Taxila dates back to the Gandhara period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, which was an important ‘Hindu’ and ‘Buddhist’ center. People try to relate the present day stoneware craft to the tradition of sculpture making that existed here in that period, before the advent of Islam. In addition to the ruins of Gandhara civilization and ancient Buddhist / Hindu culture, relics of Mughals gardens and vestiges of historical Grand Trunk Road, which was built by Emperor Sher Shah Suri in 15th ~ 16th centuries, are also found in Taxila region.
Taxila Ceramics & Pottery Products Cluster is located across the Taxila Mountains near famous Taxila Museum. The town is known as Dibyan and the population’s major income comes from manufacturing and selling products of Black Stone and Ceramic Handicrafts. The use of glaze on pottery made from Matti or Fuller’s earth is mainly originated from Mongol artisans work, who combined Chinese glazing technology with Persian decorative arts. This technique travelled south to India with early Muslim potentates in the 14th century. In the start, it was used to make tiles to decorate mosques, tombs and palaces in Central Asia. Later, the Mughals began using them in India to mimic their structures from beyond the mountains in Samarkand.
Kashi work, glazing and hand painting of ceramic products is an important art for which Taxila cluster is famous. Presently, Taxila ceramics and pottery products cluster is comprising of around 1501 manufacturing units of small and micro / cottage sizes. Predominantly, it is an artisan based cluster. Around 3,000 people are directly or indirectly employed by the cluster, as workers, learning artisans or trade’s. The cluster is primarily catering for the local market needs, especially at Rawalpindi, Islamabad and adjoining regions. However, very few manufacturers have been able to establish sales networks across the country and exporting as well.