In a remote corner of India’s western state of Gujarat, near the banks of the Narmada River, stands an awe-inspiring tribute to India’s national pride and unity – the Statue of Unity. The statue, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a revered figure in Indian history, stands tall at 182 meters, making it the tallest statue in the world.
The statue’s grandeur and beauty have made it a popular destination for both Indian and foreign tourists, attracting millions of visitors since its inauguration in 2018. In this blog, we will take a closer look at the Statue of Unity, exploring its significance, construction, and what it means for India.
Significance of the Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is not merely a work of art; it represents much more than that. The statue stands as a symbol of India’s unity, integrity, and diversity, highlighting the country’s strength and resilience. Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India, was instrumental in India’s freedom struggle and is revered for his role in uniting the country’s diverse princely states after independence. The statue is a fitting tribute to this great leader, symbolizing his vision of a united India.
Moreover, the statue is a symbol of India’s technological prowess, demonstrating the country’s capabilities in executing large-scale projects. The construction of the statue required cutting-edge technology and engineering, making it an impressive feat of human ingenuity.
Construction of the Statue
The construction of the Statue of Unity was a massive undertaking, involving thousands of workers and engineers. The project was led by Larsen & Toubro, one of India’s leading engineering and construction companies, and involved the expertise of several other firms, including Turner Construction and Michael Graves and Associates.
The construction process began in 2013 and took nearly five years to complete. The statue’s foundation required 210,000 cubic meters of cement concrete, while its core was built using 18,500 tons of reinforced steel. The statue’s outer layer is made of bronze, comprising 1,700 tons of bronze sheets, with a thickness ranging from 8 mm to 40 mm.
The statue’s construction faced several challenges, including the harsh weather conditions in the region, the Narmada River’s flooding, and the site’s remote location. However, the project’s team overcame these challenges, showcasing India’s expertise in executing large-scale projects.
Things to Do at the Statue of Unity
Visiting the Statue of Unity is an unforgettable experience, with the statue’s grandeur and beauty leaving a lasting impression on visitors. The statue’s location, surrounded by lush green forests and hills, adds to its charm, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Visitors to the statue can explore several attractions in the surrounding area, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. In this section, we will take a closer look at the points to see at the Statue of Unity in Kevadia.
- The Statue of Unity
The statue itself is, of course, the main attraction at Kevadia. Standing tall at 182 meters, it is the tallest statue in the world, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a revered figure in Indian history. The statue’s grandeur and beauty are awe-inspiring, leaving a lasting impression on visitors.
- Sardar Patel Memorial
At the base of the statue lies the Sardar Patel Memorial, housing several exhibits and galleries showcasing Sardar Patel’s life and work. The memorial is divided into four galleries, including the Statue of Unity Gallery, the Memorial Gallery, the Sound and Light Show Gallery, and the Exhibition Gallery. The galleries contain several interactive displays, artefacts, and multimedia exhibits, providing visitors with a glimpse into Sardar Patel’s life and work.
- Sound and Light Show
The Sound and Light Show at the Sardar Patel Memorial is a must-see attraction, highlighting India’s history and culture through a 30-minute 3D projection mapping show. The show takes visitors on a journey through India’s past, present, and future, showcasing the country’s diversity, culture, and achievements.
- Cactus Garden
The Cactus Garden in Kevadia is a unique attraction, housing several species of cacti from around the world. Spread over 25 acres, the garden contains over 400 species of cacti, making it one of the largest collections in Asia. Visitors can explore the garden and learn about the different types of cacti and their uses.
- Jungle Safari
The Jungle Safari at Kevadia is a thrilling experience, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the surrounding forests and wildlife. The safari takes visitors on a 25-kilometer tour of the forests, allowing them to spot several species of animals and birds, including deer, wild boars, crocodiles, and several species of birds.
- River Rafting
The Narmada River, on which the Statue of Unity is located, is a popular destination for river rafting. Visitors can take a guided rafting tour of the river, exploring the surrounding landscape and spotting several species of wildlife along the way.
- Ekta Cruise
The Ekta Cruise is a luxurious cruise on the Narmada River, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage. The cruise takes visitors on a tour of several nearby attractions, including the Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kabirvad Temple, and several tribal villages.
The statue is accessible via several modes of transport, including road, rail, and air. Visitors can reach Kevadia, the nearest town, by road or rail and then take a shuttle bus service to the statue. The nearest airport is in Vadodara, approximately 90 kilometres from Kevadia. You can easily book a taxi from Vadodara here with 24×7 services.
Impact of the Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity has had a significant impact on the region’s economy, creating several job opportunities for locals and boosting tourism in the area. The statue’s inauguration in 2018 saw a surge in tourist arrivals in Kevadia, with the number of visitors increasing from around 2,000 per day to over 10,000 per day. The influx of tourists has resulted in the development of several hotels, resorts, and other tourism-related infrastructure in the region, creating new opportunities for local businesses.
Moreover, the statue has become a source of national pride, with many Indians viewing it as a symbol of India’s rise as a global power. The statue has also become a popular destination for school trips and educational tours, with students learning about India’s history, culture, and technological capabilities.
However, the statue has also faced criticism from some quarters, with some questioning the high cost of the project and its relevance in a country grappling with several social and economic challenges. Some have also criticized the statue’s location, which is in a tribal region, with concerns raised over the displacement of local communities and the impact on the environment.
The Statue of Unity in Kevadia is a symbol of India’s unity, diversity, and technological prowess. The statue’s construction was a massive undertaking, showcasing India’s expertise in executing large-scale projects. The statue has become a popular destination for tourists, attracting millions of visitors since its inauguration in 2018. It has also had a significant impact on the region’s economy, creating job opportunities for locals and boosting tourism in the area.
However, the statue has also faced criticism, with concerns raised over its cost, location, and impact on local communities and the environment. Despite these challenges, the Statue of Unity remains a testament to India’s spirit of unity and national pride, serving as an inspiration to future generations.