Travel Story – Kaushik Ghelani
In today’s era of globalization, when the whole world is being painted in one color, everyone is losing their unique culture and identity. In such circumstances, even today, Ahmedabad is sitting preserving its diverse characteristics. Entire Ahmedabad has been given the status of World Heritage City by UNESCO. Ahmedabad is the first heritage city of India. This status alone shows the heritage importance of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad has precious cultural heritages. A beautiful combination of the glorious past and the present is what you will find in Ahmedabad. But for that, you have to take the time to wander in the streets and exquisite architecture of Ahmedabad early in the morning, because during the day there is no place where you can walk peacefully. Sometimes leaving the cafes or restaurants and tasting the lorries parked in the narrow lanes will give you a real taste of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad’s identity is similar to the streets and several buildings from the medieval period make Ahmedabad a heritage city. We now wander through the streets of Ahmedabad, listening to the stories alive in the stones of the buildings built centuries ago.
Ahmedabad is a confluence of various religions, castes, industries, traders and artisans. Ahmedabad has a unique identity in the entire world as a city that nurtures the human spirit of Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis etc. For centuries, streams of tradition have been flowing on the soil of Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad Pol has also been very important in giving Ahmedabad the status of heritage city. To preserve this tradition and pass it on to the next generation, Heritage Walks are organized by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation so that the youth get familiar with and develop interest in our heritage. This walk is also called Temple to Masjid walk. Muslim monuments, Hindu temple and Jain derasar and folk life are combined in this heritage walk.
This heritage walk starts from Sri Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur area. This temple located in Kalupur area of Ahmedabad is the first temple of Swaminarayan sect. This temple was built with the guidance and instruction of Lord Shri Swaminarayan. The beautiful pillars of the temple are finely carved using Burmatic and painted with beautiful natural colors. Lord Sri Swaminarayan celebrated Rangotsav in Holi in the courtyard here. The temple is unique with its beautiful construction, carvings, carvings, variety of colors. The pigeons flying in the grand haveli and Jharokha seem to be spreading the message of peace from the temple. The heritage walk starts from here. From the temple of Lord Swaminarayan, the walk goes to the Chowk of the poet Dalpatram. Here we depart for the home of Sri Dalpatram, the foremost poet of Gujarati literature. Here the statue of the poet Dalpatram sitting on the otla found in the old streets of Gujarat and especially in the streets of Ahmedabad has been placed. The statue is designed in such a way that people can come around and sit with the poet Sri Dalpatram like a family member with a book in his hand and one leg propped up on the porch while the other leg is down and one of his shoes is bare so that perhaps the children excited to wear the elder’s slippers. One can get some of his rites by wearing shoes. A little further from Kavi Dalpatram’s Chowk, there is a beautiful green lawn in Lambeswarar. The pillars of which are finely and ornately carved. Since there were not many trees, such constructions were made and their colors were also kept according to the colors of the trees which were suitable for the birds. The surrounding children can collect seeds from the house and climb the stairs of the platform and throw the seeds to the birds.
Now the journey to Pol will begin, usually a collective settlement of a group of people of different caste, religion and occupation. in each field
There used to be only one or two ways to come and go. Each field had certain things in common. Such as the entry way into the field, a small religious place according to the religion or caste people inhabiting, a well, a platform and a zarokha-like structure to guard the field were common in every field. Outside every house in the half, otlas were made for sitting. The houses are built adjacent to each other. Even after all these years, this half of the adikham is still standing today. The names of each of these fields are also named after some of its features. There are approximately three hundred to four hundred fields in Ahmedabad. Past the Lambeswarar crossing, the relief road (which was actually built for traffic relief is where the heaviest traffic is seen today.) is the Haja Patel crossing. There lies Calico Dome. It was designed by Geera Sarabhai and Gautam Sarabhai. Ahmedabad’s first fashion show was organized here in which Parveen Babi also participated. Currently, the repair work has started here by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
Beyond here is a field of salt wells. According to its name, the water of the well there is salty, hence the name Khara Kuvan Pol. There is a jarokha-like structure above the entrance of the floor which can be viewed from a distance. Kala Ramji temple is located here. This temple is more than three hundred and fifty years old. It is a haveli temple which has a temple in the lower part and a residential area in the upper part. The special feature of this temple is that there is an idol of Lord Rama in a sitting position without Hanumanji and the color of the idol is black. This Ramji temple idol is made of test stone which is used to assay gold. Beautiful carving work is seen in this haveli temple. Ahmedabad Pol means that even though it is narrow in areas, people who know how to live life with great breadth and integrity live here. The roads may be narrow but the hearts of the people here are big. Scattered benches for birds show their love for other creatures. The old people sitting on the pavement must have spent their lives happily. Long debates must have been going on in the past on these very premises. If the fountains of laughter would have been released, sometimes the load of the mind would have been lightened. The streets of Ahmedabad are just that
Not a residential location but a living and vibrant heritage of Ahmedabad. The real Ahmedabad was situated in Pol. Next trip will start next week. From the other half of Ahmedabad, we will proceed with the visit to the Haveli, Derasaro and Masjid.