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Ahmedabad becomes first Indian city to get UNESCO Heritage tag

Jul 10, 2017 09:16 IST

The Indian city of Ahmedabad on 8 July 2017 was declared India’s first World Heritage City, recognising heritage value of the walled city’s unique heritage.

The announcement was made by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO following a meeting in Krakwo, Poland.

After the announcement, the city has now joined the likes of heritage cities like Paris, Edinburg, Galle in Sri Lanka, Cairo, among others.

Ahmedabad’s nomination received huge support from around 20 countries, who lauded the peaceful co-existence of dominant Hindu, Islamic and Jain communities in the Walled City area. In 2011, the city had figured in UNESCO’s tentative list.

As per Mukesh Kumar, Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner, there are 2600 heritage sites and over two dozen Architectural Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments and sites in the walled city.

Ahmedabad becomes first Indian city to get UNESCO Heritage tag

Walled city of Ahmedabad:

The Historic City of Ahmadabad or Old Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate in 1411.

It remained the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate and later important political and commercial centre of Gujarat.

Despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, the walled city still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Ahmedabad.

Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of Bhadra Fort starting from Manek Burj, the first bastion of the city in 1411, which was completed in 1413.

Ahmed Shah I also established the first square of the city, Manek Chowk, both associated with the legend of Hindu saint Maneknath. His Gujarat Sultanate ruled from the city until 1484.

During Mughal rule, Bhadra Fort served as the seat of Governor of Gujarat. The city flourished with addition of several settlements in and around the city.

During Mughal and Maratha struggle (1707–1753) to control the city, the city was harmed and several suburbs were depopulated.

In 1817, the city fell under the rule of the East India Company, which stabilized the city politically and improved the trade.

The Historic City of Ahmedabad continued to the centre of political activities during Indian Independence Movement.

About World Heritage Cities Programme

The World Heritage Cities Programme is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the World Heritage Committee.

It aims to assist States Parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage.

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