Now that Ahmedabad has been declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO, many are wondering why only Ahmedabad was chosen to become the first Indian city to get the coveted tag. Noteworthy, Ahmedabad was in the race for the prestigious title along with Delhi and Mumbai. Defeating Mumbai and Delhi, the Gujarat city emerged as winner. The decision was taken during the ongoing 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in the Polish city of Krakow, which acknowledged the preservation efforts made by the city in keeping its historical fabric intact. The city’s historic characteristics include densely-packed traditional houses (‘pols’) in gated traditional streets (‘puras’) with features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. According to ANI, the secular co-existence of Islamic, Hindu and Jain communities along with exemplary architecture of wooden havelis got unanimous support. Now, Ahmedabad will join the world heritage cities like Paris, Cairo and Edinburgh on the list.
The walled city has 26 ASI-protected structures, hundreds of ‘pols’ that capture the essence of community living and numerous sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi who lived there from 1915 to 1930. Out of total 287 world heritage cities across the globe, there were only two cities in the Indian subcontinent – Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka. The UNESCO tag will add immense value to Ahmedabad city which will also boost tourism.
PM Narendra Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP President Amit Shah hailed the declaration of Ahmedabad as world heritage city by UNESCO. “Just inscribed as UNESCO world heritage site: Historic city of Ahmedabad India”, UNESCO said in a tweet. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed his happiness at the major development. Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “A matter of immense joy for India!”
A matter of immense joy for India! https://t.co/qtCOxm8Kga
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 9, 2017
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) July 8, 2017
Expressing delight at the announcement, CM Rupani said in a tweet, “Thrilled to learn that Ahmedabad has been recognised as UNESCO World heritage city, first of its kind in India”. “Delighted to know that UNESCO has declared Ahmedabad as World Heritage City. Proud moment for every Indian,” the BJP national president said in a tweet.