The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is located on a river island Saghu Bet near Narmada Dam in Gujarat, India. Sardar Patel is known for uniting 562 princely states of India to form the single large Union of India without any bloodshed.
Standing at 182 meters (597 ft), it is the world’s tallest statue. It was designed by the Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar and was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Oct 31st, 2018, the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
An outreach drive named the Statue of Unity Movement was started to support the construction of the statue. It helped collect the iron needed for the statue by asking farmers to donate their used farming instruments. A total of 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron was collected from all the villages across India and about 109 tonnes of it was used to make the foundation of the statue after processing.
The statue is surrounded by 4.9 acres of garden, which in turn is surrounded by 12 kms of an artificial lake formed by the Garudeshwar weir downstream on the Narmada river. The statue is divided into five zones of which only three are accessible 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 Zone 2 reaches up to Patel’s thighs at 149 meters, while the third extends up to the viewing gallery at 153 meters. Zone 4 is the maintenance area while the final zone comprises the head and shoulders of the statue.
The museum in Zone 1 catalogs the life of Sardar Patel and his contributions. 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 meters (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people.
The statue is an architectural marvel. Every Indian must visit the place at least once in a lifetime. Do let us know in the comments below what do you think of The Statue of Unity.