Statue of Unity
The statue stands on Sadhu island on the Narmada in Gujarat. The Statue of Unity, which stands 182-metre tall, dwarfs New York Statue of Liberty by twice its size and almost four times the height of Brazils Christ the Redeemer. The number 182 was a conscious choice representing the 182 Assembly constituencies of Gujarat. The total cost of the project is said to be Rs 2,989 crores. From sea level, the height would be 237.35 metres — the 70-metre hillock of Sadhu Bet having been flattened to 55 metres to lay the foundation.
Apart from the statue itself, there are five other related sites that are constructed along with the world’s tallest statue. These include the walkway, the ticket counter, the food court, the four-lane approach highway, and the Shrestha Bharat Bhavan- a 52-room three-star lodging facility for the visitors coming to see the monument.
Design and Construction
The massive bronze Vallabhbhai statue produced at a foundry in China was designed by Indian sculptor, Ram Vanji Suthar, a Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee for his contribution in the field of arts. In his 40 years of work life, he has created over 50 monumental sculptures. Speaking of the Patel statue, his son, Anil Suthar, also a sculptor, has described the pose - head up, a shawl clinging from the shoulder, and hands set on his side as if he is set to walk - portrays the true character of the person, his striving persona, and the unmistakable, iron will. After four years of work, the specifications of the structure stand at; height from the base is 240 metres, height of the base 58 metres, height of statue 182 metres.
Viewing Gallery and Museum
Of the five zones the statue is segregated into only three are open to public viewing. The first level entails the base going all the way to the statues shins, comprising a museum cataloging Sardar Patels contributions, and a memorial garden. Zone 2 goes up to the statues thighs at 149 metres. The viewing gallery, affording expansive views of the Narmada and the surrounding Satpura and Vindhyachal ranges, forms the third level. Zone 4 and 5 are the highest levels, and serve as the maintenance area.
A top Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd official informed The Indian Express that the statue can sustain wind velocity of 220 kilometres per hour and earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale.
How to get there
By road: Rajpipla in the Narmada district is the nearest city to the Statue of Unity, about 25 kilometres away from Sardar Sarovar Dam.
By rail: Vadodara railway station is the nearest rail head to the Sardar Patel statue. You can get on the public transport or book a cab to take you directly to the site.
By air: Statue of Unity Nearest Airport. The Vadodara airport is about 90 kilometres away from the site. From the airport, you can hire a cab or use the state transport to get to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue.