The World’s Tallest Statue
Towering over the Narmada Valley is an homage to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Named the Statue of Unity, the bronze behemoth is 182 m tall. That is 30 m taller than the Spring Temple Buddha, twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and six times that of Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer. Its gargantuan size isn’t, however, the only reason for its becoming the nation’s pride and a wonder of the modern world.
Poetry in Bronze and Steel
The statue was built to honour one of India’s tallest leaders; responsible for bringing together a nation of myriad ethnicities, cultures and beliefs. And the construction of that statue mirrors those values.
The Statue of Unity is the vision of master sculptor Ram V. Sutar, a Padma Bhushan awardee. Made of bronze, steel and reinforced concrete, nearly 5000 tonnes of metal came from the Loha Campaign, where farmers donated their tools to be melted and used in construction.
When you do decide to visit this modern marvel of engineering, be prepared for a sight that will take your breath away. On a clear day, the statue is visible from a mind boggling 7 km away. Perched atop Sadhu Pet, a hillock on the banks of the Narmada, the Statue of Unity rises out of an artificial lake facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
What’s in Store
As a visitor, you’ll have much more to do than being transfixed by the world’s tallest statue. The Statue of Unity also has a memorial gallery, an exhibit floor and a 153 m high viewing gallery that promises spectacular views of the Satpura and Vindhyachal Mountains. The Shreshta Bharat Bhavan complex at the base of the Statue is home to a museum, a shopping complex and a hotel.
The site is also home to Tent City, a luxurious nature resort built in the shadow of the Statue of Unity. The perfect place to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Narmada Valley, the Tent City can house over 500 tourists in its luxurious facilities.
And if you’re in the mood for a little sightseeing, make your way to Rajvant Palace, in Rajpipla. Built in the early 1900s, the heritage hotel has delightful Gothic arches, Venetian columns and a Romanesque dome. You could also pay a visit to the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary with its temples, waterfalls and hiking trails.
How to Get There
You can reach the Statue of Unity from Vadodara, located 90 km away, Surat, or Ahmedabad. The Statue also makes for a great road trip destination. The city is a mere 428 km away from the statue and can be reached via NH 48 and State Highway 63.
Ticket and Timings
The Statue of Unity is open Monday to Sunday 9 am to 6 pm. You can book your tickets online on www.soutickets.in or on the spot with entry priced at Rs. 350 for adults and children aged over 3. Your ticket will include entry to the Statue of Unity observation deck, Sardar Patel Memorial, Museum, and audio-visual gallery. You will also have access to the Valley of Flowers and the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The Statue of Unity might just be the country’s next big tourist magnet, a rival to the Taj Mahal perhaps. On its way to becoming India’s most visited monument, the tallest statue in the world has already made history. Claim a piece of that history. Visit the Statue of Unity.