What symbolises Ahmedabad?
If you ask a bunch of youngsters at college about the cultural
monuments situated in the walled area of the city, they will nod their heads in indifference!
When the House of MG decided to take up the restoration of the wooden haveli situated in the Lakha Patel ni pol area of Ahmedabad, little did the residents know that the building is one of the finest
examples of carved wooden architecture.
“Although the western area buildings crumbled during the 2001 earthquake, this 180-year old property withstood the catastrophe. It is a major source of inspiration for the Europeans who feel that the pols offer a feeling of ‘togetherness’ unlike the houses in the west. Each room in the haveli – the otlo, the chowk, all have scientific concepts behind their construction,” says Ashutosh Bhatt,
secretary, Khadia Itihas Samiti.
“The wooden haveli existed as a monument inspired by the
Vishwakarma-style of architecture, who built the city of Dwarka. It was also inhabited by the poet ‘Akha.’ It’s a spiritual experience visiting this monument,” says Niranjan Matarwala, ex IAS officer.
The youth who are generally busy at the malls reason, “We visit the walled city area only during Uttarayan. The D-tours heritage walk introduced us to the wooden haveli,” says Parul Bhagat, a B.Com student.
But has the corporation been successful in preserving these monuments? “We are trying our best to protect these monuments,” says I.P.Gautam, municipal commissioner, Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad’s biggest strength is the whole element of intangible heritage, something that the west might be struggling with. “We must preserve our culture or the world will start looking the same and we will loose our identity,” concludes Abhay Mangaldas, at the House of MG.