The Statue of Unity, a gigantic memorial dedicated to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhai Patel by the people of Gujarat opened its doors to everyone on October 31, last year to commemorate his 143rd birth anniversary. Since then, it has drawn thousands of people who have come to gaze in wonderment at the brilliance of Indian engineering and pay homage to an iconic leader…
DEDICATED to noted Indian statesman and freedom fighter, Sardar Patel, the Statue of Unity stands tall at a whopping (approx.) 600 ft., almost twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in the USA. The Statue was built to pays tribute to Sardar Patel’s indelible contribution towards India’s independence struggle against the British and for the establishment of Modern India. Sardar Patel is also fondly revered as the ‘Iron Man of India’ and free India’s first Deputy Prime Minister & Home Minister.
The Status of Unity is also the World’s Tallest Statue, stands at a height of 182 mtrs and located in the Western part of Gujarat, on a river island – Sadhu Bet – facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River in the Kevadiya Colony, about 100 kilometres southeast to the city of Vadodara. Our Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, first announced this project in 2010 and the construction of the statue started soon after by reputed Indian construction company, Larsen & Turbo for a cost of ₹ 2,989 crore. He laid the foundation on laid the statue’s foundation stone on October 31st 2013 on the 138th anniversary of Sardar Patel’s birth.
Five years later, Prime Minster Modi inaugurated this statue on October 31, 2018 commemorating the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. The Statue is designed by noted Indian sculptor, Ram. V. Sutar and is also a true tribute to Indian engineering skills. This towering structure was built at a record 33 months with 90,000 tonnes of cement and 25,000 tonnes of iron to withstand even the harshest elements of nature including earthquakes.
For tourists and history buffs, a visit to the Statue should be a ‘must see’ as besides the status, there are many things that they can explore and learn. The Statue and its surroundings occupy around 5 acres of land which is surrounded by a 12 km. artificial lake formed on the Narmada River. The Statue too is divided into five zones of which only three are open to the public. From its base to the level of Patel’s shins is the first zone which has three levels and includes an exhibition area, mezzanine and roof. Zone 1 contains a memorial garden and a museum. The second zone reaches up to Patel’s thighs at 149 metres, while the third extends up to the viewing gallery at 153 metres.
For history enthusiasts, the museums situated within the Statue are surely worth visiting. The museum in Zone 1 catalogues the life of Sardar Patel and his contributions towards the Indian freedom struggle as well as his contributions towards free, modern India post its independence. An adjoining audio-visual gallery provides a 15 minute presentation on Patel and also describes the tribal culture of the state. The concrete towers which form the statue’s legs contain two elevators each. Each lift can carry 26 people at a time to the viewing gallery in just over 30 seconds. The gallery is located at a height of 153 metres (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Ticket prices to visit Observation Deck view, Valley of Flower, Memorial, Museum & Audio Visual Gallery, SOU site, Sardar Sarovar Dam
Express Entry: Rs 1000 per adult/ child
Viewing Gallery: Rs 200/child and Rs 350/adult
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday
*Statue of Unity remains closed for the tourists on every Monday due to maintenance work. Plan your trip accordingly.
Things to See: Besides the Statue of Unity
The Valley of Flowers, natural beauty of the Satpura and Vindhyachal hill ranges besides the Sardar Sarovar dam on the mighty Narmada River.
Air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport
Rail: Kalupur Railway Station
Distance: 198 Kms, 3 Hours 45 Minutes
Air: Vadodara International Airport
Rail: Vadodara Railway Station
Distance: 91 Kms, 2 Hours
Air: Surat International Airport
Rail: Surat Railway Station
Distnace: 156 Kms, 3 Hours 10 Minutes