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 this 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.
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 of 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 colour in the next 100 years due to acid rain, the natural ageing process, and as a result of pollution and environment aided chemical reactions that will take place over time.
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.
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 were 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 speed 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.
Viewing Gallery. A lot for 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 Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges.
Museum. 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 of 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.
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 ambience 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.
Explore the 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 till the thigh area. Tourists can gaze at the horizon and the city from there.
Winters are best 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.
By Road. Travelling by roadways will take nearly 1,000, 420, 2,000 and 1,300 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Another way to reach Sardar Sarovar Dam is through government-run and private tourist inter-state buses. Travelling by bus is cheaper but time-taking, so if you have time by your side then opt for a car or bus trip and enjoy the views and farms en route to the Statue.
By Rail. Vadodra railway station is nearest to Statue of Unity. From the station, people can take any public transport to cover another 100km in a cab or a bus to reach the statue. The railway station receives trains from all parts of India and cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Jaipur and Bhopal. Gujarat S Kranti, Paschim Express, Swaraj Express, and Sarvodaya Express are the few trains in which seats can be booked.
By Air. Vadodara is the nearest big city to the Statue of Unity and its airport which is known as Vadodara airport is 90 km away from the statue. There are frequent flights to Vadodra from all major cities of India hence tourists who are planning to travel by air will not face flight availability and booking issues. From the airport, one may take a taxi or a bus to reach the desired location in the city.
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