Nakshi: The Exquisiteness of Intricate Wooden Carving
The lanes of old Ahmedabad are having a very organized habitat design called pols. Pol houses are considered as primary housing typology built for more than three hundred years in the old city of Ahmedabad. Ahmadabad has a rich heritage of settlement patterns in its historic old town, the communal riot and the civil disorder of 18th century lead to the construction of pol houses which were organized in dense clusters consisting of two ends which have a single gateway. The residents of each cluster always belong to the same religion not only same religion but also to the same caste, family or same occupation.
So a pol is a combination of many multistory individual houses which form a neighborhood which has their own urban structure which is self-sufficient for the communities.
The unanimity of each Pol was socially and architecturally homogenous. This indigenous way of living provided a territory for the interaction, cooperation, and interdependence. This enhanced the formation of a cohesive and self-sustaining community whose physical boundaries were set by the day-to-day interactions of its inhabitants. Some Pols were also places of work, where artisans sold their wares on the thoroughfares outside of the pols.
The most attractive and eye-catchy fact about pol houses are its exquisitely, lavishly and intricately carved wooden panels which are adorning the entrance, wooden pillars, brackets etc. The detailing of each piece of art is exceptional at the same time confusing in its identity. At one glance all appear same but there are very little slight differences in each figure. The artistry of each piece will give an observer an awestruck, which can easily take to that era and will force to think that how much time must have spent on each piece to get this perfection, the patient level of those artisans and the impeccable and unimpeachable artistry. In huge houses where there are lot many intricate ornamentations, a keen observer can sometimes see some unfinished carvings, that can easily lead the thought process to another level. what must have been the reason the artist left it incomplete? One another question what comes to mind will be, how did these carvings are so much similar? It is astonishing that even after these many years, these wood carvings are still alive and young. The changes of sun and moon, the breezy winter and freezing cold nights, the steamy and dusty summer days; nothing, absolutely nothing could ruin them. Even after these many years, there are havelis which are absolutely abandoned and still in good condition. The architectural style of these havelis is clearly showing an amalgamation of Mughal-Maratha influence. The intricately carved flora and fauna, mythical characters like yali, the parrots and peacocks, human figures, all these are creating a royal extravaganza to the visitors.