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Statue of Unity

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Statue of Unity
‘Statue of Unity’, on the occasion of the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, at Kevadiya, in Narmada District of Gujarat on October 31, 2018 (1) (cropped).JPG
The statue as viewed on 31 October 2018
Statue of Unity is located in Gujarat
Statue of Unity
Location of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat
Statue of Unity is located in India
Statue of Unity
Statue of Unity (India)
Coordinates21°50′17″N 73°43′09″E / 21.8380°N 73.7191°E / 21.8380; 73.7191Coordinates: 21°50′17″N 73°43′09″E / 21.8380°N 73.7191°E / 21.8380; 73.7191
LocationKevadiya colony, Narmada district, Gujarat, India
DesignerRam V. Sutar
MaterialSteel framing, reinforced concrete, bronze cladding[1]
  • Statue: 182 metres (597 ft)
  • Including base: 240 metres (790 ft)[1]
Beginning date31 October 2013 (2013-10-31)
Completion date2018
Opening date31 October 2018; 15 days ago (2018-10-31)
Dedicated toSardar Vallabhbhai Patel

The Statue of Unity is a statue of Indian statesman and founding father, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950) in the state of Gujarat, India. It is the world's tallest statue with a height of 182 metres (597 ft). It is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada in Kevadiya colony, 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of the city of Vadodara.[2]

The monument and its surroundings occupy more than 2 hectares (4.9 acres),[citation needed] and are surrounded by a 12 km (7.5 mi) long artificial lake. It was built by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance in October 2014. The construction was started on 31 October 2014 and completed in mid-October 2018. It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, and was dedicated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel's birth.[3]

Design and construction

Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India

Origin and outreach

Aerial view of the Statue of Unity, 2018.

Narendra Modi first announced the project to commemorate Sardar Vallabhai Patel on 7 October 2010 at a press conference to mark the beginning of his 10th year as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. At the time, the project was dubbed, "Gujarat's tribute to the nation". A special purpose vehicle named the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) was constituted by the Gujarat government for executing the project.[4]

A drive named the Statue of Unity Movement was started to support the construction of the statue. It helped collect the iron needed for the statue by asking Indian farmers to donate their used farming instruments.[4][5] Ultimately, 5000 tonnes of iron were collected.[6][5] Although it was initially intended for the statue, it was later decided that the collected iron would instead be used for other parts of the project.[7]

The Statue of Unity Movement organised a Suraaj ("good governance" in Hindi) petition which was signed by an estimated 20 million people, which was the world's largest petition.[8][unreliable source?] A marathon entitled Run For Unity was held on 15 December 2013 in Surat in support of the project.[9]


The statue depicts Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement, the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, and responsible for the unification of hundreds of princely states to form the modern political boundary of India.

The Statue of Unity is an enlarged version of this statue in the Ahmedabad International Airport.

After studying numerous statues of Patel across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academics chose to proceed with a design submitted by the Indian sculptor, Ram V. Sutar.[a] The Statue of Unity is a much larger replica of a statue of the leader installed at Ahmedabad International Airport. Commenting on the design, Ram Sutar's son, Anil Sutar explains that "the expression, posture and pose justify the dignity, confidence, iron will as well as kindness that his persona exudes. The head is up, a shawl flung from shoulders and hands are on the side as if he is set to walk". Three models of the design measuring 3 feet (0.91 m), 18 feet (5.5 m), and 30 feet (9.1 m) were initially created. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed 3D-scan was produced which formed the basis for the bronze cladding cast in a foundry in China.[11]

The total height of the structure from its base is 240 m (790 ft), with a base of 58 m (190 ft) and statue of 182 m (597 ft).[1] The height of 182 was specifically chosen to match the number of seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.[12][4]


The statue was built on a Public Private Partnership model, with most of the money raised by the Government of Gujarat. The Gujarat state government had allotted 6 billion (US$84 million) for the project in the budget from 2012 to 2015.[13][14] In the 2014–15 Union Budget, 2 billion (US$28 million) were allocated for the construction of the statue.[15][16][17] Funds were also contributed by PSUs under CSR scheme.[18]


