Ahmedabad, Jul 10 (PTI) The Gujarat government will organise heritage festival between August 1-15 to celebrate the declaration of Ahmedabad as World Heritage City by UNESCO.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani announced this after holding a meeting with officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and senior government officials here, an official release said today.

As part of the programme, heritage walks will be organised in the walled city of Ahmedabad with the chief minister appealing to people cutting across religious, caste, and class lines to participate, it said.

The celebration will also see organisation of seminars where heritage experts will share their views, the release said, adding that painting, debate and poster making competitions will also be organised in schools and colleges.

Heritage buildings and archaeological sites around Ahmedabad will be decorated with lights and laser shows, and cultural programmes will be held, it said.

The UNESCO had on Saturday announced that it had inscribed as UNESCO world heritage site the historic city of Ahmedabad.

Ahmedabad was in competition with New Delhi and Mumbai for the title.

The walled city of Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmed Shah. It has 26 ASI-protected structures, hundreds of ‘pols’ that capture the essence of community living and numerous sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi who lived here from 1915 to 1930.

It is constituted out of residential settlements ‘Pol’ and has a specific scale of its community based settlement grouping. Several of such settlements combined together forms a ‘Pur’ neighbourhood.

The historic city has several ‘Pur’ neighbourhoods forming the entire fortified historic city. These various ‘Pur’ have their own urban structure which are self-sufficient for the communities, where each ‘Pol’ is a self-sufficient unit.

In 1984, the first study for conserving heritage structures was carried out. A heritage cell was also set up by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).

The milestone was Ahmedabad’s entry into UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage cities on March 31, 2011 and preparation of the Ahmedabad dossier.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.