World's Tallest Statue Built in India (Video)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today, dedicated to the nation a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, believed to be the tallest in the world and said it will be a reminder about the courage of a man who thwarted efforts to disintegrate India.
In his speech, Modi stressed that the statue would generate immense employment opportunities for the local tribals living near the dam in Narmada district.
PM Modi described the Statue of Unity as a symbol of the country's engineering and technical capabilities.
To welcome visitors, the Gujarat government has not only built a 3-star hotel, shopping centre and a research centre in the Sardar Patel statue complex, but has also built high-speed elevators that will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get a panoramic view of the surroundings.
What is unique about the statue?
Apart from being the world's tallest statue, it also holds the distinction of being among the fastest to be completed -just 34 months unlike China's Spring Temple Buddha which took 11 years.
The work began on December 19, 2015.
The imposing monument is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, around 3.5 km downstream from the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's Narmada district.
The best way to reach Sadhu Bet island is to take a boat ride.
Built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first home minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River.
Padma Bhushan awardee, Ram Vanji Sutar, a 93-year-old acclaimed sculptor who graduated from the prestigious J.J School of Art in Bombay designed the statue.
He has sculpted masterpieces including that of Mother Chambal at Gandhi Sagar Dam in Madhya Pradesh, equestrian statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Amritsar, and numerous statues of Mahatma Gandhi.
It has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue.
Malaysia-based Eversendai, which constructed Dubai's famous Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa buildings, was handed the contract for the steel framework.
Construction materials used to build the statue
It has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure.
The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), set up by Modi in 2011 arranged some 129 tonnes of iron implements from nearly 100 million farmers in 169,000 villages across all states to construct the base of the statue.
The statue is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in a walking pose.
To get it right, designers sifted through 2,000 photographs of Sardar Patel before picking the one that they would model it on and then converted the two-dimensional photograph into a three-dimensional model.
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