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Ahmedabad's Old City pol's were in decline due to disuse and gentrification. John and Kinnari were pioneers in 1995 for starting the process of conserving old neighbourhoods before they were deemed important to preserve by any agency heritage laws.  Ahmedabad's Old City achieved UNESCO World Heritage City status in 2017.

The Story

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A pol is a neighbourhood within the Walled City of Ahmedabad and mostly all the pols are built around a place of worship. Jethabhai ni pol is axially oriented towards a Shiva Temple since its a Hindu pol, traditionally its inhabitants had farms on the outskirts of the city and were predominantly involved in trade. As traders they were part of the Vaishnav or merchant caste and many families within the pol are related through intermarriage.


The haveli is a large house with numerous courtyards. As per the house type of the region they have a wooden structure with ornately carved facades. It would always be a joint family home, that is, there would be a patriarch who would reside with his sons and their families


After the original inhabitants started to leave at the turn of the 20th century, urban immigrants started to occupy the old houses. This increased exponentially with the onset of modernity and it became unfavourable to have an 'Old City' address, in turn bringing the property values down. With low land prices and no conservation laws the Old City started to being dismantled to make way for wholesale markets and cheap housing.

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John and Kinnari believed that the best way to preserve a way of life was by instilling pride in the people of the Old City. To create a beautiful environment that reduces the inferiority complex of the people with their pol address deemed 'unfashionable' and definitely not favourable for an arranged marriage.

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