The highest statue in the entire globe is Gujarat’s Statue of Unity. Ram V. Sutar created this statue honouring Indian statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Its height is 182 metres. With a contract for INR 2989 crores, Larsen & Toubro started building the statue in October 2014. On October 31, 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi officially opened it.
The statue is located on the Sadhu Bet river island. Vadodara, located 95 kilometres from the Statue of Unity, is the closest city. The statue is being erected with the hope that it would inspire others to share Patel’s ideas and sense of patriotism while also serving as a constant reminder of our great nation’s struggle for freedom.
Anecdotes regarding the Statue of Unity:
- The leader statue at the Ahmedabad International Airport was scaled up for the statue of oneness.
- The statue measures 240 metres at the base and 182 metres at its highest point (790 ft)
- The statue can survive an earthquake, tremor, and winds up to 60 metres per second.
- For the Statue’s base, iron that was gathered during the “Loha” campaign was gathered and transformed into rebar.
- The monument is a realistic portrayal of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel with his trademark attire and walking gait.
- The display floor, mezzanine, and roof make up the three floors that make up the statue’s base.
On October 7, 2013, to begin his tenth year as Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi unveiled the initiative.
Under the direction of the Gujarat Chief Minister, a society called the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) was established to carry out the project.
The Statue of Unity Movement was founded in 2013 to persuade farmers to donate their used farming equipment in order to raise the iron needed for the statue.
By 2016, 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron had been gathered; after processing, around 109 tonnes of that amount were used to create the statue’s foundation.
On December 15, 2013, Surat and Vadodara hosted the Run For Unity marathon in support of the initiative.
Design and Funding
A group of historians, artists, and scholars looked at Patel statues all around the nation before settling on a concept created by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar. A statue of the statesman that was erected at Ahmedabad International Airport is replicated in scale in The Statue of Unity. Ram Sutar’s son, Anil Sutar, comments on the design and says, “His personality oozes dignity, confidence, an iron will, and kindness, all of which are justified by his expression, posture, and attitude. He appears to be getting ready to walk because his head is up, scarf is flung from his shoulders, and hands are to the side “. The design was first constructed as three versions, each measuring 3 feet (0.91 m), 18 feet (5.5 m), and 30 feet (9.1 m).
The solidity of the design was hampered by Patel’s dhoti-clad legs and sandals, which made the base thinner than the top. This was countered by keeping a slenderness ratio of 16:19 as opposed to other tall buildings’ typical 8:14 ratio. The statue is designed to withstand winds up to 180 km/h (110 mph) and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale that occurs within 12 km of the statue and at a depth of 10 km. Two tuned mass dampers totalling 250 tonnes are used to help achieve maximum stability in this.
The structure is 240 m (790 ft) tall overall, with a 58 m (190 ft) base and a 182 m statue (597 ft). It was decided that the height of 182 metres would correspond to the number of seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
A Public Private Partnership was used to construct the Statue of Unity, with the Government of Gujarat providing the majority of the funding. In its budget from 2012 to 2015, the Gujarat state government allocated 500 crores (equivalent to 641 crores or US$80 million in 2020) for the project. The statue’s construction was funded with 200 crores (about 272 crores or US$34 million in 2020) from the 2014–15 Union Budget. Public sector organisations made contributions as well as the Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
The statue attracted more than 128,000 visitors in the 11 days after its public debut on November 1st, 2018. The Statue of Unity saw more visitors per day on average (15,036) in November 2019 than the Statue of Liberty did (which attracts around 10,000 daily visitors on average). It is one of the “8 Wonders of SCO” according to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Statue of Unity attracted 2,900,000 visitors during its first year of operation and generated 82 crores (US$11.64 million) in ticket sales. The venue received 5,000,000 visitors on March 15, 2021. By November 2022, it had received one crore (10 million) visitors.
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Since it opened on November 1, 2018, the statue of unity has seen over 128,000 visitors in just 11 days. Every Monday, the statue is closed for maintenance. The monument’s entrance hours are 9 AM to 5 PM. For adults and children, respectively, the entrance fee to the Statue of Unity is Rs 120 and Rs 60.
The construction of this monument was made possible by the equipment donations of thousands of Indian farmers from all throughout the country. To complete the statue on time, more than 2500 employees including 100 migrant workers from China were hired. According to government estimates, the statue will annually create about 15,000 jobs for residents of the area. The Gujarat tourism agency has authorised online booking for not only admission to the monument site but also for travel packages that include lodging in tent homes in an effort to draw tourists.
Tent City Narmada, an opulent nature retreat beside Panchmuli Lake, has opened for tourists and is within ten minute drive from the Statue of Unity. Because tour guides, vendors, and other service providers will be necessary, thousands of people now have the tools to support themselves. Overall, it is advantageous to everyone. The statue of unity is the best illustration for those who doubt India’s existence.
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