Besides a shopping centre, a selfie point is also being readied near the Sardar Patel statue. The selfie point will provide a good vantage point for those who want to click photos.
Built as a memorial to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the construction work of Statue of Unity is about to be completed in the next few days after four years of work. Built at a cost of over ₹ 2,300 crore, it will be the largest statue in the world with a height of 182 metres. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the statue at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat on October 31, birthday of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Set amidst the picturesque environs of the Narmada river, Satpura and Vindhyachal hills, the sheer size of the monument is expected to be a major tourist draw for Gujarat.
10 things to know about the Statue of Unity:
1. Built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the statue has a viewing gallery at the chest level that can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time. The Sardar Patel memorial will also have a museum on his life and a research centre for scholars.
2. Located on a river island called ‘Sadhu Bet’, the Statue of Unity is about 3.5 km away from the Narmada dam. A 250-metre long bridge provides connectivity to the island.
3. Besides a shopping centre, a selfie point is also being readied. The selfie point will provide a good vantage point for those who want to click photos.
4. The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time.
5. The Statue of Unity is not only twice as large as America’s Statue of Liberty but also larger than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, the largest statue in the world at present.
6. Being developed as a major tourist attraction, the Sardar Patel statue will also have a three-star hotel near it besides boat rides on the Narmada river. The Gujarat government expects that an average of over 15,000 tourists will visit the monument daily.
7. Nearly 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers were deployed by L&T to built the statue.
8. The construction of the statue faced criticism from several quarters, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, as the bronze panels were cast at a foundry in China. Hundreds of Chinese workers were also spotted at the construction site.
9. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will inaugurate the Sardar Patel statue on 31 October, was the one to have laid foundation stone for the project on 31 October, 2013. Besides PM Modi, chief ministers of several BJP-ruled states are expected to attend the gala event. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has written to all chief ministers in this regard.
10. The Gujarat government has plans to build a Shreshtha Bharat Complex near the Statue of Unity which will house Bhavans of different states. Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has approached all state governments for setting up their respective Bhavans at the site.