On 31st October 2018, India became home to world’s tallest statue called Statue of Unity, which was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi.
Facing the Narmada Dam near Rajpipla, Gujarat, Statue of Unity honours Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, One of the founding father of India.
Facts about Statue of Unity
- Statue of Unity is 182 meters in height, which makes its worlds tallest statue.
- It was built with an estimated cost of Rs 3000 Cr.
- It took around 33 months and nearly 3000 workers and 250 engineers to complete Statue of Unity
- Statue of Unity can withstand earthquakes up to rector scale of 6.5
- Visitors can have a bird’s eye view of 200km reservoir of Sardar Sarovar Dam from the gallery of the Statue which can accommodate 200 people at a time.
- It was designed by Ram Vanji Sutar, also the creator of Mahatma Gandhi statue at Indian Parliament.
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel was the Iron Man of India. He was born on 31st Oct 1875 in a town called Nadiad in Gujrat to a farmer. His firm and strong willpower could be seen in his determination and achievement of a degree of the barrister in his early days despite being from a poor family.
He then started following Mahatma Gandhi and arranged and participated in various freedom fighting movements like Quit India Movement in the year 1937.
He became the first Home Minister of India and worked towards uniting the country as one nation by leading the process of acquiring 565 semi-autonomous princely states from British era and floating suraaj (good governance) across the nation.
Statue of Unity – My Experience
Within a few months of its development, Statue of Unity has become one of the main attraction in tourism of Gujarat state.
If you are thinking that it is just another tall statue with a museum and you can visit the place and explore it in 1 or 1.5 hours or can see it by from moving car, then you are completely under a misconception. You may need almost a full day to explore it completely.
I was under the same misconception when I visited the statue, I took a buffer of a couple of hours on our way back to Pune from Diu Island.
As soon as I reached the Information Center, I realised that we need a full day to explore it and have made a decision immediately to stay overnight and explore the statue of unity and nearby next morning, but unfortunately, there are not too many options available for accommodation and because it was a weekend most of the places are pre-booked.
With the help of local people, we found a place called Anand Ashram, Which is actually a school and children from various villages live, study and meditate there.
Next morning we reached the booking counter by 9 as it is supposed to be opened at 9 and I was shocked looking at the queue. The queue was longer than the queue we generally find have at Pune’s famous Ganesha temple during Ganesh festival.
Few things were clear immediately from the queue and few got announced by the management there:
- It is going to be a super hectic day
- Express ticket sold out (5000 express tickets where you don’t have to stand in queues, Obviously other than the ticket queues)
- Viewing Gallery tickets sold out (we can’t go up to a certain allowed height of the statue to view the panoramic view)
- We have to settle with Entry tickets where we can just go till the podium and explore the statue and other attractions.
- And, we have to stand everywhere in a queue like this as express tickets are sold out
But the excitement of the exploring the world’s tallest statue has convinced me to stand in queue for hours.
Statue of Unity – Complete Travel Guide
Few things to note before you visit Statue of Unity
- You cannot take your vehicle ahead of the Information Centre Parking (Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan) which is 5 Km from Statue Unless you get an express ticket.
- There is the queue for Tickets, to Board Bus, to enter lift for the panoramic view, and to board the bus again for onward journey till the information centre parking.
- The Parking near Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan is huge and can accommodate 100s of the vehicle so do not worry about parking.
- Both the tickets (Bus + Entry) can be bought from the ticket windows only
Tickets and Charges
There are three type of tickets available to view the Statue of Unity
- Express Ticket – INR 1000 per visitor (Can take your vehicle up to the statue parking, don’t have to stand in a queue for the bus, access to the viewing gallery located at 135 mt. height)
- Viewing Gallery Ticket – INR 350 per visitor and INR 200 per children of up to 15 years (access to the viewing gallery located at 135 mt. height)
- Entry Ticket – INR 120 per visitor and INR 60 per child of up to 15 years (access till the podium neat the feet of the statue of unity)
Note: Tickets can also be booked from the official booking site for Statue of Unity. I strongly recommend booking the tickets before you visit there so that you don’t have to stand in a queue for tickets.
Other than the above difference, all the tickets have the same access to the list of the other places and things to do neat Statue of Unity.
Below are the other major points of Interest near the Statue
- Wall of Unity – A 50 ft * 15 ft wall as an icon of national unity.
- Exhibition Museum – A collections of Sardar Patel’s contributions in freedom of India, Sardar Sarovar Dam’s details and other details.
- Light and Sound show – starts
dailyevening at 7 PM
- River Bed Power House – A powerhouse with a capacity of 1200 MW
- Sardar Sarovar Dam view Point – 1.2 KM Long and 163 Ft high, One of the world’s largest concrete gravity dam
- Godbole gate – A dedicated gate to release water in river Narmada for continuous flow.
- Main Canal Head Regulator – An origin of 458 Km long Narmada canal
- Valley of Flower – A 17 km
streachon the bank of River Narmada with an array of beautiful flowers spread over 230 hectors of area.