The word “Pol” is a Gujarati word, for enclosures housing individuals along with interconnecting, living spaces. The pol has been an interesting addition to the urban living space. The earliest pol in Ahmedabad is believed to be “Mahurat Pol”, and is now aligned with the famous Manek Chowk.
There are a number of Pols in the old city of Ahmedabad, and it is an interesting experience to go walking through them. In fact the pols have become so popular that they have become a tourist attraction and also a part of the Heritage Walk that is being organized by the Tourism department.
The pols still exist today because they were built using wood and lime mortar. This proved to make them strong and also, considerably earthquake-resistant, due to the use of the above materials. The facades that were built can still be seen today, adding to the beauty of the entire structures. The pols had entrances, and these always were built of heights that could allow carts and horse carriages to enter them, this made it easy for easy transport of goods and of course, people. A concealed drainage system too was used, this is in use even today. Rainwater harvesting was done at the rooftops, and the water was taken down through the use of copper pipes, into the storage tanks below.
The pols also featured delicately created windows and balconies. In fact these were also exported to European countries and managed to have an impact on architecture in the west.