Statue of Unity (SOU)

Interesting Facts About Statue of Unity (2024)

Discover fascinating insights into the Statue of Unity, India’s world’s tallest statue. Unveil this iconic monument’s history, engineering marvels, and cultural significance. Explore its towering height, intricate design, and the story behind its creation. Delve into the architectural prowess that went into crafting this masterpiece. Learn about its role as a symbol of unity and national pride. Uncover lesser-known facts that showcase the statue’s grandeur and importance. Embark on a journey of discovery with these intriguing facts about the Statue of Unity.

I have to admit my initial perception of the Statue of Unity fell short of its true grandeur. However, upon witnessing it firsthand, I was genuinely astounded by the sheer scale of the statue and the meticulous craftsmanship involved in its construction. Having experienced its magnificence up close, I recommend adding the Statue of Unity (SOU) to your must-visit list when exploring Gujarat.

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About the Statue of Unity (SOU)

Standing proudly at a towering height of 182 meters, the Statue of Unity reigns as the tallest monument on the planet. It is situated in Ekta Nagar in Gujarat and commands a striking presence overlooking the majestic Sardar Sarovar Dam. This colossal statue pays homage to Bharat Ratna Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an indomitable figure in India’s history.

Fondly remembered as the ‘Iron Man of India’, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was a distinguished statesman whose legacy echoes through the annals of time. As the first Deputy Prime Minister of independent India from 1947 to 1950, he shaped the nation’s destiny during its formative years.

Central to Sardar Patel’s vision was the dream of a unified India, encapsulated by the term ‘Ekta’ in the Hindi language, signifying unity and solidarity among its diverse populace. His unwavering commitment to national integration and relentless efforts to unite the princely states into the Indian Union earned him the epithet of the ‘Iron Man’. The Statue of Unity is a tangible tribute to his towering legacy and enduring contribution to the nation’s fabric.

Unveiled on the historic date of October 31, 2018, the inauguration of the Statue of Unity marked a momentous occasion in India’s cultural landscape. The honourable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, presided over the grand inauguration ceremony, underscoring the significance of this monumental achievement. Designed by the renowned Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, the statue is a testament to the nation’s rich artistic heritage and engineering prowess.

Perched upon Sadhu Bet, an artificial river island, the Statue of Unity emerges as a beacon of national pride and unity. Its strategic location amidst the serene surroundings of the Narmada River lends it a sense of tranquillity and grandeur. As visitors approach this awe-inspiring monument, they are greeted by the imposing figure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, evoking a sense of reverence and admiration for his monumental contributions to the nation.

Beyond its sheer scale and architectural brilliance, the Statue of Unity serves as a reminder of India’s rich cultural tapestry and unwavering commitment to unity in diversity. It stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Indian people and their collective resolve to overcome adversity and forge a brighter future together.

The Statue of Unity is a towering tribute to the legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and a testament to India’s enduring commitment to unity, progress, and national pride. Its monumental stature and profound symbolism make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to delve into the rich tapestry of India’s history and heritage.

6 Interesting Facts About Statue of Unity

Fact 1 – Timeframe to Construct the Statue

The dedication of the Statue of Unity coincided with the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a poignant tribute to the visionary leader’s enduring legacy and unwavering commitment to the nation. This monumental achievement was realized within a remarkable timeframe of 57 months, comprising 15 months of meticulous planning, 40 months of relentless construction efforts, and two months for the final handover.

Fact 2 – Material Used for the Statue

A testament to the collective spirit and unity of the nation, the construction of the Statue of Unity saw the gathering of approximately 5000 tonnes of iron sourced from farming implements and soil collected from villages spanning the length and breadth of the country. This symbolic gesture underscored the inclusivity and diversity inherent in India’s cultural fabric, with each element contributing to the monumental structure’s significance and grandeur.

