Jenny November 6, 2012

Ahmedabad, the largest city in India’s westernmost state Gujarat, and a central city to the legacy of Gandhi (he lived here and established two ashrams in the city in the early 1900s; this was also the place from which he embarked on his Salt March in 1930), is a busy place nowadays. Its streets are dusty and the traffic is heavy, especially on the main thoroughfares around the railway station and the old city, Relief Road and Gandhi Road.

But, hidden behind these crowded streets are the signature components of Ahmedabad – and many other Gujarati cities – the pols, tiny neighbourhood enclaves built around a small open space.

The pols are really small, yet many have their own temple and a chabutro, a tall pole put up for birds to nest in and eat from (meant as a replacement for trees that were cut down – a very sweet idea).

Of course, there’s also room for the animals, including the goats (goats by the way must be the most global animal on the planet – they seem to thrive in just about all climates, environments and cultures!).