A pol (pronounced as pole) is a housing cluster which comprises many families of a particular group, linked by caste, profession, or religion. Pols are typical of urban centres in Gujarat especially of Ahmedabad.
The word pol is derived from the Sanskrit word pratoli meaning entrance to an enclosed area.
Pols were originally made as a protection measure when communal riots necessitated greater security. A typical pol would have only one or two entrances and also some secret entrances known only to people residing in a pol. Some pols contain old beautiful houses with internal courts having intricate wooden carved facades with columns and fresco work done around court walls or ceilings.‘Pol’ architecture is an interesting evolution in urban living space.
The old city of Ahmedabad was made up of around 360 pols within a fortified compound.The earliest ‘Pol’ to be incorporated was aptly christened ‘Mahurat Pol’ and was built adjacent to Manek Chowk.
- Reader In Urban Sociology. Orient Blackswan. pp. 179–. ISBN 978-0-86311-152-5. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Residential Cluster, Ahmedabad: Housing based on the traditional Pols". http://www.arc.ulaval.ca/. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- Lakhia, Ashish (August 13, 2008). "The mysteries of pols". Ahmedabad Mirror. Retrieved February 21, 2013.