Saturday, April 19, 2008

‘Pols’ of Ahmedabad

‘Pol’ is the oldest residential cluster of micro-neighbourhood in Walled City of Ahmedabad. The word Pol is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Pratoli’ meaning entrance to an enclosed area.

A Pol construct consists of Gate at the entrance, Blackboard, Temple, Water Pots, Chabutaro, Well and a Tank. Each of these elements has their own unique functions. Mahurat Pol, Mandvi-ni-Pol, Lakha Patel-ni-Pol are some of the oldest existing Pols of Ahmedabad.

Pol Paraphernalia:

Pol Gate – The Pol Gate is entrance under the porch accessing main street. A steep stairway leads to the guard’s quarter located atop the entrance.

Blackboard – The Blackboard is located in the chowk (common opening) or near Pol gate. Blackboard carries important announcements and information for Pol residents.

Temple – Each Pol consists of a religious place, where residents offer prayers and perform puja.

Water Pots – Each Pol has their own Water Pots ‘Parab’ where passers-by can have clean drinking water.

Chabutaro – Each Pol have Chabutaro (Bird-feeder). The Chabutaro is bird’s space to eat and drink water.

WellKuvo, a rarity today, (Water Wells) were once integral part of each Pol.

Tanka – An underground storage for rainwater harvesting was part of traditional house once.

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