An ancient city, once the capital of the Empire of Harsha, the city of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh is known by many names. From Mahadoya during the Mihira Bhoja time to the classical name Kanyakubja, some people also refer to it as ‘The Perfume Town of India’.
The Perfume Town of India
Known from ancient times as the city for distilling fine, natural fragrances, Kannauj is rumoured to be the city where Emperor Shah Jahan fetched fragrant oils. Identified as attar-making, fine scents such as Jasmine oils, Rose water and even the smell of rain can be re-produced by the villagers here. A secret passed on from generation to generation, the tradition of making these fragrant oils is unique to Kannauj and perfume production is the proud heritage of the people of this city.
Attar Production Today
In recent times, the high cost of production is causing the Attar-Making tradition in the city to fade. People are forgetting the natural and healing properties of fragrance oils and are replacing them with chemical paraffin based perfumes.
A rich cultural tradition that has survived centuries is fast-losing its hold to modernity. Experience Kannauj before this gift is forever forgotten in the passage of time.