The statue under construction in January 2018
Approximate heights of various notable statues:
1. Statue of Unity 240 m (incl. 58 m base)
2. Spring Temple Buddha 153 m (incl. 25 m pedestal and 20 m throne)
3. Statue of Liberty 93 m (incl. 47 m pedestal)
4. The Motherland Calls 87 m (incl. 2 m pedestal)
5. Christ the Redeemer 38 m (incl. 8 m pedestal)
6. Statue of David 5.17 m (excl. 2.5m plinth)

A consortium comprising Turner Construction, Michael Graves and Associates and the Meinhardt Group supervised the project. It took 56 months to complete – 15 months for planning, 40 months for construction and two months for handing over by the consortium.[19] The total cost of the project was estimated to be about 20.63 billion (US$290 million) by the government.[13] The tender bids for the first phase were invited in October 2013 and were closed in November 2013.[20]

Narendra Modi, then serving as Chief Minister of Gujarat, laid the statue's foundation stone on 31 October 2013, the 138th anniversary of Patel's birth.[21][22]

Indian infrastructure company Larsen & Toubro won the contract on 27 October 2014 for its lowest bid of 29.89 billion (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance.[23][24] They commenced the construction on 31 October 2014. In the first phase of the project, ₹13.47 billion were for the main statue, ₹2.35 billion for the exhibition hall and convention centre, ₹830 million for the bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland and ₹6.57 billion for the maintenance of the structure for 15 years after its completion.[23][24]

L&T employed over 3000 workers and 250 engineers in the statue's construction. The core of the statue utilised 210,000 cubic metres (7,400,000 cu ft) of cement concrete, 6500 tonnes of structural steel, and 18500 tonnes of reinforced steel. The outer façade is made up of 1700 tonnes of bronze plates and 1850 tonnes of bronze cladding which in turn comprise 565 macro and 6000 micro panels. The bronze panels were cast in China as suitable facilities were unavailable in India.[25][26]

Local tribals belonging to the Tadvi tribe opposed land acquisition for the development of tourism infrastructure around the statue.[27] They have been offered cash and land compensation, and have been provided jobs.

People of Kevadia, Kothi, Waghodia, Limbdi, Navagam, and Gora villages opposed the construction of the statue and demanded the restitution of the land rights over 375 hectares (927 acres) of land acquired earlier for the dam as well as the formation of new Garudeshwar subdistrict. They also opposed the formation of Kevadia Area Development Authority (KADA) and the construction of Garudeshwar weir-cum-causeway project. The government of Gujarat accepted their demands.[28]

Construction of the monument was completed in mid-October 2018; and the inaugural ceremony was held on 31 October 2018, presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[29][30] The statue has been described as a tribute to Indian engineering skills.[31]


Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the museum within the base

The Statue of Unity is the world's tallest statue at 182 metres (597 ft). It rises 54 metres (177 ft) higher than the previous record holder, the Spring Temple Buddha in China's Henan province.[32] Within India, the record was earlier held by the 41 m (135 ft) statue of Hanuman at the Paritala Anjaneya Temple near Vijayawada in the state of Andhra Pradesh.[12]

The monument is constructed on an island named Sadhu Bet, 3.2 km (2.0 mi) away from and facing the Narmada Dam downstream.[1] The statue and its surroundings occupy more than 2 hectares (4.9 acres),[citation needed] and are surrounded by a 12 km (7.5 mi) long artificial lake formed by the Garudeshwar weir downstream on the Narmada river.[33][12]

The statue is divided into five zones of which only three are accessible to the public. From its base to the level of Patel's shins is the first zone which has three levels and includes an exhibition area, mezzanine and roof. Zone 1 contains a memorial garden and a museum. The second zone reaches up to Patel's thighs at 149 metres, while the third extends up to the viewing gallery. Zone 4 is the maintenance area while the final zone comprises the head and shoulders of the statue.[34] The museum in zone 1 catalogues the life of Sardar Patel and his contributions. An adjoining audio-visual gallery provides a 15 minute presentation on Patel and also describes the tribal culture of the state.[12]

The Statue of Unity is built to withstand winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. This is aided by the use of two 250-tonne tuned mass dampers which ensure maximum stability.[25] The concrete towers which form the statue's legs contain two elevators each. Each lift can carry 26 people at a time to the viewing gallery in just over 30 seconds. The gallery is located at a height of 153 metres (502 ft) and can hold up to 200 people.[35]

