The First UNESCO’s World Heritage City in India – Walled City of Ahmedabad

When talking about historical places, landmarks or sites in the world, the most trusted organization that makes the declaration is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or simply known as UNESCO. The main headquarter of this particular agency is in Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France.

They established it back in November 16, 1945 and since then; it is a very reliable organization that is responsible in evaluating places or landmarks, which considered as candidates to become UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Currently, it has 195 state members and the active Director-General is Audrey Azoulay.

If we discuss about historical places in India, the first World Heritage City declared by UNESCO is the ancient Walled City of Ahmedabad.  According to website, this old city in India is almost 606 years old and Sultan Ahmed Shah I (Gujarat Sultanate) is the recognized founder of the place back in 1411.

Because of its valuable and unique character, it received such priceless title from the organization.

It became the first city in this country that achieved this kind of recognition and the World Heritage Committee (WHC) made the declaration in the middle of 2017 in Karlow, Poland. Based on the information about the UNESCO nomination of the Walled City of Ahmedabad, about 20 nations gave their full support to assure this prestigious award.

These nations include Croatia, Cuba, Lebanon, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey and Zimbabwe, among others, as detailed by the Indian Express.

According to the history of this old Indian city, the intention of Sultan Shah I on why he established the Old Ahmedabad or Historic City of Ahmadabad because he wanted to start a competitive trading (particularly in the Hindu trade center of Asaval). The great leader declared the place as his own dynasty, which replaced the existing Anhilvad Patan (old capital before).

In year 1413, he achieved his goal in founding the first bastion of the place of Bhadra Fort and became the Governor of Gujarat’s seat.

Because of the historic elements and unique Hindu features of the city, it remains as one of the best destinations in India and beating other candidates like Mumbai and Delhi. The three places competed and after the decision of the WHC, the organization chose the Walled City of Ahmedabad and gave the recognition last July.

As stated by the ANI, the city has about 26 interesting structures and under the protection of Archeological Survey in India. The current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi truly appreciated the support and recognition that this historic city has gained from UNESCO.

Likewise, the shared information through revealed that nearly 2600 places in India are known heritage sites. Since the declaration of the Walled City, it continues to grab the attention of worldwide tourists who are visiting here to discover the place and its beauty.

As stated Ruchira Kamboj and quoted by The Hindu, “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.”

Ms. Kamboj is one of UNESCO’s representatives who announced the decision.

In year 1997, they revealed the beautiful Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad under the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and this boasted the history of the city even better. They also imposed guidelines that do not permit changing of the historical structures and monuments in the place.

This is the reason why it became part of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO.


Credit images: Twitter & Heritage Hotels of India

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