The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has declared the Walled City of Ahmedabad as India’s first World Heritage City.
The decision was taken after a meeting in Poland’s Krakwo. Both Delhi and Mumbai were competing for the title but it is Ahmedabad’s 5.5 km walled city area — with an approximate population of 4 lakh living in century-old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighbourhoods — that bagged the title.
Paris, Cairo, Edinburg and two cities in the subcontinent — Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka — are the other ones that have been bestowed the honour.
India’s permanent representative to UNESCO Ruchira Kamboj took to twitter to express her joy.
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) July 8, 2017
— Ruchira Kamboj (@RuchiraKamboj) July 8, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to twitter to celebrate the achievement.
A matter of immense joy for India! https://t.co/qtCOxm8Kga
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 9, 2017
A lot of factors helped Ahmedabad win the title. Besides being an epicentre of non-violent freedom that led to the country’s independence, its peaceful co-existence of dominant Hindu, Islamic and Jain communities in the walled city area adds to its uniqueness.
Moreover, the setting up of a Heritage Cell in 1996 by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation was another important factor that helped the city bag the title. The cell’s conscious efforts helped Ahmedabad get a facelift as it worked to preserve heritage sites and restore those which were damaged. Prior to that, in 1984, Ford Foundation had instituted a project to conserve the city’s heritage structures in the walled city.
Following UNESCO’s declaration, the civic body and the state authorities are foreseeing a huge boost in tourism.
“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,” Kamboj said during Ahmedabad’s inscription, as reported by The Hindu.
Charvi Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV
Picture Credit: Livemint