The trip to Ahmedabad happened just like that. Its true that it has charmed us more than any other city, wanting us to visit more..Why not a trip to Ahmedabad? After many rounds of discussion, the tickets got booked. We already had some idea of where to stay :)-, even years before I started this blog. I always wanted to stay in a pol, experience it the way it is and having read a lot about the charming Haveli,"Arts Reverie" long back we were almost sure where we wanted to stay. Arts Reverie, is set in Dhal Ni Pol, one of the several pols that line the walled city. It once belonged to a Jain jeweller, but has been bought by Ahmedabad-based author and art critic, Anupa Mehta, and Jeremy Theophilus and Barney Hare Duke, who head A Fine Line Cultural Practice, based in the United Kingdom.
A big thanks to Anupa Mehta .
I had already been warned that there are no Taxis plying in Ahmedabad and to take autorickshaws as it is a stones throw from the Railway station. We barely managed to squeeza the auto in between the streets in Dhal ni Pol and reached the two storied haveli with green and blue windows carved pillars, wall frescoes. It is the only building in the pol with a large white sculpture of two warriors perched on their horses, strategically located on the roof, an emblem of the power that the jeweller’s family once wielded. The wood frescoes and brackets on the façade walls and the courtyard, a meeting space for the family were all found in this haveli also as the other houses in the pol.
The Plumerias kissing the white walls drawn in black ink welcomes us warmly into the Haveli. A lovely intricate painting on the walls greets you in. From the courtyard, at one end is the pooja room, there is the wooden staircase with a trap door, which has to be pushed open to enter the first level. Then there is the functional lounge/the dining hall, a veranda converted into a common meeting space. A white wall with a niche with a jewelled pattern of an elaborate neckpiece, drawn by an American artist as soon as we enter the lounge. An old almirah forms the backdrop for a small library filled with books on art, travel and architecture. The furniture is basic—a long table accompanied by wooden stools, topped by cushions. This is where you have dinner, read a book or watch television. The inward-looking haveli has three floors.
On the ground level are the office and the kitchen. The first floor has three rooms, and the second holds a mosaic-floored terrace, another bedroom and an exhibition space for artists. The bathroom, a large all-white space, is common to all the rooms. Well-ventilated, the haveli has 25 windows, some opening to the courtyard and others, to the road outside. Our room was the only double room with more paintings on the walls, a big double bed and a wall full of old books. Every minute thing lined to heritage can be seen here, the jharokhas, the windows, the old patterened mosaics, the furniture, the old cupboards, there is an array of patterns on floors and in each section you see a different pattern.
Arts Reverie is an ‘art residency’—a retreat for artists, art critics, filmmakers and writers, where they can stay for weeks or months. One of the rooms is also rented out to the not-so-creatively inclined. You have a freeWi Fi environment and breakfast complimentary.
|the first look from the streets|
|the blue the green and the white windows|
|Arts Reverie,loved the fonts used,how artistic|
|on to the left as we enter plumeria kisses the hand drawn walls|
|the first step and we see the small pooja room|
|the look up from the courtyard|
|greens hanging against the windows,an enchanting sight as light passes through|
|the roses and their fragrance as we pass the courtyard|
|as you look back into the courtyard from the steps|
|the trap door|
|walls painted in aburnished red with alovely mirror and an old chair|
|a lovely niche as we pass through the corridor leading to the lounge|
|eyes get glued onto the old handle of the cupboard|
|small chairs fixed with a lovely material that matches the flooring|
|the lovely long table with the huge almirah kept at the side to it|
|inside our room, the walls are hand drawn|
|paintings made by artists hang on walls|
|lovely candle holders kept onto the side and dont forget to check the flooring|
|as we go up the stairs,the walls are hand drawn|
|a corridor leading to the two one bedrooms and check the flooring|
|was so happy to see the Father of the Nation in a lovely niche|
As it was time for us to leave, Anupa Mehta, The "Festival Director" handed us the brochures of Ahmedabad International Arts Festival. The brochures which were designed in Dark pink and white and as we have a last look on the windows, we see their colours changed to pink and white..How artistic? I loved everything, the homely feel, the colours, the artistic mind of the people behind this...how beautiful, isnt it?
As we look back, we see the windows changed to pink and white...
Colours keep changing and so our travels, as we travel, we see more colours and get enchanted and charmed. I do hope to keep you all charmed the way we do as we see a lot more India together.
All Images and ideas By Lakshmi Arvind
pl ask before using the images, do not copy nor steal.