The historic city has 26 ASI-protected structures, hundreds of 'pols' and numerous sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi
The walled city of Ahmedabad was recently inscribed as India's first World Heritage City, at the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (July 9-12), chaired by Jacek Purchla, Founder and Director of the International Cultural Centre in Kraków.
The historic 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 here from 1915 to 1930.
The nomination of Ahmedabad was supported by close to 20 countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Kazakhistan, Vietnam, Finland, Azerbaijan, Jmaica, Croatia,Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Angolam, Cuba, and the host country of the UNESCO session, Poland. Delhi, Mumbai were also fighting for this accolade.
The countries unanimously supported Ahmedabad citing a secular co-existence of Islamic, Hindu and Jain communities along with exemplary architecture of intricately carved wooden havelis dating back hundreds of years. The countries also recognised that the city was a cradle for India's non-violent freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.
Founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses (pols) in gated traditional streets (puras) with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present.