Overlooking Sardar Sarovar Dam, Statue of Unity is truly a personification of grandeur and iron will. It is dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most prolific figures of the Indian freedom struggle. He is best remembered for bringing the 562 pre-independence princely states together to form the country of India as we know it today. At 597 feet (182 metres), it is the world’s tallest statue, even dwarfing the iconic Statue of Liberty (305 feet/93 metres) and Christ the Redeemer (125 feet/38 metres). You must come here and pay homage to the Iron Man of India, whenever next you plan to book a hotel in Vadodara, the closest city to this modern engineering marvel.
Here is everything to know about the Statue of Unity, including its location, height, ticket price, visiting time, structural information, lesser-known facts and what else there is to visit in the area.
Statue of Unity Information:
|Location||Kevadia, Narmada District|
|Timings||8:00 am to 6:00 pm|
|Entry Fee||₹60 (children); ₹120 (adults)|
|Entry Fee for Viewing Gallery||₹200 (children); ₹350 (adults)|
|Laser Light and Sound Show Timings||7:30 pm onwards|
|Availability||7:30 am to 5:00 pm at Shreshta Bharat Bhavan; 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at Statue of Unity ticket counter|
|Statue Height||182 metres (597 feet)|
|Construction Years||2013 to 2018|
|Total Construction Time||46 months|
|Construction Cost||₹2,899 Crore|
|Architect||Ram V Sutar|
|Material Used||70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement bars and 6,000 tonnes of structural steel|
|Area||22,500 square metres|
|Name in other languages||Gujrati: સ્ટેચ્યુ ઓફ યુનિટી | Hindi: एकता की मूर्ति | Bengali: স্ট্যাচু অফ ইউনিটির | Kannada: ಪ್ರತಿಮೆಯ ಏಕತೆ | Telugu: విగ్రహం ఆఫ్ యూనిటీ | Tamil: ஒற்றுமை சிலை|
Statue of Unity: History
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India, and he had also played an important role in forming the country by uniting the princely states. So, the Government of Gujarat sought fit to build a memorial, which would not only embody his iron will, but also his values of unity. On October 31, 2013, the groundbreaking ceremony for the statue was held, and two months later, on December 2013, the ‘Loha Campaign’ to get reusable iron from across the country was initiated. After 46 months of work by 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers, the statue was inaugurated on October 31, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Statue of Unity: Architecture
Statue of Unity stands on a pedestal and depicts the national leader as standing with a look of determination in his eyes. The statue’s height was fixed at 182 metres to symbolise the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Gujarat. The 70,000 tonnes of cement, 6,000 tonnes of steel and 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement bars make the statue impervious to winds with velocities up to 180 km/h and earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale. Around 129 tonnes of iron was voluntarily donated by around farmers from across the country as part of the ‘Loha Campaign’, which was then used to construct the base of the statue. The structure, measuring 22,500 square metres in surface area, is clad with 1,700 tonnes of bronze, and the cladding’s thickness is 8 mm.
Statue of Unity Exhibition Hall
The statue’s pedestal houses an exhibition hall, measuring 4,647 square metres in area. Here, the life of Sardar Patel is showcased, including the contributions he made to India’s freedom and how he united the princely states. In addition, the hall displays the rich culture of Gujarati tribes, Sardar Sarovar Dam and Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Statue of Unity Light and Sound Show
Every evening at 7:30 pm, except Monday, the statue comes alive with a mesmerising light and sound show. The colourful laser lights are perfectly synchronised with the audio, which tells the history of Sardar Patel’s life.
Statue of Unity Valley of Flowers
Near the base of the statue is Valley of Flowers, spread across as much as 600 acres! It was inaugurated in 2016 with 48,000 plants; the number has now risen to 24,00,000. The ‘valley’ is divided into several zones: Green Energy & Upcycling Park, Garden of Senses & Panchatatva Garden, Butterfly Garden, Sardar Park and Adventure Park. Apart from the gardens, the valley houses photo booths and two lotus ponds.
Lesser-Known Facts about Statue of Unity
- Of the five zones of the statue, only three are open to the public
- The viewing gallery, which is at a height of 153 metres, can hold 200 visitors at once
- There is a lift inside each of the statue’s legs that can carry 26 people to the viewing gallery in half a minute
- The button on the statue’s vest is 1.1 metres in diameter
- Just the toe of the statue’s foot is 3.6 metres in height
- The statue’s construction offered direct jobs to more than 15,000 people from Gujarat’s tribal communities
- The architect, Ram V Sutar, has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to art
- The exhibition hall has 40,000 documents and 2,000 photographs
- The construction of the statue was announced on October 7, 2010.
- Ferries are available to reach the statue from the bank of the Narmada River
- In 100 years, the colour of the statue will naturally turn green.
Attractions near the Statue of Unity
- Vadgam Lake (2.6 km)
- Sardar Sarovar Dam (4 km)
- Zarvani Eco-Tourism Area (16.7 km)
Statue of Unity is thus not only a marvel of modern engineering, but also a reminder of the life and times of one of India’s most accomplished leaders. So, reserve a couple of days extra on your trip to Vadodara to visit this one-of-a-kind memorial.