Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Moradabad, The Brass Capital of India

The E-Rickshaw has caught up, what with being called, 'Mini Metro'!

Barely less than two hundred kilometres from Delhi, Moradabad is a must visit for aficionados of brass artefacts. A quaint old town replete with British Colonial era buildings, the town was once important for its railway junction. Needless to say, it still is, all the trains travelling north, towards Nainital, and  Bareilly, have to pass through this town. What was once a rather sleepy town is now catching up with times. While the older part of the town, the markets, the railway station, bus stand, and the Civil Lines area retain a tenacious hold on the past, the outskirts seem to be moving ahead with the times. 

This time my family and I decided to make a two-day trip to Moradabad to meet our relatives from my mother's side. Fortunately, the trip can be covered in less than four hours, thanks to the toll roads and by-passes that help you avoid crowded cities like Hapur. The climate is somewhat cooler than Delhi and the morning breeze can be refreshing because of the mountains to the North. It is remarkable to see how many of the residents who have access to the 'Company Garden' turn up in the mornings for some exercise.

Of course, if you are visiting Moradabad in the last two weeks of May, then you will surely come across the annual fair that was once housed inside the Company Garden but is now split in two locations, one is the outer boundary of the garden while the second part is housed in the Methodist Mission School. This year, however, it looked a bit downsized because of being split into two.

These are real cars and they are driven around the inner vertical walls at great speed.

Moradabad has retained a tenuous hold on to its history as the brass capital of the region. However, times are changing and as Sachin Chaddha, the Proprietor of the N.U.Handicrafts Showroom in Bartan Bazar told me, things are getting tough and he would not like his children to follow in his steps. Bartan Bazar is where you need to head to if you want to purchase brass artefacts.

As you can see in the above pictures, you will be spoilt for choice when you visit the brass outlets in Bartan Bazar. The items on display can be mind-boggling in range. A cheaper option than visiting an airconditioned outlet in a Mall, it is advisable to take with you a local person from Moradabad to ensure that you are not overcharged.