The Statue of Unity is the tallest statue in the world. The 182-metre structure in the state of Gujarat in India is a tribute to the Indian freedom movement icon, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
On 31st October 2018 Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, unveiled the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, paying tribute to the famous leader on his 143rd birth anniversary. Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue as the Prime Minister dedicated it to the nation. He said that the statue is “a symbol of India’s integrity and resolve”. He also mentioned that the Statue of Unity would serve as a major tourist attraction.
Built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, who was also known as the “Iron Man of India”. The statue is now the world’s tallest – it is twice as tall as New York’s Statue of Liberty and 177 feet higher than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which was the world’s tallest statue till date.
The statue has been designed by Ram V Sutar, who is a Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor, and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. The building of the statue took 33 months, with about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct it.
The Statue of Unity will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. This gallery gives a view of the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges, the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and its reservoir.
Officials expect that the site will attract about 2.5 million annual visitors and will help boost local economy.
The memorial is seen as a pet project of Mr Modi, who was also born in Gujarat, just like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He had appointed the building of the statue in 2010, while he was the state’s chief minister.
But the Statue of Unity will not be the world’s tallest statue for very long now. The government in the Indian state of Maharashtra is constructing a memorial to the Maratha warrior king, Shivaji, and that is expected to be 190 metres tall.