Fact 3 – World’s Tallest Monument

Surpassing the towering height of its predecessor, the Spring Temple Buddha in China, the Statue of Unity rises majestically to claim the title of the world’s tallest monument. Its commanding presence serves as a beacon of inspiration and national pride, embodying the indomitable spirit of India and its relentless pursuit of excellence.

Fact 4 – Viewing Platform

At the heart of the statue lies a remarkable feature—a viewing platform offering visitors panoramic vistas of the scenic surroundings, including the awe-inspiring Sardar Sarovar Dam. Positioned on the 45th floor, this meticulously crafted platform provides a bird’s-eye view of the landscape below, inviting guests to immerse themselves in the splendour of their surroundings.

Fact 5 – High-Speed Lifts

Access to the viewing platform is facilitated by high-speed lifts, whisking visitors to the 45th floor in a mere 38 seconds. This seamless experience enhances the overall accessibility of the monument, ensuring that guests can enjoy unparalleled views with ease and convenience.

Fact 6 – Total Cost to Construct the Statue

The realization of the Statue of Unity project involved a substantial investment, with an approximate total cost of 2000 crores. This significant expenditure underscores the nation’s commitment to honouring its cultural heritage and commemorating the contributions of esteemed leaders such as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

5 Reasons why the Statue of Unity must be on your Bucket List

Numerous compelling reasons exist for why the Statue of Unity should occupy a prominent position on your bucket list. However, allow me to enumerate the top five that will persuade you to prioritize this remarkable monument above all else.

Reason 1 – Because SOU is the World’s Tallest Monument

Did you know that before the construction of the Statue of Unity, the title of the world’s tallest monument belonged to the Spring Temple Buddha in China’s Henan province? Surpassing this colossal structure, the Statue of Unity stands proudly, towering over its predecessor by an impressive 54 meters. Rising to nearly 50 stories in height and seated upon a three-tiered base, this monumental statue commands attention from every vantage point within 7 kilometres.

Moreover, the Statue of Unity’s magnitude is further emphasized because it is 2.5 times larger than the iconic Statue of Liberty. This staggering comparison underscores this awe-inspiring monument’s sheer scale and grandeur, solidifying its status as a global landmark of unparalleled significance.

Statue of Unity from Viewing platform
Statue of Unity from the Viewing platform

Reason 2 – Because SOU is an Architectural Marvel

The architectural and engineering marvel, the Statue of Unity, was conceptualized and planned by Michael Graves Architecture and Design (MGA), with construction undertaken by Larsen and Toubro (L&T). A multitude of factors were meticulously considered during the planning and execution phases of this monumental project. Notably, the statue boasts impressive resilience, designed to withstand seismic activity measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter scale and winds reaching speeds of up to 290 kilometres per hour.

This ambitious endeavour required the concerted efforts of over 3000 skilled workers and 250 dedicated engineers. The statue embodies a formidable structure crafted from 210,000 cubic meters of cement, 6,500 tonnes of structural steel, and an additional 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel. These robust materials contribute to the statue’s enduring strength and stability and serve as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into its construction.

Reason 3 – Because SOU is India’s Pride and a Tribute to India’s Hero, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

The Statue of Unity is a majestic tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, revered as India’s Iron Man for his pivotal role in unifying the nation. Amidst the backdrop of British colonial rule, Patel championed the cause of integrating India’s disparate princely states into a cohesive and indivisible entity. With unwavering determination, he spearheaded efforts to unite approximately 565 self-governing princely states under a single India, earning him the esteemed title of the ‘Unifier of India’.

Interestingly, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s contributions extend beyond national unity. He played a pivotal role in establishing the All India Services, recognizing the need for a specialized cadre of civil servants to serve the newly independent nation. His foresight and strategic vision laid the groundwork for creating these prestigious services, which are crucial in India’s governance and administration today.

Statue of Unity from Ekta cruise
Statue of Unity from Ekta cruise

Reason 4 – Because SOU has Provided Employment to Local and Tribal Women

I was deeply moved by the empowering initiatives undertaken in Ekta Nagar, particularly the employment opportunities extended to local and tribal women. Witnessing firsthand the impact of these endeavours, it was heartening to see numerous avenues opening up for women to receive training and upskilling, enabling them to achieve independence and pursue various professions.

