The Statue of Unity is the best among the new age statues, the king of all statues. With a height of 182 meters, this spectacular unparalleled superstructure is the tallest statue in the world. This massive statue is of the Iron Man of India – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It is a tribute to his immense contribution, dedication, and determination towards our nation. It helps the coming generations know about his role in uniting India.
Who is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?
Sardar Patel was the first deputy Prime Minister as well as the Home Minister of Independent India. He played a very crucial role in the freedom movement as well as post-independence. At the time, when India got independence, India was comprised of 562 different princely states of all kinds. Sardar Patel took responsibility on his shoulders to unite and bring all of these scattered princely states together to form one nation.
During the freedom movement too, he dedicated himself to many movements like Disobedience, Quit India Movement, etc. to free India from the British.
Statue of Unity at Kevadia, Gujarat – An Engineering Marvel
Magical hands of Padma Shri and Padma Bhusan awardee Ram V. Sutar Ji designed the giant statue. It is made up of approximately 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, and 6000 tonnes of structural steel. More than 3000 workers and 200 engineers worked day and night to build this spectacular statue.
The Statue of Unity with a height of 182 meters towers the previous tallest statue Spring Temple Buddha (153M) in China. It is almost double the size of the renowned Statue of Liberty (93M) in the United States.
Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat laid the foundation for this project on 31st October 2013. It was inaugurated on 31st October 2018 on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
Unique Loha Campaign
Loha is Iron in Hindi and Sanskrit. Sardar Patel is known as ‘Lauh Purush’ or the Iron Man of India for his iron will that led to a United India. To commemorate this, a unique Loha campaign was launched across the country. An appeal was made to the farmers and villagers of this country to donate their used iron tools and soil. These would go in the making of the monument. This campaign received huge support and more than 1,69,000 kits were received.
Visiting the Statue of Unity, Kevadia, Gujarat
I got the opportunity to visit this place last December and literally the visit was worth it. I started my journey from Vadodara and reached there through the GSRTC bus. On the way, you can see the statue from at least 5 KMs away.
This place is a composition of both nature and concrete. Situated on Sadhu Bet island of Narmada river in Kevadiya district, the breathtaking view of Satura and Vindhya Ranges will leave you awestruck. Believe me, the height of 182 meters hits very hard when you stand just below the statue. Narmada river that surrounds the statue gives a soothing and pleasant view and gently energizes your body.
Tourist Attractions at the Statue of Unity
There are many things to explore when you visit this newly popular tourist destination.
Wall of unity
A Wall of unity is built near the statue symbolizing national unity. This 50 feet by 15 feet wall is built from the soil sourced from the 1,69,078 villages of India, that was donated by the farmers during the Loha campaign. So this wall has the earth from across India in it, bringing India together just like Sardar Patel did at the time of independence.
There is a large and advanced museum in the pedestal portion of the statue where visitors get to know about all the struggles and sacrifices of Sardar Patel through pictures and graphics. A 15-minute film is also projected to give visitors a glimpse of the life of the Iron Man of India. As you enter the museum you will find a replica of the head of Sardar Patel that is there on the larger statue.
In addition to this, the life of Gujarat’s tribal people, the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and the construction of the statue are displayed beautifully through audio-visual shows. Visiting the museum is an amazing experience.
From the museum, there is a lift that takes you to the chest of the statue that is at a height of 135 meters. The views that you get from there are unforgettable. My own experience is something that I will remember for the rest of my life. Tickets for the viewing gallery are available in slots for 2 hours.
Light and Sound Show
Laser lights are flashed on the statue that showcases the contribution of Sardar Patel in India’s freedom movement. The timing of the show is 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Places to visit nearby
Valley of Flowers
Stretched over 17 KMs and spread over 230 hectares, the beautiful colorful valley of flowers consists of numerous varieties of flowers that act as a special attraction for tourists. Selfie lovers won’t be disappointed here. A special selfie point “I am in Valley of Flowers” is there to capture wonderful memories of your visit.
Sardar Sarovar View Point
Near the Valley of flowers, there is the Sardar Sarovar Dam, a complete engineering marvel which is considered one of the largest concrete gravity dams. The dam is 1.2 KM long and 163 meters high from the deepest foundation level. The viewpoint gives you an amazing view of the dam and the landscape around it. There are lots of fruits & snacks vendors prior to entry to the viewpoint for the tourists. So, even if you feel hungry no need to worry, you will find some interesting refreshments to savor.
There are many more beautiful attractions nearby like the Cactus garden, Butterfly garden, Zarwani waterfalls, and Jungle safari. Also, a souvenir shop where visitors can buy t-shirts and gifts. And a food court where you get mouth-watering dishes at very nominal prices.
Where to Stay?
Narmada Tent City
It is a very comfortable and luxurious tent city is waiting for you to make your visit wonderful. Unlike traditional hotels, stay in these tents will be a memorable experience for the visitors.
Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan
Located near the statue. A luxury hotel that provides you amazing service and a beautiful view of the Narmada river as well as of the statue.
Sardar Sarovar Resort
One of the finest resorts. You can get all types of facilities such as a swimming pool, spa along with your stay.
At the time of writing this article, the entry ticket only to the Statue of Unity without the viewer’s gallery is Rs 150 for adults and Rs 90 for children between the age of 3 and 15 years. The ticket with the viewer’s gallery is Rs 380 for adults and Rs 230 for children.
Tickets with and without the viewer’s gallery include a bus tour to the Valley of Flowers and the Sardar Sarovar Dam viewpoint. You can easily book tickets on this dedicated website.
Things to remember before visiting
- Visiting hours for the public are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
- Light and Sound Show timings are from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
- Try to visit as early as possible to avoid the crowd and avoid weekends due to a large number of visitors. The destination remains closed for visitors every Monday.
- Carrying food items is not allowed inside the statue. You have to submit your baggage at the counter.
- The best period to visit is November to February because of the pleasant weather during this season.
How to Reach?
Well connected by road to the major cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara (100 KMs), Surat (150 KMs), and Ahmedabad (200 KMs). The nearest airport is Vadodara Airport (90 KMs) and the nearest railway station is also the Vadodara Railway station. You can hire a taxi or take a GSRTC bus from Vadodara to the destination.
To know more about the destination, visit their official website.
You must visit this unique travel destination in India. Visit this place will fill your heart and soul with feelings of patriotism and pride.
This is a guest post by Harshil Gupta, and an intern with IndiTales under IndiTales Internship Program.