Heritage walk of Ahmedabad - A City Revisited
The Heritage Walk of Ahmedabadis conducted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
with NGO, CRUTA Foundation like most Indian cities, has a long history and strong
architectural and urban character. The AMC has been, since 19th Nov1997- as a part
of World Heritage Week - conducting this Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad as a part of
its cherished project " Getting the City to the People ".
The Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad is a guided walk of two and a half hours. This daily
affair by the AMC is extremely well designed in guidance and co-operation with CRUTA
and Swaminarayan Trust, being operationalised by a group of young volunteers. There
is also a half hour special slide show running through pages of the city's history
unfolding back its birth from a 10th century AD ancient site known as Ashaval to
the present walled city re-founded during the period of Ahmedshah and onwards.
The walk begins from the picturesque Swaminarayan Mandir in Kalupur and ends in
the most glorious architectural legacies the Jumma Masjid, covering in between the
numerous pols, havelis, ornamental facades, workplaces of artisans and number of
magnificent Hindu and Jain temples. Our walk effectively anchored by our volunteer
Rajesh Gajjar, proceeded from Kavi Dalpatram Chowk - which housed the great 19th
century Gujarati poet - in Lambeshwar ni Pole, to the classic reminisces of the
city's textile era - the Calico Dome to the century old Kala Ramji Mandir in the
Haja Patel ni Pole with a unique idol of Lord Rama in dark colour and in a sitting
A special feature of Ahmedabad is the plan of the old city, comprising numerous
pols, self contained neighborhoods, sheltering large numbers of people, traversed
by narrow streets, usually terminating in squares with community wells and chabutaras
for feeding birds.
The walk moving through Doshiwada ni Pol, Zaveri Vad to Chaumukhji ni Pol saw ornate
temples with their fascinating wooden carvings hidden under plain exteriors camouflaged
beneath the aura of Mughal rule, and lanes punctuated with intriguing chabutras
(bird feeders) to a three foot wide alley leading into the 110-year old Harkunvar
Shethani ni Haveli.
Moving through the historical Fernandez Bridge brought us to Manek Chowk where amidst
the deafening traffic and full of parked vehicles Rajesh told us the legend of Manek
Baba after whom the chowk was named and the Manek Baba Mandir at the site where
he shrank and entered a bottle to show his magical powers to Ahmed Shah, the founder
of the City. "Heritage is the soul of the city" remarked Ms.Parker as we walked
into the Rani no Hajiro through the Badshah no hajiro to finally culminate at the
magnanimous Jama Masjid.