Pols of the Old City

On the eastern side of the Sabarmati river, lies the old city of Ahmedabad crowded with pols. The pols are housing clusters, often belonging to specific communities. The neighbourhoods on the other side of the gates of the walled city were at one time the backbone of Ahmedabad. They are currently reminiscent of times gone by and bring about a bout of nostalgia. Many of these pols have temples or shrines representative of the community’s faith. Many pols are still a part of cottage industries, so visitors can find people sitting on doorsteps hand-sewing books or crimping silver chains together. The cottage industries allow the residents to find livelihood without having to leave the boundaries of their home and community. There are bird feeders in each pol known as chabutro and crevices built into the walls for birds to use as houses. Walk around this spectacular neighbourhood to soak in its spirit.

Pols of the Old City

Modhera

Dedicated to the Sun God, Surya, this temple is located in Modhera village, around 101 km from Ahmedabad city, on the banks of River Pushpavati. Currently, no prayers are offered at the temple, which is being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and is counted in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The temple is designed keeping in mind the theories of Shilpa and Vastu shastras, the ancient science of architecture and design. The entire temple structure seems to be floating on a base resembling a blooming lotus. The main complex is divided into three parts: the entrance or the sabha mandap, antaral, which is the connecting passage and garba graha, the sanctum sanctorum. The temple complex and the sculpted kund are magnificent pieces of masonry from the Solanki period (950-1300 CE).  

Modhera

Rani No Hajiro

East to the tomb of the Badshah lies the queen's tomb. Unlike most other tombs, the queen lies buried in a courtyard and not in a chamber. The street leading to the queen’s tomb, is filled with tombs of other female members of the royal family. The street is currently a colourful market.   

Rani No Hajiro

Badshah No Hajiro

East of the Jama Masjid, stands Badhshah No Hajiro or the king's tomb. One can access it through a connecting doorway from the mosque. Dating back to 1451, the burial chamber houses the tombs of Ahmed Shah I, his son Muhammed Shah II and his grandson Ahmed Shah II. It was built during the reign of Muhammed Shah. The chamber also has tombs of other male members of the royal family. Women are not allowed to enter this complex and the visiting men must cover their heads before entering. Each of the corners in the centre hall is further occupied by small dome-shaped chambers with perforated stone screens set in arches.

Badshah No Hajiro