The Statue of Unity has set the record of being the World’s tallest Statue, with a height of 182 metres which is four times as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The statue depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, a leader of the Indian independence movement and the country’s first Deputy Prime Minister.
SARDAR VALLABHAI PATEL
Vallabhai Patel (31 October 1875 – 15 December 1950), a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. He acted as de facto Commander-in-chief of the Indian army during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. He was a major part of non-violent civil disobedience against the British Raj. He was appointed as the 49th President of Indian National Congress, organising the party for elections in 1934 and 1937 while promoting the Quit India Movement.As the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, Patel organised relief efforts for refugees fleeing from Punjab and Delhi and worked to restore peace. In September 1917, Patel delivered a speech in Borsad, encouraging Indians nationwide to sign Gandhi’s petition demanding Swaraj – self-rule – from Britain.
The statue is on a river-island facing the Narmada Dam (also called the Sardar Sarovar dam) near Rajpipla, 100 kilometres southeast of the city of Vadodara.The statue was built on a Public Private Partnership model, with most of the money raised by the Government of Gujarat. The Government of India had allotted ₹3 billion for the project in the budget.
The project was first announced on 7 October 2010. The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) was established by the Gujarat government for construction of the statue. A 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 Indian farmers to donate their used farming instruments. Ultimately 5,000 tonnes of iron were collected.
WHO BUILT IT
Indian infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro was given the contract for the statue’s design, construction and maintenance. The monument is designed by Ram V. Sutar. The statue was completed in 33 months. The foundation was laid down in 2013; construction was completed in mid-October 2018; and the inaugural ceremony was held on 31 October 2018, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra.“The Statue will stand high, not just in meters and feet, but much more in terms of academic, historical, national and spiritual values. My vision is to develop the place as a source of inspiration for ages to come.” Said, Shri Narendra Modi, our honourable prime minister.
A tribute to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity is not just a memorial, as the project is part of a larger tourism ecosystem.
HOW FAR FROM AHMADABAD
Although there is a bridge to reach the statue from the mainland, the best way to reach Sadhu Bet island is to take a boat ride. The nearest town from the Statue of Unity is Narmada District’s Kevadia, just 3.5 km away. This is now being connected through a highway. Making the journey more pleasant is a valley of flowers along the road. If you are coming via Ahmedabad, then you will have to cover a distance of 200 km to reach the spot.
The Statue of Unity is open to the public from tomorrow on all days of the week from 9 am to 6 pm. For kids below the age of 3, entry is free and for all others, including adults and kids above 3, tickets are priced at Rs 350 per person. It includes entry to the observation deck, valley of flowers, the Sardar Patel memorial, museum and audio-visual gallery, the Statue of Unity site and Sardar Sarovar dam.
There is a cheaper option as well. For a basic entry ticket, which includes a visit to the valley of flowers, the Sardar Patel memorial, museum and audio-visual gallery, the Statue of Unity site and Sardar Sarovar dam, adults are charged Rs 120. For children aged below 15, the ticket price is Rs 60.