Prime Minister Narendra Modi today unwrapped the Statue of Unity, which is twice as tall as Statue of Liberty. The statue is the tallest in the world with 182 metres height.
Statue of Unity was unveiled in a grand inaugural event on the banks of River Narmada in Gujarat as a tribute to freedom icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary. The statue has been built at a cost of Rs.2983 crore and iron was collected from all over the country to build the iconic sculpture.
Anticipating protests by locals who demand compensation for the land used for the enormous figure, thousands of police personnel were deployed ahead of the inauguration.
“In order to build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of the soil and thus, a mass movement developed”, said PM Modi during the inaugural speech.
The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro Company and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. A team of about 250 engineers and 3400 labourers contributed to construct the sculpture in just 33 months.
The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. This gallery, at 153 metres height, will offer a view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges.
- The Statue of Unity is the tallest statue in the world followed by Spring Temple Buddha (China), Ushiku Daibutsu (Japan), and Statue of Liberty (USA).
- The statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Home Minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over river Narmada. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India.
- The statue can withstand severe wind velocity and severe earthquakes.
- The core of the statue is made up of reinforced concrete, but its surface that gives it a distinct design, has been created using 553 bronze panels - each panel has 10 to 15 micro panels.
- The museum has 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research centre dedicated to Sardar Patel's life.