Ahmedabad Heritage

Ahmedabad – the walled city established in 1411 AD, has witnessed various changes in its form as it started off as a small military settlement at the banks of river Sabarmati, which now has the populace of five million. Ahmedabad is the city that thrives with its rich heritage. The city has witnessed such rich artistic era, that the city speaks of its tale through its stories, rituals, traditions, art and architecture. The city's tangible and intangible heritage has today called out for an international recognition.

Various traditional, cultural and heritage values were lost in both pre-colonial and post-colonial era as the city rushed to embrace modernity. In the wake of urbanization and expansion of the city, various heritages in the walled city were marginalized. On one hand, when a certain cultural heritage was collapsing, various organizations got together to preserve the aesthetic old city and to return the pride of the city back to its people. Architectural and educational actions and heritage planning at the level of both art/culture and cityscape took place to arrest the factors of decay of the city. 

Different activities were carried out for general awareness of people. A guided Heritage Walk was introduced in 1997 to unearth the art, culture, traditions and the heritage built forms of the walled city. The guided Heritage Walk happens on daily basis to this day. To inculcate a sense of pride and belonging amongst people, special name plaques were put up at the entrance of pols and pol days were celebrated. Pols are closely-knit, interactive residential neighbourhood in the old city. At the same time, traditional street theatre and other heritage art forms were revived by giving them a dignified platform. Restoration of various heritage buildings and public places also took place. Special fire fighters with small fire engines and high pressure pump were designed and incorporated in the fire brigade to be able to reach out to people in the narrow streets of the old city during any emergency. After the 2001 Earthquake of Gujarat, Heritage Cell also carried out repairs of Earthquake damaged school buildings.

As a result of such efforts, more than a decade ago, on 19th November, 1996, on the eve of the World Heritage Week, residence of desai ni pol in Khadia in the walled city of Ahmedabad, in association with Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, initiated the celebration of the World Heritage Week. It was a beginning of a unique revival process where citizens and the city administrators came together to work to preserve the characteristic of the city. Later many organizations and media jumped in to celebrate city's Heritage. The Festival is an initiative to bring many of these unique efforts together that connects people to their past.

1 comment:

BrunoOronzo said...

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