Ahmedabad in Gujarat on Friday was formally accorded the status of India’s first World Heritage City with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova handing over the certificate in this regard to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Speaking on the occasion, Rupani said it was a proud moment for over 6.5 crore people of Gujarat. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did a lot of hard work to get the heritage city tag for Ahmedabad from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). He accused the earlier government for not trying enough in this matter. The Chief Minister said Ahmedabad was selected out of 250 cities in the race for the coveted status. He also thanked the UNESCO and the Culture Ministry. On July 8, India secured the nomination for Ahmedabad on UNESCO’s World Heritage list during the 41st Session of World Heritage Committee.
The honour makes the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India, and the third in Asia, to be on the list. India now has a total of 36 World Heritage Inscriptions — 28 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed sites. India is second after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, and overall seventh in the world. Founded in the 15th century, the walled city of Ahmedabad, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage. It has 28 Archaeological Survey of India’s centrally protected monuments.