The newly developed tourist destination in the state of Gujarat is a statue of an Indian politician Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which is now a trending spot for tourists from all around the world. The statue was inaugurated on 31st October 2018 and has gained a lot of tourist attention in just a small amount of time. The statue has been given the name ‘Statue of Unity’ and is the tallest and the grandest statue made in the memory of the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, took the initiative of constructing a statue for Sardar Patel years ago as a tribute to this national personality who united the 500+ princely states of pre-independent India.
About the best time to witness this beauty is in the months of the winter season as that is the best time to go on a trip to the state of Gujarat. The Statue of Unity remains open from Tuesday to Sunday and remains closed on Monday for regular maintenance work. The timings to visit the statue are from 8 am to 6 pm.
The Statue of Unity is dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who was an active freedom fighter and politician. Sardar Patel was independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. Historians give huge credit to Sardar Patel for his great contribution to uniting the princely states which led to the formation of the Union of India. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is also known as the ‘Iron Man of India’, which is why iron is one of the primary elements used for the construction of the statue.
The design of the statue was conceptualized by the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan award holder sculptor, Ram Vanjhi Sutar. The statue has been divided into 5 zones out of which, 3 are open for tourists while 2 can only be accessed by the officials and engineers. These zones comprise a museum, a garden, and a viewing gallery. Experts claim that the statue will turn green in color in the next 100 years due to acid rain, the natural aging process, and as a result of pollution and environment-aided chemical reactions that will take place over time.
Project Statue of Unity
Narendra Modi led the foundation of the project in 2010 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The project formally started in the year 2013. L&T got the contract for the construction of the statue and a Chinese company named JTQ got the contract for doing the bronze cladding on the statue. The statue got completed in 2018 and was inaugurated in the same year by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 31st October, on the occasion of the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Interesting Facts About the Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity is taller than any other statue in the world with a whopping height of 182 meters.
The statue is made of bronze, iron, and steel and is located near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada district in the village of Kevadiya, Gujarat. It is said that iron was collected by farmers from across the country in the form of used iron farming equipment. The equipment collected was processed to be further used in the construction of the statue.
Reports claim that a force of 3,000 workers and engineers from L&T worked hard for a span of three and a half years to complete this grand construction.
The design of the statue has been engineered in such a way that it can withstand earthquakes and high wind speeds of up to 100km/second.
The statue also comprises 4 lifts in the legs and each can carry 26 people at a time to the top, in approximately 40 seconds.
Major Attractions of Statue of Unity
1. Viewing Gallery
A lot of tourists visit the viewing gallery inside the statue which gives excellent views of surrounding hills and the Narmada river. Through lifts, tourists can reach the viewing gallery and admire the surreal views of the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges.
There is a museum made to highlight the contribution of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and bring back pieces from history. It is also made in order to bring forth the process of making the statue. Various photographs, things, and documents related to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel are displayed in the museum which will certainly take you on a quick tour to the lanes of the bygone era.
3. Valley of Flowers
There is a beautiful Valley of Flowers on the premises of the statue of Unity. The valley features a variety of flowers that complements the entire ambiance and fills it with their exotic fragrance. It has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in a couple of months and the place is totally worth visiting for history buffs and nature lovers.
4. Beautiful Landscape
The birds-eye view of the statue is so mesmerizing that one can never have enough of it. Visiting the statue will be an opportunity to explore the surroundings from the highest point accessible for tourists at the statue which is to the thigh area. Tourists can gaze at the horizon and the city from there.
How to Reach Statue of Unity
Situated in the southeast of Vadodra, the Statue of Unity is located on the River Narmada and faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam. To reach here, you will need to cover a total distance of about 959, 399, 1,780, 1,259 km from major Indian cities likeDelhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru respectively. Here are the details on how you can reach the Statue of Unity by public means of transportation.
Vadodara is the nearest big city to the Statue of Unity, thus, deboard at Vadodara Airport situated about 90 km away from the statue. There are frequent flights to Vadodra from most of the major cities of India. From the airport, one may take a taxi or a bus to reach the desired location in the city.
From Jaipur - Board IndiGo, Air India flights from Jaipur Airport. The airfares start from INR 4,000-5,000
From Lucknow - Board IndiGo, Air India flights from Lucknow Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000
From Bhopal - Board Air India, IndiGo flights from Bhopal Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000-6,000
Vadodra Railway Station is nearest to the Statue of Unity located 80-90 km away. From the station, people can take any public transport to reach the statue. The railway station has considerably good train connectivity and receives trains from many Indian cities. Gujarat S Kranti, Paschim Express, Swaraj Express, and Sarvodaya Express are the few trains in which seats can be booked.
From Jaipur - Board JP MMCT SPL from Jaipur Station and deboard at Vadodra Junction
From Surat - Board MMCT NDLS SPL from Surat Junction and deboard at Vadodra Junction
From Ujjain - Board Sabarmati SPL from Ujjain Junction and deboard at Chhayapuri Railway Station in Vadodra
You can consider traveling here through government-run and private tourist inter-state buses. Traveling by bus is cheaper but time-taking, so if you have time by your side then opt for a bus trip otherwise, you can also travel via cab or your own vehicle.