Written by Harsh Vardhan, Edited by Jessmine Tay
What is it?
The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of the Indian statesman, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. He was the first Home Minister of independent India and an independence activist alongside Mahatma Gandhi. Not only that, he was highly respected for his contribution to uniting the 552 princely states of India to form the single Union. In Gujarat, India, the statue of Sardar is along the river Narmada facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam. With a height of 182 metres, twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York, it is recorded as the world’s tallest statue.
What does it represent?
With the passing years, the favourite leaders of the Indian independence movement have been Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, but some unsung heroes have been left neglected. One of the most important builders of the present Indian nation is Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. During the Independence, India was a shaken and broken piece of land. Sardar Patel united India and assimilated more than 565 princely states to shape it into a united country. The social, political and historical awareness drive about Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel led to the building of this statue. The ‘Statue of Unity’ is a reminder of this man and his efforts.
When I got off the bus, I was awe-struck at the architectural design. The details of the statue were on point. Like the fibres of his shirts, the wrinklies on his forehead, the knitting on his leather sandals. The statue was placed in the heart of nature, along the sapphire river and hills bordering the statue. Getting to the statue from the bus station was a bit of a walk, but as I got closer, the statue was towering over me. At its bottom, there is a museum exhibiting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s life accomplishments and the journey of the making of the statue. The museum also displays the nature and wildlife around the rainforest. It is so massive that even an elevator is needed for going up the statue. You can see the unbelievable scenery from the eyes of the statue. Not far away, there is also a zoo with more than 150 species of animals, including a giraffe, zebra, panther, white tiger, black rhinoceros, etc. Other key exhibitions of the zoo are the huge aviary with numerous species of birds and a garden with fragrant flowers which perfumes the surrounding air. They hold exotic, medicinal, and traditional flowers and plants. I was fascinated by the fine engineering and architecture that has gone into this. It was a worthwhile trip and I’d recommend it to others.
- The Statue of Unity consists of a viewing gallery at 135 metres, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time and offers an expansive view of the dam and the beautiful surrounding mountain ranges of Satpura and Vindhyachal.
- It took 46 months to build the statue.
- The statue has been designed for seismic Zone IV as an earthquake-resistant structure. It can withstand wind velocity up to 50 metre/second (180 kilometre/hour speeds) and vibration.
- 70,000 metric tonnes of cement was used in its construction.
- The diameter of the button on the vest of the Statue is 1.1 metres.
- The height of the toe of the Statue of Unity measures 3.6 metres.