hands transform basic clay into a work of art – be it a deity or a horse. Marvel at the dexterity of those hands as they gently pack hundreds of dolls into a fire to bake them; soak in the rich nuances of the skilful application of their paintbrushes to bring a blush on an earthen cheek. At the Ayyanar temple, we discover the colourful terracotta horses. Intrinsic to Tamil village pantheon Ayyanar (most Tamil villages have an Ayyanar shrine) is also referred to as a ‘viran’ or a brave one, a warrior who rides horses, brandishes a trident and fights demons and protects the villagers.  The votive offering of terracotta horses for good rainfall and a good harvest is quite the norm in rural areas here. Dotted all across the Tamil landscape you will discover these small statues of terracotta horses as well as more than life-sized, colourfully painted cement horses, often with warriors straddling them, as they are revered as the guardians of the villages.

Get down on your knees and knead the clay and set it upon the potter’s wheel the rekindle the magic of those skilful hands. Stock up your memory bank with stories that run the gamut of history, mythology, tradition, and fantasy, unravelled for you by the villagers, the priests and the craftsmen …

INR 4500 per person | 3 hours | Family Tours

Madurai,India | +91 956 093 0445

Images Credit - Storytrails

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