Ahmedabad becomes India’s first World Heritage city

#1 Jul 9th, 2017, 11:03
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600 odd ‘pols’ or neighbourhoods with clusters of old havelis form the walled city’s living heritage. Javed Raja

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The 606-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad, which was founded by emperor Ahmed Shah, has become India’s first World Heritage City. The World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO announced it on Twitter on Saturday after a meeting in Krakwo, Poland. “Thrilled to announce! Ahmedabad has just been declared India’s first #WorldHeritage city by @UNESCO,” tweeted Ruchira Kamboj, India’s permanent representative to UNESCO.

“For over 600 years, Ahmedabad has stood for peace, as a landmark city where Mahatma Gandhi began India’s freedom struggle. It has stood for unity with its elegant carvings in its Hindu and Jain temples as well as standing as one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture and Hindu Muslim art. And beyond this, it epitomizes the United Nation’s objective of sustainable development as it accelerates in its development,” she said during Ahmedabad’s inscription.

Spread over 5.43 sq km, the walled city of Ahmedabad was preferred over Mumbai and Delhi during the nominations last year. With a population of 3.75 to 4 lakh, the city’s living heritage being the 600 odd ‘pols’ or neighbourhoods with clusters of centuries-old residences.

Ahmedabad’s nomination was supported by several countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Cuba and Poland. “The entire credit for this goes to the citizens of the city. It took us 20 years, and now I think the work has just started. We have become a national example and we have to make sure we stand by it. The government will also benefit from this and the old city will get better. People will now show interest in preserving their properties in the old city,” said Debashish Nayak, director of the Centre for Heritage Management at Ahmedabad University, who had launched the first heritage walk in the walled city.
Indian Express

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