A notable aspect of the community’s infrastructure is using pink electric vehicles for local transportation, exclusively operated by women. This innovative approach promotes sustainable mobility and empowers women by providing them with employment opportunities in traditionally male-dominated sectors. The sight of these women navigating the streets with confidence and proficiency is a testament to the transformative power of inclusive initiatives and gender-responsive policies.

Pink Electric vehicles at Statue of Unity Ekta Nagar
Pink Electric vehicles

Reason 5 – Because SOU has one of the Best Laser, Light and Sound Shows in the World

Having experienced numerous laser, light, and sound shows across the globe, I can confidently attest that the spectacle presented at the Statue of Unity surpasses expectations and sets a world-class standard. This captivating presentation skillfully captures the life and legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, vividly illustrating his tireless efforts and unwavering commitment to India’s unity and progress.

The storytelling prowess exhibited in the narration, coupled with meticulous attention to detail, is nothing short of remarkable. Each element of the show is thoughtfully crafted to convey the struggles and triumphs of Patel’s journey, leaving a lasting impression on spectators. From the mesmerizing visual effects to the evocative soundscapes, every presentation aspect contributes to an immersive and unforgettable experience.

In essence, the laser, light, and sound show at the Statue of Unity entertains and educates, offering profound insights into the life of one of India’s most revered leaders. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and serves as a source of inspiration for generations to come.

Laser, light and sound show at Statue of Unity
Laser, light and sound show at the Statue of Unity

Where to Stay near the Statue of Unity?

Several accommodation options are available near the Statue of Unity in Ekta Nagar, catering to various preferences and budgets. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Tent City: Experience a unique stay in luxurious tents near the Statue of Unity. Tent City offers comfort and adventure with well-appointed tents equipped with modern amenities.
  2. The Fern Sardar Sarovar Resort: This resort is a 4-star property close to the attractions. Guests can enjoy an in-house restaurant, fitness centre and spa.
  3. Ramada Encore by Wyndham: Situated close to the tourist attractions, Ramada Encore by Wyndham is a 4-star hotel with an outdoor pool and a fitness centre.
  4. Unity Holiday Resort: This hotel is near the Statue of Unity and offers comfortable rooms with essential amenities. Guests can enjoy a convenient stay while exploring the attractions nearby.
  5. Narmada Tent City: Another tent accommodation option, Narmada Tent City offers a serene setting amidst nature, with comfortable tents and facilities for a memorable stay near the Statue of Unity.
  6. Budget Hotels and Guesthouses: Several budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses near Ekta Nagar offer affordable accommodation options for travellers on a budget.
  7. Vadodara: If you prefer a wider range of accommodation choices, consider staying in Vadodara, which is approximately 90 kilometres away from the Statue of Unity. Vadodara offers various hotels, guesthouses, and resorts to suit different preferences and budgets, and it’s a convenient base for exploring the region.

How to Get to the Statue of Unity?

The Statue of Unity is situated in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat, offering convenient accessibility via various modes of transportation.

  • By Air – The nearest international and domestic airport is in Vadodara, approximately 90 kilometres from the Statue of Unity. Vadodara International Airport is a hub for numerous airline providers, facilitating smooth connectivity for travellers.
  • By Road – Travellers opting for road transportation can embark on a scenic journey from Ahmedabad, as the distance between Ahmedabad and the Statue of Unity spans around 200 kilometres. The road trip typically takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, providing ample opportunities to soak in the picturesque landscapes.
  • By Train – Alternatively, travellers can opt for train travel, with Ekta Nagar boasting its railway station offering connectivity to major cities and towns across Gujarat. Detailed information regarding train schedules and routes can be obtained from the official IRCTC website, ensuring a seamless travel experience for passengers.
  • By Bus – For those preferring bus travel, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) operates frequent bus services between cities and towns, particularly to and from Vadodara. Travellers can easily transfer to another bus at Vadodara to reach the Statue of Unity, completing their journey conveniently and efficiently.

