The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of Indian politician and Independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950). He was the first Home Minister of Independent India and the chief adherent of Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violent Indian Independence movement. Patel was highly respected for his leadership in uniting the 552 princely states of India to form the single Union of India.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue is located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 metres. It is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada in Kevadiya colony, 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the city of Vadodara and 150 km from Surat.
The project was first announced in 2010 and the construction of the statue started in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for Rs. 2,989 crore (US$420 million) from Central Government. It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar and was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel.
About Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue at 182 meters (597 ft). It rises 54 metres (177 ft) higher than the previous record-holder, the Spring Temple Buddha in China’s Henan province. The previous tallest statue in India was the 41 m (135 ft) statue of Hanuman at the Paritala Anjaneya Temple near Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The statue can be seen within a 7 km (4.3 mi) radius.
The monument is constructed on a river island named Sadhu Bet, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away from and facing the Narmada Dam downstream. The statue and its surroundings occupy more than 2 hectares (4.9 acres) and are surrounded by a 12 km (7.5 mi) long 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 second zone reaches up to Patel’s thighs, while the third extends up to the viewing gallery at 153 metres. Zone 4 is the maintenance area while the final zone comprises the head and shoulders of the statue.
The museum in zone 1 catalogues 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 metres (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people.
Thought behind Patel’s Statue
The statue depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, the First Deputy Prime Minister of India, and responsible for the integration of hundreds of princely states into the modern Republic of India.
After studying numerous statues of Patel across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academics chose to proceed with a design submitted by the Indian sculptor, Ram V. Sutar. The Statue of Unity is a much larger replica of a statue of the leader installed at Ahmedabad International Airport. Commenting on the design, Ram Sutar’s son, Anil Sutar, explains that “the expression, posture and pose justify the dignity, confidence, iron will as well as kindness that his personality exudes. The head is up, a shawl flung from shoulders and hands are on the side as if he is set to walk”.
The total height of the structure is 240 m (790 ft), with a base of 58 m (190 ft) and the statue of 182 m (597 ft). The height of 182 was specifically chosen to match the number of seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
Design and Architecture
Three models of the design measuring 3 feet (0.91 m), 18 feet (5.5 m), and 30 feet (9.1 m) were initially created. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed 3D-scan was produced which formed the basis for the bronze cladding cast in a foundry in China.
Patel’s dhoti-clad legs and the use of sandals for footwear rendered the design thinner at the base than at the top thereby affecting its stability. This was addressed by maintaining a slenderness ratio of 16:19 rather than the customary 8:14 ratio of other tall buildings. The statue is built to withstand winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour (110 mph) and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale which are at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue. This is aided by the use of two 250-tonne tuned mass dampers which ensure maximum stability.
How to Reach Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity Nearest City
Rajpipla in the Narmada district is the nearest city to the Statue of Unity, about 25 kilometres away from Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Vadodara Airport is about 90 kilometres away from the site. From the airport, you can hire a cab or use state transport to get to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue.
Nearest Railway Station
Vadodara railway station is the nearest railhead to the Sardar Patel statue. You can get on public transport or book a cab to take you directly to the site.
Statue of Unity Location
The statue of Sardar Patel is more than just a memorial, it is all set to become Gujarat, and perhaps even the country’s, significant tourist attraction. About a 100 kilometre from Vadodara, 200 kilometres from the capital Ahmedabad, and about 420 kilometres from Mumbai, the various ways to reach the site is by driving on State Highway 11 and 63.
You will arrive at the nearest town of Kevadia in the Narmada district, and the statue is only 3.5 kilometres from there. Work is on to connect the statue site with a highway. From the mainland, you need to take a bridge to get to the statue, another possible way is a ferry ride to the Sadhu Bet island where the statue is stationed.
Hotels near Statue of Unity
The Shrestha Bharat Bhavan, which is adjacent to the Statue of Unity, is a 3-star hotel with all modern amenities, cafeteria, and conference facilities. In the vicinity, a special tent city is on the cards that will have about 250-odd tents spread across its 70,000 sq ft promising you a quiet night under the stars on the banks of Narmada. The facility is touted to be powered by solar energy.
Statue of Unity Ticket Booking
|Opening Days||Tuesday through Sunday|
|Opening Hours||9 am to 5 pm|
Tuesday through Sunday are Statue of Unity opening days.
Statue of Unity opening hours/timings
Statue of Unity opens at 9 am and closes at 5 pm.
You can book your Statue of Unity tickets on its official website by selecting your preferred time and day, or buy it directly at the site. The SOU online ticket booking is maintained by the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust.
The Statue of Unity ticket price is divided into two categories: Entry ticket and observation deck view.
|Visitor Type||Entry Ticket||Observation Deck view|
|Adult||INR 120 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)||INR 350 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)|
|Children (aged 3 to 15 years)||INR 60 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)||INR 200 + INR 30 (Bus Charges)|
|Children (below 3 years)||Free||Free|
The former includes Valley of Flower – the stretch leading to the Patel Statue with over 100 varieties of flowers, memorial, museum, audio-visual gallery, the Statue of Unity (SOU) site and Sardar Sarovar Dam. The adult pricing is INR 120 + INR 30 (bus charges), and for children aged 3 to 15 years, the price is INR 60 + INR 30 (bus charges).
The later includes observation deck view, Valley of Flower, memorial, museum, audio-visual gallery, SOU site and Sardar Sarovar Dam. The adult pricing is INR 350 + INR 30 (bus charges), and for children aged 3 to 15 years, the tickets are at INR 200 + INR 30 (bus charges).
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