The World Heritage Committee has just included Ahmedabad as the first city in India designated as UNESCO heritage, news that returns interest to what is one of the country’s great cultural and historical secrets.
Ahmedabad: UNESCO and the new pride of India
Spain has it, also Mexico, Bolivia or Portugal, but India still resisted the pride of owning a city entirely considered cultural heritage by Unesco despite being the sixth country in the world with the most number of these designations (35 in total ). Luckily, starting this week we add a very special last one.
On the occasion of the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow , 21 Unesco heritage have been added to the list , of which 18 are of a cultural nature and 2 of a natural nature. A set of new scenarios among which we find the English Lake District or the Polish mines of Tarnowskie Góry, but of which we highlight the most important for us: the historic city of Ahmedabad, the sixth most populated in all of India and located in the state of Gujarat, which makes it the first city designated as UNESCO heritage in India .
Founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in 1411 on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River , Ahmedabad became the historical reflection we know today thanks to the construction of the wall known as Bhadra Fort, of up to 10 kilometers in circumference and 12 different accesses around the old City. A city that contains temples and buildings in marble of influences that dance between the Hindu and Arab styles , where there is no shortage of carved figures, facades of a thousand shades and sunsets illuminating the former capital of the state of Gujarat .
Exploring Ahmedabad, the first UNESCO city in India
The interior of Bhadra Fort not only possesses some of the main monuments of the British colonial era such as the old Post Office or the Train Station, but also various bazaars or areas known as pol , a name by which the old paths are known defined according to the caste or social standard that lived in the city.
The Arab influence can be seen in the Sidi Sayed Mosque , one of the most famous buildings in the city, while the typical temples of Ahmedabad include examples such as Hathee Singh Jain Temple , with its marble facades, the ISKCON Temple, dedicated to Krishna , or, especially, the Swaminarayan Akshardham , one of the most beautiful temples of India erected in honor of the famous god whose footprints shine in the porticoes and who every week welcomes hundreds of pilgrims from all over the country.
But Ahmedabad also offers other relaxing places, among them a bank of the Sabarmati blessed by the sunset, or even more curious places like the ashram of Gandhi in Ahmedabad , where the Mahatma lived in 1915 and today can be visited by the public.
Returning through the bridges that link past and future, the new Ahmedabad shines across the river, but you’ll want to stay there, to the west, tracing the secrets that for six hundred years have awaited your deserved reward among the walls.
Do you come to know other UNESCO heritage in India ?