Visitor Information About Statue of Unity and Ekta Nagar

Statue of Unity

The Statue of Unity welcomes visitors daily except Mondays, from 8 AM to 6 PM. To ensure a seamless experience, it is advisable to pre-book tickets, which can be conveniently purchased online via the SOU Tickets website. All attractions within the complex are ticketed, and visitors must possess a valid entry ticket.

Upon arrival, visitors can partake in various activities at the Statue of Unity.

  • One of the highlights is the viewing platform located on the 45th floor of the statue. Two high-speed lifts swiftly transport visitors from the ground to the 45th floor in just 38 seconds, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history and legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel by exploring the museum dedicated to his life and freedom struggles. Gain deeper insights into this visionary leader’s remarkable journey and his pivotal role in shaping India’s destiny.
  • A not-to-be-missed experience is the mesmerizing laser, light, and sound show held every evening at 7:00 PM, except on Mondays. This captivating spectacle vividly portrays the life and contributions of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, leaving a lasting impression on spectators.
  • For a unique perspective of the statue, embark on the Ekta cruise, offering a scenic journey along the waterfront. The cruise covers a distance of 7 kilometres and offers various time slots throughout the day, with the sunset cruise particularly enchanting.

Whether you’re marvelling at the panoramic views from the viewing platform, delving into history at the museum, or enjoying the captivating laser show and scenic cruise, a visit to the Statue of Unity promises to be an unforgettable experience filled with inspiration and wonder.

Statue of Unity with the bridge
Statue of Unity with the bridge

Ekta Nagar

While the Statue of Unity is a prominent attraction, Ekta Nagar offers many adventures waiting to be explored, catering to all types of travellers. Whether you seek luxury or crave adventure, this vibrant area has something to offer everyone. Here are a few activities to consider:

  • Explore the enchanting Valley of Flowers and the captivating Glow Garden, where nature’s beauty comes alive in a riot of colours and luminescence.
  • Embark on a scenic journey aboard the Ekta cruise, treating yourself to panoramic views of the dam and river as you glide along the tranquil waters.
  • Delight in the vibrant hues and delicate beauty of the Butterfly Garden, where you can marvel at the graceful fluttering of these winged wonders.
  • Expand your knowledge of herbal remedies and medicinal plants at Arogya Van, where you can learn about the healing properties of nature’s bounty.
  • Embark on a botanical journey at Vishwa Van, where you can discover an eclectic array of plants, trees, and soil samples from all seven continents, offering a glimpse into the world’s diverse ecosystems.
  • For thrill-seekers, indulge in adrenaline-pumping adventures such as river rafting or ziplining, immersing yourself in the exhilarating rush of the great outdoors.
  • Experience the rich tapestry of Indian culture at Ekta Mall, where you can shop to your heart’s content at stores representing each state in India, offering an eclectic array of handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs.

With its myriad attractions and diverse experiences, Ekta Nagar promises an unforgettable journey filled with adventure, discovery, and cultural immersion.

Is the Statue of Unity Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

The Statue of Unity provides a safe environment for solo female travellers, with continuous monitoring and vigilant security measures to ensure everyone’s well-being. However, it’s advisable to exercise caution, particularly at night, and familiarize yourself with your surroundings, especially after disembarking from the cruise during your return journey.

(Note: I participated in a travel meet organized and hosted by Gujarat Tourism, and thus did not travel to the Statue of Unity alone.)

Closing Notes

In summary, the dedication of the Statue of Unity on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth anniversary exemplifies the nation’s collective resolve and unity. From its symbolic construction materials to its towering stature and innovative features, this iconic monument is a timeless tribute to India’s rich heritage and enduring spirit of progress.

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