The historic city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat has been declared as India’s first ever World Heritage City by UNESCO on Saturday, leaving behind Mumbai, Delhi and all other Indian cities.
The 606-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad, founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 15th century has made a record breaking history by become the first Indian city to be marked as UNESCO’s World Heritage City. With this prestigious title, Gujarat state’s Ahmedabad has now joined the ranked clubs of world heritage cities – Paris, Vienna, Cairo, Brussels, Rome and Edinburgh. Voted by 20 countries – Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Finland, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Angola, Cuba and Poland at UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting, Ahmedabad will now be globally famous.
But why did so many countries support Ahmedabad, that too anonymously? Because it is a historic old city which cites secular co-existence of different cultures and religions including Islam, Hinduism, Jainism and Christianity within its exceptional architecture of intricately carved wooden hawelis dating back to centuries. It cradles the pre-medieval architecture and the city has endured the memories and marks of India’s non-violent independence struggle from the British colonisation. The city has now evolved into a modern-era industrial city with continuous growth, yet still securing the invaluable heritage.
Another major factor for Ahmedabad getting the prestigious title are those hundreds of ‘pols’ which have captured the essence of community living. The city also boasts multiple sites which are associated with the father of nation – Mahatma Gandhi. And its rich architecture signifies 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. That is why the city has overpowered through other major metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, etc and has made its way to becoming first Indian city as UNESCO’s World Heritage City.