Distinctive character of urban structures of Ahmedabad comprising its old residential streets having unique entrances and traditional houses has made it successful in securing the nomination of the “Historic City of Ahmadabad” on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This has made the walled city of Ahmedabad the first city in India and the third in Asia to be inscribed to the World Heritage List.
An official of the ministry of culture said that India now has overall 36 World Heritage Inscriptions with 28 Cultural, 07 Natural and 01 Mixed site. While India stands second largest in number after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in ASPAC (Asia and Pacific) region, it is overall seventh in the world, he added.
“The international recognition to the city is a matter of pride. It will boost the local economy in a number of ways. It is expected to give a tremendous fillip to domestic and international tourism leading to increased employment generation, creation of world-class infrastructure and augmentation of sale of local handicrafts, handlooms and heritage memorabilia,” said the union minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma.
Founded in 15th century, the walled city of Ahmadabad, boasts of rich architectural heritage. The official said that it has 28 ASI protected monuments. “The historic architecture reflects symbols and myths connected with its inhabitants. The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses in gated traditional streets with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. It is a unique example of multi-religious and multicultural coexistence,” added the official.
The inscription has been done under different criteria including the important interchange of human values, over a span of time on development of architecture, monumental arts, town planning and landscape and being an outstanding example of human settlement and land use. “The acceptance of the proposal highlights historic city of Ahmedabad's exemplary settlement architecture and town planning. This achievement is especially remarkable in the view of the fact that the proposal had earlier been deferred,” added the official.