Ahmedabad: India’s heritage city racing to save icons from polluted ruin; AFP

India – Historic City of Ahmadabad

Traffic chokes the centuries-old stone archway into Ahmedabad’s historic quarter, the snarl of honking rickshaws and sputtering buses coats the monuments of India’s only heritage city in a greasy layer of soot.

Conservation experts warn Ahmedabad, one of the world’s most polluted cities, faces a mammoth task defending its newly won UNESCO status as its fragile cultural icons decay under neglect, traffic and trash.

The 600-year-old enclave was named India’s first ‘World Heritage City’ in July – despite warnings from some of UNESCO’s own experts that it lacked a convincing plan for protecting its ancient citadels, mosques and tombs.

Ahmedabad hosts the towering Bhadra fort, the legendary stone latticework of the 16th-century Sidi Saiyyed mosque, and countless relics fusing the unique Hindu and Muslim architectural styles of its conquerors.

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