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Ahmedabad city of Gujarat has become India's first World Heritage City after the decision was reached at the 41st session of UNESCO's world heritage committee meeting in Poland on Saturday. The city of Ahmedabad was entered into UNESCO's tentative list of world heritage cities in 2011.
At the meet, the nomination of Ahmedabad has a World Heritage City was supported by 20 nations including Turkey, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Vietnam, Finland, Zimbabwe, South Korea, Jamaica, Cuba, Peru and the host country of the meet, Poland.
UNESCO announced the selection on Twitter:
Ahmedabad received unanimous support from the other countries based on various reasons. The city was recognised as being a cradle for the non-violent freedom struggle for India led by Mahatma Gandhi, for its exemplary architecture which includes intricately carved wooden havelis dating back centuries, and for the secular coexistence of Islamic, Hindu and Jain communities within the city.
The city has 26 structures protected by Archaeological Survey of India and numerous sites that are associated with Mahatma Gandhi who spent 15 years of his life there from 1915 to 1930. The first study for conserving heritage structures in the city was started by the Ford Foundation in 1984.
From the total 287 world heritage cities across globe, only two are located in the Indian subcontinent, Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.
Other close contenders for the tag of India's first world heritage city were Delhi and Mumbai.