Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel situated on the bank of Narmada river facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadia town of Narmada district in the state of Gujarat(India). The height of the statue is 182 meters(597 ft.) holding the record of World’s tallest statue, nearly double the height of Statue of Liberty. Indian Sculptor Ram V. Sutar is the designer of the statue.
The project was first announced on 7 October 2010 by the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust(SVPRET) was formed in the year 2011 to undertake the project. The construction of the statue began in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro along with Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd and took nearly 5 years for completion with a total cost of nearly INR 3,000 Crores.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity on 31 October 2018 and now, the Statue of Unity is open for the public.
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel popularly known as Sardar Patel was born on 31 October 1875 in Bombay Presidency of British India(present-day Gujarat). He completed his studies and practised as a barrister in Gujarat. He also served as a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and led some popular movements like the Bardoli Satyagraha in 1928 which earned him the title “Sardar”. He also served as a companion of Mahatama Gandhi during the Non-violent Indian Independence Movement.
When India got independence from British Raj, Sardar Patel served as the First Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister in the interim government of 1946. He played a lead role in the integration of 562 independent princely states to form Union of India. He is known as the “Iron Man of India” and for remembrance of his contribution in uniting India, Statue of Unity is dedicated to this noble statesman. He died at the age of 75 on 15 December 1950 in Bombay(present-day Mumbai).
Construction & some facts about the Statue of Unity
In 2010, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi announced the project for the construction of Statue of Unity ahead of Civic Elections in Gujarat with an estimated cost of INR 3,050 Crores to be fully funded by the Gujarat Government. Narendra Modi wanted the statue to be made of iron donated by people especially farmers across India, to realise “Iron Man of India” in true sense.
A trust was announced by the Gujarat Government led by Narendra Modi on 7 October 2011 by the name, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust(SVPRET). The trust took the charge of collecting 129 tonnes of scrap iron and iron implements from nearly 100 Million farmers of 169,000 villages across India to construct the base of the statue under the “Loha” Campaign on basis of voluntary donation.
The statue was designed by the Padma Bhushan recipient & Indian Sculptor Ram Sutar who has designed over 50 monuments in his career of 40 years. Ram Sutar’s design was later intricated by the Chinese Foundry Company Jiangxi Toqine Company (JTQ) on the bronze cladding to form the mould for the statue.
Larsen & Toubro and Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited(PSU) began the construction in 2013 with 250 Engineers, 3400 labourers using 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel bars, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1700 metric tonnes of bronze.
The height of the statue was chosen as 182 meters to represent the total number of assembly constituencies in the state of Gujarat and it is 23 meters taller than China’s Spring Temple of Buddha statue.
Statue of Unity can withstand wind velocity up to 60 m/s and earthquake of up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale.
There is a viewing gallery in the statue near the heart of Sardar Patel at a height of 153 meters connected by two lifts which can accommodate 26 people at a time and takes around half a minute to reach the gallery. The viewing gallery can accommodate 200 people at a time who can have a mesmerizing view of the Narmada river.
The project took almost 5 years for completion from 2013 to 2018. On 31 October 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the Statue of Unity to the nation on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
If you want to visit the Statue of Unity or want to know more about it, you can click on this link (https://statueofunity.guide/).