World’s tallest, the Statue of Unity is an honorable tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Iron Man of India. Overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the grand statue stands atop Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada River. Flaunting the height of 182 m, the statue has left China’s Spring Buddha Temple (153 m) a long way behind. Interestingly, the colossal statue was a gift to the man who united India, on his 143rd birthday.
Constructed by Larsen and Toubro and inaugurated by India’s current Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the Statue of Unity is an architectural marvel. Here’s a detailed guide about the statue comprising all that you must know.
History of the Statue of Unity
The project was announced by Shri Narendra Modi on 7th October 2010 on the eve of commencement of his 10th year as Gujarat’s Chief Minister. The Government of Gujarat constructed a special purpose vehicle to execute the project. The vehicle was named as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET). In addition to this, the Statue of Unity Movement, an outreach drive was initiated to support the construction of the project.
On 31st October 2013, Mr. Modi laid the foundation stone of the state. Furthermore, a marathon with the title ‘Run for Unity’ was also conducted on 15th December 2013 in support of the project. Thereafter, the project was handed over to Larsen & Toubro on 27th October 2014. It was on 31st October 2014 that the construction of the statue began.
Ultimately, the construction was completed in mid-October 2018.
- The iron used for construction of the statue was collected from the farmers who donated their used farming instruments.
- Out of the 135 metric tonnes of collected scarp iron, 109 metric tonnes was used to construct the foundation.
- The design of the Statue of Unity was submitted by Ram V. Sutar, an Indian sculptor. A team of artists, historians and academics agreed upon with the design after analyzing various statues of Patel across India.
- The statue that we see today is due to the dedicated efforts of over 250 engineers and 3000 workers.
- 1850 of bronze cladding and 1700 tonnes of bronze plates are used in the outer façade.
- The statue is a larger replica of the one installed at Ahmedabad International Airport.
- Initially, three models of the design were created.
- The world’s tallest statue can withstand earthquakes measuring 6.5 on Richter Scale and winds of up to 180 km/h.
- The direction of the statue was finalized after a shadow analysis was conducted.
- Tent City – A luxurious nature retreat named as the Tent City Narmada, has been recently inaugurated just 10 km away from the statue. Surrounded by waterfalls, meadows, abundant wildlife and thick forests the resort lies along the idyllic Panchmuli Lake.
- Three-star hotel – A hotel named ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ is almost complete and will be inaugurated by December this year.
- Viewing Gallery – The center of attraction that lures scores of tourists is a viewing gallery which is perched at a height of 153 m. The gallery offers panoramic views of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges and so on. 200 visitors can be accommodated in the gallery at once.
- High-speed lifts – Two high-speed lifts and a garden add to the charm of the statue. The lifts carry 5000 visitors to the viewing gallery daily. A museum and light and show throwing light at the life of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel are an added plus.
- Selfie point – A selfie point which is located in close proximity enables visitors to take picture-perfect selfies with the statue in the background. Additionally, a shopping center nearby caters to the need of the visitors.
- Valley of Flowers – Furthermore, hills adjoining the statue flaunt a new look similar to the ‘Valley of Flower’. This is achieved by planting a number of flowers.
- Chopper Rides – A chopper ride service at the Statue of Unity is also available. The ride costs INR 2,900 per person for 10 minutes and offers panoramic views in a helicopter.
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Entry Fees for the Statue of Unity
The express entry tickets cost INR 1000 for adults as well as children, while toddlers below the age of 3 do not require tickets. While normal entry fee for adults cost INR 120, while for children it is INR 30 and toddlers below the age of 3 do not require tickets.
The entry ticket for entry in the viewing gallery is priced at INR 350, and INR 200 for children
The Statue of unity is open to public from 9 am. The gates remain open till 6 pm every day.
Crocodile spotting will soon be started around the Statue of Unity. Moreover, adventure seekers may soon tray their hands at water sports like boating and river rafting.
Forest treks and paragliding will raise the fun quotient.
It is expected that cruise tourism and seaplane services in the dam may soon beguile the visitors.
Also, there are plans to celebrate the International Kite Festival during Uttarayan in the premises of Statue of Unity.
Best time to visit
October to March is the best time to visit Statue of Unity. The weather conditions are perfect to plan a visit.
How to reach?
Nearest city- Rajpipla is the nearest city at a distance of 25 km, closest from the Statue of Unity.
Nearest Airport- Vadodara Airport at a distance of 90 km. is the nearest air connection with connectivity all over India.
Nearest Railway Station- To reach by rail, Vadodara, 90 km is the closest train connection.
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