Plans are underway to introduce alternate means of transport to improve accessibility to the monument. An amphibian bus from Kevadiya is planned as is a jetty service from the site of the Sardar Sarovar dam and ropeway.[12]


The statue was visited by over 128,000 tourists in 11 days since it was opened to the public on November 1, 2018.[36][37] It remains closed every Monday for maintenance.[38]

See also


  1. ^ According to a senior Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNL) official, the Gujarat government initially hired an American consultant who commissioned sculptor Joseph Menna to create the Statue of Unity's first digital proof-of-the-concept model. However, once they realised that Menna's model was an adaptation of Ram Sutar's statue of Patel at Ahmedabad airport, the government directed L&T to avail the services of Sutar himself.[10]



  1. ^ a b c d "Gujarat: Sardar Patel statue to be twice the size of Statue of Liberty". CNN-IBN. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Gujarat: Statue of Unity expected to attract 10,000 tourists daily". The Times of India. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  3. ^ "PM Unveils Sardar Patel's 2,900-Crore Statue of Unity Today: 10 Facts". MSN. Archived from the original on 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "For iron to build Sardar Patel statue, Modi goes to farmers". The Indian Express. 8 July 2013. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Pan-India panel for Modi's unity show in iron". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 18 November 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Statue of Unity: 36 new offices across India for collecting iron". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Farmers' iron not to be used for Sardar Patel statue". dna. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  8. ^ "The Indian Republic". The Indian Republic. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Large number of people run for unity". ToI. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  10. ^ Times of India (30 October 2016).
  11. ^ Hindustan Times (14 October 2018).
  12. ^ a b c d e Indian Express (23 September 2018).
  13. ^ a b "Gujarat's Statue of Unity to cost Rs 25 billion". Daily News and Analysis. 8 June 2012. Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  14. ^ "L&T to build Statue of Unity, Centre grants Rs 200 crore". The Indian Express. 11 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Statue of Unity gets ₹200 crore". The Hindu. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  16. ^ "India's new budget includes $33 million to build the world's tallest statue". The Washington Post. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 10 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
  17. ^ "India's Modi budgets $33 million to help build world's tallest statue". Reuters. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Fact Check: Who funded the tallest statue of the world?", India Today, 9 November 2018
  19. ^ "Burj Khalifa consultant firm gets Statue of Unity contract". The Times of India. TNN. 22 August 2012. Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  20. ^ "First phase of 'Statue of Unity' to cost Rs 2,063 cr". Business Standard. 28 October 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  21. ^ "India's Narendra Modi lays foundation stone for 'world's tallest statue'". BBC News. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Ground gets set for Statue of Unity". The Indian Express. 11 October 2013. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  23. ^ a b "L&T to build Statue of Unity, Centre grants Rs 200 crores". The Indian Express. 11 July 2014. Archived from the original on 17 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  24. ^ a b "Gujarat govt issues Rs 2,97-cr work order to L&T for Statue of Unity". Business Standard. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  25. ^ a b "Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity inauguration today: World's tallest statue is an engineering marvel". Live Mint. 31 October 2018. Archived from the original on 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Statue of Unity to be unveiled in Gujarat on Wednesday". The Economic Times. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  27. ^ Indian farmers fume at $430m cost of Gujarat statue, BBC 28 October 2018
  28. ^ "Statue of Unity: Govt bows to villagers' demands". The Times of India. TNN. 28 October 2013. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  29. ^ "Statue of Unity ready for inauguration on October 31: 10 interesting facts about world's tallest statue". The Financial Express. 13 October 2018. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  30. ^ "PM Modi to unveil Statue of Unity on Oct 31: Rupani". Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  31. ^ "Statue of Unity is also a tribute to Indian engineering skills". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 28 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  32. ^ Doshi, Vidhi (29 October 2018). "Four times as tall as the Statue of Liberty: India's new monument to its 'Iron Man'". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  33. ^ S Rangan, Pavithra (26 Jan 2015). "Big Man, Little Folks". Outlook (magazine).
  34. ^ The Hindu (31 October 2018).
  35. ^ "All you need to know about Sardar Patel Statue of Unity". India Today. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  36. ^ "In 11 Days, Over 1.28 Lakh Tourists Visit Statue Of Unity". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Statue of Unity sees record 27,000 visitors on Saturday".


External links