close

News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

'Statue of Unity', world's tallest, unveiled by PM Modi as tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

(Image tweeted by @narendramodi) Photograph:( Twitter )

WION Web Team Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India Oct 31, 2018, 10.39 AM (IST)

The world's tallest statue which portrays one of the founding fathers of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state of Gujarat on Wednesday, the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel.

Sardar Patel, known as the 'Iron Man' was instrumental in the integration of nearly 500 princely states into the Indian union after independence.

"We bow to the great Sardar Patel, the stalwart who unified India and served the nation tirelessly, on his Jayanti," Modi tweeted before inaugurating the statue.

Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid floral tribute to Sardar Patel in New Delhi.

At a height of 182 metres, the iron and bronze statue is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in the US and cost $420 million to build. Sardar Patel's birth anniversary is being observed as National Unity Day.

"The first challenge was its height. Secondly, like I said, the location was in a remote stretch and the third problem was the structure. The shape of the statue is such that the foundation is narrower than the upper body. So that was a challenge, structure-wise," said PC Vyas, chief engineer of the Statue of Unity project.

It is the tallest statue in the world beating China's Spring Temple Buddha (153 metres).

Located in Sadhu-Bet Island, Gujarat, the statue occupies over 20,000 square meters and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake.  The total project cost is estimated to be Rs. 2,989 crore.

Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a Rs 350 admission fee for the 153-metre-high observation deck.

Authorities say they expect the statue will attract 15,000 visitors a day to the remote corner of Gujarat, which is about 100 kilometres from the nearest city of Vadodora.

India is also working on a giant statue of 17th-century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, riding a horse and brandishing a sword, which should dominate the Mumbai shoreline from 2021. The current design would make it 212 metres high.

 

Story highlights

Earlier today, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid floral tribute to Sardar Patel in New Delhi.