Statue of Unity has been built in the memorial of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement, and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. This statue holds the record of world’s tallest statue.
Statue of Unity
This statue is situated on a river-island facing the Narmada Dam (also called as Sardar Sarovar dam) near Rajpipla, 100 kilometres southeast of the city of Vadodara. The Statue of Unity is 182 metres (597 ft) tall and it holds the record of world’s tallest statue. It is twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
The monument and its surroundings is spread over more than 2 hectares (4.9 acres), and are surrounded by a 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi; 3,000 acres) artificial lake. Larsen & Toubro received the contract for building this monument in October 2014. The contract was of ₹29.89 billion (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance. The construction was started on 31 October 2014 and completed in mid-October 2018. It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, who is a holder of Padma Bhushan award. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated this monument on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth.
Construction and Cost of Statue of Unity
The statue is constructed on an island named Sadhu Bet, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away from and facing the Narmada Dam. The total height of the structure from its base is 240 m (790 ft), with a base of 58 m (190 ft) and statue of 182 m (597 ft). It is constructed with steel framing, reinforced cement concrete, and bronze cladding. The statue’s construction took 75,000 cubic meters (2,600,000 cu ft) of concrete, 5,700 tonnes (5,600 long tons; 6,300 short tons) of steel structure, 18,500 tonnes (18,200 long tons; 20,400 short tons) of reinforced steel rods, and 22,500 tonnes (22,100 long tons; 24,800 short tons) of bronze sheets. It took 56 months to complete – 15 months for planning, 40 months for construction and two months for handing over by the consortium.
Indian infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro won the contract on 27 October 2014 for its lowest bid of ₹29.89 billion (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance. They commenced the construction on 31 October 2014. In the first phase of the project, ₹13.47 billion were for the main statue, ₹2.35 billion for the exhibition hall and convention centre, ₹830 million for the bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland and ₹6.57 billion for the maintenance of the structure for 15 years after its completion. Accenture provides digital media outreach program. The monument is designed by Ram V. Sutar.
The statue was completed in 33 months. The foundation was laid down in 2013; construction was completed in mid-October 2018; and the inaugural ceremony was held on 31 October 2018, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The statue has been described as a tribute to Indian engineering skills.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Sardar Patel was a leader of the Indian independence movement and the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister. He was also named as Iron Man. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel served as the first home minister of independent India. He united all 562 princely states in pre-independent India to build the Republic of India. Because of Sardar Patel, today India is a country of 29 states.
Statue of Unity is located in Gujarat’s Narmada district, and it is just 3.5 km away from Kevadia town and about 200 km from Ahmedabad. For Gujarat tourism, which already has the Great Rann of Kutch and the Gandhi circuit as big attractions, the Statue of Unity is on its way to being added to the list. On an average, 15,000 visitors are expected daily to the site. Since it is double the height of New York’s world famous Statue of Liberty, the Statue of Unity is also likely to draw a decent number of foreign tourists besides domestic visitors from all over India.
Other than the statue, there are several other tourist attractions around including the valley of flowers, natural beauty of the Satpura and Vindhyachal hill ranges besides the Sardar Sarobar dam on the mighty Narmada river.
How to book tickets to visit Statue of Unity
There are two ways to book your ticket — online and on the spot. The entry gates are already open officially from today 9 am.
Online ticket booking for the Statue of Unity has already started but tickets are being sold only for dates beginning this Saturday, November 3. You can book tickets at www.soutickets.in.
To get the best view of the picturesque environs of the Statue of Unity, you will have to shell out Rs 350 per person. The observation deck ticket takes you to a height of about 400 feet close to the chest of the Sardar Patel statue using high-speed elevators. This gives you a panoramic view of the entire Narmada river, surrounding hills and dam.
Barring the observation deck, a regular entry ticket costs you about Rs 120 for adults and Rs 60 for kids between 3-15 years. For toddlers under 3, entry is free.
Entry gates are open from 9 am to 6 pm every day. Buses have also been made available for tourists inside the complex. Boat rides will also begin soon. Tourists will be treated to 30-minute laser shows in the evening every day.
Highlights of Statue of Unity
- The Statue of Unity is the tallest statue in the world. At 182 metres, it is 23 metres taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue and almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty (93 metres tall) in US.
- It was built within three-and-a-half years by an army of over 3,000 workers, including 300 engineers from infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
- The Statue of Unity was built by Padma Bhushan recipient sculptor Ram V Sutar and intricate bronze cladding work was done by a Chinese foundry, the Jiangxi Toqine Company (JTQ).
- The statue will be able to withstand wind velocity up to 60 m/s, vibration and earthquakes.
- As Gujarat chief minister, Modi had announced the project in 2010 ahead of civic elections in Ahmedabad. The project, which cost Rs 3,050 crore, was fully funded by the Gujarat government.
- The viewing gallery for the statue, at 153 metres, can accommodate 200 people at a time and offer an expansive view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
- The statue is a three-layered structure. The innermost layer is made of reinforced cement concrete (RCC), comprising two towers 127 metres high that rise till the statue’s chest. The second layer is a steel structure and the third an 8 mm bronze cladding on the surface.