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Ahmedabad: World Heritage City

Context:
Ahmedabad has became the first Indian city to earn the World Heritage City tag from UNESCO, beating New Delhi and Mumbai for the title in the process.

About Ahmedabad:

The city was founded in 1411 to serve as the capital of the Sultanate of Gujarat, by its namesake, Sultan Ahmed Shah. Under British rule, a military Cantonment was established and the city infrastructure was modernized and expanded. It was part of the Bombay Presidency during the British rules in India. Kankaria Lake, in the neighbourhood of Maninagar, is an artificial lake developed by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the Sultan of Delhi, in 1451 A.D. The city is also called Karnavati, a name for an older town that existed in the walled area.

However, the city’s distinctive quality lay in the fact that it was a region that was built and maintained exclusively by the local trading population, resisting every attempt by the foreign rulers to intrude into its sociological framework.

From being one of the oldest trading points in India to becoming the centre of the Indian freedom struggle under Mahatma Gandhi and then later becoming a model for sustainable development in modern India, here are a few reasons why Ahmedabad deservedly won the tag for world heritage city.

Why Ahmedabad has become India’s only World Heritage City

  1. A thriving centre for trade:
  1. An architectural blend of Hindu-Muslim culture:
  1. Opposition to European interference in shaping cityscape:

In a changing, dynamic society where people have changed, attitudes have changed, preservation of heritage sites are needed. Heritage does not necessarily mean that an object is dead, heritage means living organisms.

For preservation of heritage sites, we need to inquire into whether we are making our cities as sustainable and, perhaps, more efficient than what they were before and if not then participatory mechanism need to be developed to conserve the rich culture and heritage of the nation.

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