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Ahmedabad declared India’s first World Heritage City by UNESCO


UN cultural agency UNESCO on Saturday declared the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad as a world heritage city, the first Indian city to make it to the list. The World Heritage Committee of Unesco met in Karlow, Poland on Saturday night where the decision was made.

“Thrilled to announce! Ahmedabad has just been declared India’s first World Heritage city by UNESCO,” tweeted Ruchira Kamboj, India’s permanent representative to Unesco.

The city’s nomination was supported by 20 countries at the 41st session of its World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland.

 

“The journey began in 2010 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi proffered the dossier of Ahmedabad to Unesco,” Kamboj said in her speech after Ahmedabad’s inscription.

“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, chosen to be one of India’s first smart cities, while preserving its ancient heritage,” Kamboj further said.

 

With this title, the Walled City of Ahmedabad has joined Paris, Vienna, Cairo, Brussels, Rome and Edinburgh. Of the 287 world heritage cities across the globe, the only two cities in the Indian subcontinent which enjoy the status are Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka

Ahmedabad was in the competition along with Delhi and Mumbai.

In January 2016, it was chosen over Delhi and Mumbai as India’s entry for the title.

The walled city of Ahmedabad is believed to be founded by Ahmed Shah, 600 years ago. On March 31, 2011, the city had featured in Unesco’s tentative list of world heritage cities.

Along with Ahmedabad, other world cities which make it to the list of World Heritage sites are Asmara, the capital of Eritrea and Hebron-Al Khalil Old Town (Palestine), which is also added to the to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger. W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) to the is also added to the UNESCO World’s heritage cities list list.

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