Statue of Unity World’s Tallest Statue

Dedicated to the Iron Man of India – "Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel"

: Jan. 01, 2019    : Milan Anshuman

Dedicated to one of India’s founding fathers, and the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity, stands tall atop Sadhu Bet island on the Narmada facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam downstream in Kevadiya colony, about a 100 kilometres southeast of Vadodara.

statue-of-unity-worlds-tallest-statue Image source: Google, see: Content Credit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled what is billed to be the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres, leaving China’s Spring Temple Buddha at 153 metre, a long way behind. The project was handed over to Larsen & Tubro at a whopping 2,989 crore, who commenced construction on 31 October 2014. The idea was to inaugurate the Sardar Patel statue on his 143rd birth anniversary, on 31 October 2018. And as promised, the project was wrapped up in a period of 42 months with no escalation on fuel, labour and material. However, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue was first announced at a press conference by Narendra Modi on 7 October 2010 to commemorate his 10th year running as Gujarat’s chief minister.

As a part of an outreach programme to support the project, the state had asked Indian farmers to donate their used farming equipment in order to amass iron needed for the statue of Sardar Patel. Eventually, about 5000 tonnes of iron was believed to be collected, however, it wasn’t used for the statue as previously intended, and used instead in other work related to the construction of the structure.

Highlights of Statue of Unity

reason-to-build-statue-of-unity Image source: Google, see: Content Credit

Within a week from inauguration, more than 1.28 lakh tourists have visited this statue. Around 3 and half years were spent in making this statue. 3000 workers, which includes 300 engineers, were completely involved in this construction process.

The statue has a viewing gallery at a height of 153 m from ground. The gallery can hold around 200 tourists at any given time. From the viewing gallery, you can get a great view of SardarSarovar dam. The entire statue is divided into three zones.

Reason for building the Statue of Unity

Sardar Patel’s commitment towards the unification of the princely states for the formation of a consolidated Indian republic, and his tireless relief efforts for the refugees leaving Delhi and Punjab and integrating the British colonial provinces that were allocated to India, earned him the title “Unifier of India’. And it was in his memory, and as a mark of his contribution to a nation filled with diversities, the idea of the Statue of Unity took birth.

Design and Construction

design-and-construction-of-statue-of-unity Image source: Google, see: Content Credit

The massive bronze Vallabhbhai statue produced at a foundry in China was designed by Indian sculptor, Ram Vanji Suthar, a Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee for his contribution in the field of arts. In his 40 years of work life, he has created over 50 monumental sculptures. Speaking of the Patel statue, his son, Anil Suthar, also a sculptor, has described the pose - head up, a shawl clinging from the shoulder, and hands set on his side as if he is set to walk - portrays the true character of the person, his striving persona, and the unmistakable, iron will. After four years of work, the specifications of the structure stand at; height from the base is 240 metres, height of the base 58 metres, height of statue 182 metres.

Viewing Gallery and Museum

Of the five zones the statue is segregated into only three are open to public viewing. The first level entails the base going all the way to the statue’s shins, comprising a museum cataloging Sardar’s Patel’s contributions, and a memorial garden. Zone 2 goes up to the statue’s thighs at 149 metres. The viewing gallery, affording expansive views of the Narmada and the surrounding Satpura and Vindhyachal ranges, forms the third level. Zone 4 and 5 are the highest levels, and serve as the maintenance area.

How to Reach Statue of Unity

Statue of Unity address: Sardar Sarovar Dam, Kevadiya Village Narmada, Gujarat.

Location: The statue of Sardar Patel is more than just a memorial, it is all set to become Gujarat, and perhaps even the country’s, significant tourist attraction. About a 100 kilometre from Vadodara, 200 kilometre from the capital Ahmedabad, and about 420 kilometre from Mumbai, the various ways to reach the site is by driving on State Highway 11 and 63. You will arrive into the nearest town of Kevadia in the Narmada district, and the statue is only 3.5 kilometres from there. Work is on to connect the statue site with a highway. From the mainland, you need to take a bridge to get to the statue, another plausible way is a ferry ride to the Sadhu Bet island where the statue is stationed.

Nearest City: Rajpipla in the Narmada district is the nearest city to the Statue of Unity, about 25 kilometres away from Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Nearest Airport: The Vadodara airport is about 90 kilometres away from the site. From the airport, you can hire a cab or use the state transport to get to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue.

Nearest Railway Station: Vadodara railway station is the nearest rail head to the Sardar Patel statue. You can get on the public transport or book a cab to take you directly to the site.

Nearest Hotels: The Shrestha Bharat Bhavan, which is adjacent to the Statue of Unity, is a 3-star hotel with all modern amenities, cafeteria, and conference facilities. In the vicinity, a special tent city is on the cards that will have about 250-odd tents spread across its 70,000 sq ft promising you a quiet night under the stars on the banks of Narmada. The facility is touted to be powered by solar energy.

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Statue of Unity Ticket Booking

Opening Days Tuesday through Sunday
Opening Hours 9 am to 5 pm
Closed Days Monday

How to Book Tickets for Statue of Unity?

There is a ticket counter closer to the entrance gate. The counter opens at 9 am. On the other hand, you can book tickets online from here: Book Ticket

Visitor Type Entry Ticket Observation Deckview
Adult INR 120 + INR 30 (Bus Charges) INR 350 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)
Children (aged 3 to 15 years) INR 60 + INR 30 (Bus Charges) INR 200 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)
Children (below 3 years) Free Free

The former includes Valley of Flower - the stretch leading to the Patel Statue with over 100 varieties of flowers, memorial, museum, audio visual gallery, the Statue of Unity (SOU) site and Sardar Sarovar Dam. The adult pricing is INR 120 + INR 30 (bus charges), and for children aged 3 to 15 years, the price is INR 60 + INR 30 (bus charges).

The later includes observation deck view, Valley of Flower, memorial, museum, audio visual gallery, SOU site and Sardar Sarovar Dam. The adult pricing is INR 350 + INR 30 (bus charges), and for children aged 3 to 15 years, the tickets are pmegged at INR 200 + INR 30 (bus charges).

Interesting facts about the Statue of Unity

▶ The statue stands at the height of 182 meters in Kevadiya Village of Gujarat.

▶ This statue was dedicated to the Iron Man on his 143rd birthday, 31st.

▶ Since he is the Iron Man of India, the iron used for this statue was specifically collected from various parts of the country.

▶ The highest number of tourists visited on November 10, 2018. The footfall accounts to 27,000 tourists on a single day.

▶ Although it is the tallest statue in the world, this title does not stay for long. Another statue is under construction in India to celebrate the life and accomplishment of Chakravarthi Shivaji, which will be quite higher than this ‘statue of unity’.

▶ A lot of criticism were thrown at the cost utilized for the statue and refund for the land used for the statue.

▶ The bronze work of the statue was made by a Chinese foundry, Jiangxi Toquine Company.

▶ The statue has three layers and this style of construction was preferred to strengthen the statue to withstand earthquakes up to 6.5 Richter scale.

▶ The elevators in the statue are located on each leg. An elevator can hold 26 people at once and reaches the viewing gallery in just 30 seconds.

▶ There is a separate selfie zone in the region for youngsters..

▶ The museum in the statue holds more than 2000 photographs and around 4000 documents, all pertaining to the life and work of Sardar Vallabhbai Patel.

Reference: Yatra, Travelogy India

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Milan Anshuman is a travel blogger at Roadway Star. He is passionate about travelling across entire India, specially in undiscovered places, apart from travelling he loves to shoot nature and wildlife beauties, waterfall, mountain series and beaches.

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