Whenever we came rushing back home in the sweltering heat, my grandmother always insisted on us drinking water from a matka, kept wrapped in a wet bright red cloth, rather than grabbing a refrigerated chilled water bottle. Traditionally, the matkas and other earthen pots have been used to store and keep water cold. Water stored in a matka or a surahi (another earthen pot with a narrow and long neck) gets cooled within a few hours, because they are porous. Thanks to that quality, the air moves in and out of the pot, bringing down the temperature of the water stored inside it.
Water from a matka is comparatively gentler on the throat; hence people who are prone to cough and colds are advised to consume it from such earthen pots than straight from a refrigerator.
Nowadays, you’ll also see jug-shaped earthen pots to store water, they are handy and will also look nice on your dining table. So this summer, bring on those cute looking matkas, delicate surahis, and jugs for refreshingly fresh and cool water. But make sure you scrub and clean them regularly.