How Ice Was Made in Ancient Times in India?

Ice is a commodity that we take for granted in modern times. However, the ability to produce ice was not always a simple task.

In ancient India, people had to rely on various techniques to create ice. In this article, we will explore how ice was made in ancient times in India.


The production of ice in ancient India was primarily for the use of royalty and affluent members of society. It was a luxury item that was used to cool drinks and foods during the hot summer months. The process of creating ice involved the use of natural resources and specific techniques that were handed down through generations.

The Process

The process of creating ice in ancient India involved two main techniques – the natural method and the artificial method.

The Natural Method

The natural method involved collecting ice from high-altitude areas such as mountain peaks or from frozen lakes during winter months. The ice would then be transported to lower altitudes where it would be stored in specially constructed underground pits lined with straw and sawdust.

These pits were designed with an opening at the top to allow for ventilation and drainage. The straw and sawdust acted as insulators, keeping the temperature inside the pit below freezing point for extended periods.

The Artificial Method

The artificial method involved creating ice using various techniques, including evaporative cooling and refrigeration.

One such technique involved placing water-filled pots outside at night during winter months when temperatures were below freezing point. The pots would freeze overnight, producing blocks of ice that could be stored for future use.

Another technique involved using evaporative cooling by pouring water over porous earthenware pots, which were then placed in shaded areas with good airflow. As the water evaporated from these pots, it produced a cooling effect that resulted in ice formation on the surface of the pot.


The process of creating ice in ancient India was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. People had to rely on their knowledge of natural resources and specific techniques to produce ice for use during the hot summer months.

Despite the challenges, the production of ice allowed for the preservation of food and drinks and provided relief from the scorching heat. Today, we have modern refrigeration techniques that make it easier to produce ice, but it’s essential to remember the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our ancestors who created ice using simple yet effective methods.