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Photo Essay: Wandering around Ahmedabad’s Old City

I visited a friend in Ahmedabad on two occasions — in 2016 and 2017. On both trips, I took the opportunity to take a walking tour by House of MG into Ahmedabad’s winding old city. The Havelis, often carved from ancient wood, have intricate and beautiful fronts. The squares and the courtyards speak to a time of community living — with a daily breakfast served for cows as the sun comes up, and community water pots for the scorching heat of the summer.

Now listed as a site of significant heritage architecture by UNESCO, it is well worth a visit.

This is an amateur photo essay of some of the more beautiful parts of the city.

An Inhabited Haveli. Credit: Author

There are many such Havelis, which still show signs of life and habitation.

Two Pols in the Old City, Ahmedabad (Credit: Author)

Pols (gates), like these two, clustered different community groups or professions in past times.

A Haveli falling into disrepair. Credit: Author

Many of the Havelis still standing need significant upkeep of their wooden exteriors and tiled roofs. These winding streets are known as puras.

Breakfast time for the neighbourhood cows. Credit: Author

By 7am, the community’s cows are being fed together in a large square in the old city.

An intricately carved wooden post holds up the first floor of a Haveli. Credit: Author

The old city is a mix of the old and the new: ancient wooden posts, next to scooties!

Community Water Pots in a small square. Credit: Author

Community living and sharing resources were evident throughout the old city.

Community Blackboard, Old City, Ahmedabad (Credit: Author)

Community blackboards like this one are used for celebrations, news, reporting prices and weather. There are also community bird feeders dotted throughout the city.

The courtyard of Ahmed Shah’s Mosque. Credit: Author

Ahmed Shah’s Mosque, dating to the 15th century, is right next to the old city, with a courtyard surrounded by pillars.

Side Pillars & Inside the Prayer Hall, Ahmed Shah’s Mosque. Credit: Author

Beautiful stonework characterised the inside of the mosque, and many many pillars holding up the heavy roof.

I also had the chance to see inside an old Jain temple in the Old City, with beautiful inlaid marble and semi-precious stones.

Colourful inlaid interiors of the Jain Temple. Credit: Author

I would recommend a walking tour to anyone visiting Ahmedabad, even for a short spell. The old walled city transports you back in time, and each time you go back there is more to see. I will be back, no doubt, again, snapping away and learning more.

A small cupboard door, inside one of the Havelis.

The End.

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