Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat’s Narmada district on October 31, on the occasion of 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel. The ‘Statue of Unity’ is 182 meters tall. The height was picked as ‘182’ meter to match the total Assembly constituencies in Gujarat. The ‘Statue of Unity’ beats China’s ‘Spring Temple Buddha’ as the world’s tallest statue and is twice the height of the ‘Statue of Liberty’ in the US
“The world’s tallest statue will remind the entire world, the future generations about the courage, capabilities and determination of the person who did this holy work of vanquishing the conspiracy to disintegrate India into pieces,” PM said while addressing the ceremony. PM Modi also reminded the audience that the idea of building the tallest statue in the world was shared by him with people exactly eight years back in Ahmedabad when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, adding how a “mass movement” was created for the statue across the country as iron farm tools and farm soil were given by lakhs of farmers from all over the country.
The Statue of Unity is now open to the tourists from 9 am, November 1. 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. The Gujarat government already started promoting the statue as a major tourist destination. On an average, 15,000 visitors are expected daily to the site.
Online booking to visit the ‘Statue of Unity’ opened with Rs 350 as an admission fee for the 153-metre-high observation deck. 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. 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. If planning for an overnight stay at the ‘Statue of Unity’, then tourist can also book a room at a 3-star hotel inside the complex.
Gujarat government said that 185 families moved to make way for the statue had been compensated and given 1,200 acres of new land. The statue of unity will attract lots of tourist which will lead to the economic growth of the country. However, a lot of people have criticised the government for spending Rs 3000 crore to build the statue. One media reports claim that even if the Statue becomes as popular as Taj Mahal, it is estimated to take 120 years to break even.
10 Things to know about the Statue of Unity
- The Statue of Unity stands 177 feet higher than the current world’s tallest statue China’s ‘Spring Temple Buddha’.
- The statue depicts SardarVallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, wearing traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over river Narmada.
- 25,000 tonnes of iron and 90,000 tonnes of cement have been used in its construction. Nearly 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers worked round-the-clock at the site of the statue.
- The statue can withstand severe wind velocity and earthquake.
- The statue has a gallery which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time.
- The museum has 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research Centre dedicated to Sardar Patel’s life.
- The statue has been created by a renowned sculptor, Ram VanjiSutar. The 93-year-old sculptor has given India over 8,000 sculptures
- About 15,000 tourists are expected to visit the statue daily.
The statue is made up of reinforced concrete, but its surface that gives it a distinct design, has been created using 553 bronze panels, with each panel having 10 to 15 micro panels.