On the occasion of National Unity Day, celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, let’s take a moment to peek into the world’s largest statue, the Statue of Unity!
Although Gujarat tourism takes pride in a lot of historical sites and heritage places, what makes it stand out is the iconic statue of the ‘Iron Man of India’ — Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Located 3.5 km from a small town known as Kevadiya in Gujarat, this ‘statue of unity’ is the tallest in the world that attracts a huge crowd for many reasons.
Not only do people come here to see the largest statue but also to witness the important historical facts related to Sardar Bhai Patel, who was a pioneer in India’s freedom struggle. Not to be forgotten that it was because of him that the princely states in the country could become one union of India.
Inaugurated on his 143rd birth anniversary in 2018, the statue is 182-meters tall and has been constructed on a budget of around 3000 Cr. One must know that the statue is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in the United States and 40% taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha.
Due to its location on river Narmada, the statue appears even more than what people call “larger-than-life.” Interestingly, the whole statue was completed within the set time of 22 months between 2014 to 2018, which highlights the hard work of the labourers involved in this project.
As a matter of fact, 3000 workers, including 300 engineers from Larsen & Toubro (L&T), have built the statue. It was designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar, who has also designed over 50 monuments. His design here depicted Sardar Patel in a traditional dhoti and shawl.
It is surprising to know that approximately 129 tons of iron were procured from millions of farmers from 1,69,000 villages for the construction. On the other hand, the statue has been built with intricate bronze cladding work done by a Chinese foundry, the Jiangxi Toqine Company. The result of the engineers’ design and the workers’ labour shows that the statue can withstand an earthquake measuring below 6.5 on the Richter scale and wind velocities up to 60 metres per second, as per the reports.
What’s all there to see?
As one visits the statue, multiple ticketing options allow them to check out the place. While the basic ticket allows you access to the monument, museum, projection mapping show, valley of flowers, and more, the ‘Viewing Gallery Ticket’ also provides a chance to access the viewing gallery, which is located inside the Statue of Unity at a 500-feet height.
However, another option for the tourists is to opt for an ‘Express Entry Ticket’ that offers all the above benefits and access to the places but with a lesser time with the elevator. The high-speed lifts are available in statue to take nearly 26 people to the top within 30 seconds.
Let us also tell you that you can go inside the statue as the ground floor includes a museum that speaks about the valorous and intelligent Sardar Patel and his work. It has nearly 2,000 photographs, 40000 documents, and video presentations depicting his life, role, and struggles. The floor also includes exhibition halls, a research center, and open-air theatres.
The monument complex has an area of 20,000 square meters, which is surrounded by a small artificial lake. The viewing gallery, at a height of 193 meters from sea level, can accommodate 200 visitors at a time from where they can see the Sardar Sarovar Dam amidst the beautiful Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges on both sides.
Not only this, you can get an aerial view of the statue of unity through a 10-minute helicopter ride at a fair price of Rs 2,900 along with 6-7 people. With the backdrop of the Statue of Unity, one also has a chance to go for a boat ride in the Narmada river. Around 2.5 km from the Statue of Unity lies the beautiful valley of flowers, which is included in the tickets and provides a panoramic view of hundreds of flora species, including native flowers, shrubs, trees, and grasses.
For adventure seekers, there is also an option to go for riverfront cycling past hills, waterfalls, and forests. Along with this, you can visit the Sardar Patel Zoological Park, enjoy jungle safaris, and meet the wildest of the wilds!
Hence, your visit to this monument will not just be informative but also thrilling and fun that you would certainly not prefer to miss!