India has always been a land of wonder and its latest wonder (achievement) is -The Statue of Unity. It is a gigantic statue of the very popular Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950). It stands at a height of 182 metres (597 ft), making it the tallest statue in the world and is positioned in Vadodra, Gujarat, India. The statue, designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, is built in the remembrance if India’s first Deputy Prime Minister who was also responsible for the alliance of hundreds of princely states to form the present political boundary of the country.
The project was first announced in 2010, and was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth
Narendra Modi first announced the venture to memorialize Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 7th October 2010 and the construction started in October 2014 by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million).
The statue is built to withstand winds of up to 180 Kms/hour (110 mph) and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale.
It was built on a Public Private Partnership model, with majority of the money was raised by Gujarat government.
A conglomerate comprising Turner Construction, Michael Graves and Associates and the Meinhardt Group brought the envisioned project to life. It took 56 months to complete.
The statue is divided into five zones but only three are accessible to the public. First zone- from base to Patel’s shins; has three levels and includes an exhibition area that archives the life of Sardar Patel and his contributions, mezzanine and roof. The second zone reaches up to Patel’s thighs. The third extends up to the viewing gallery. Zone 4 is the maintenance area.
A connecting audio-visual gallery provides a 15 minute presentation on Patel and also describes the tribal culture of the state. The concrete towers which form the statue’s legs contain two elevators each that could carry 26 people at a time to the viewing gallery in just over 30 seconds. The gallery is located at a height of 153 mts (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people.