India is well known for its architectural beauty, historical monuments, religious places, and the stories associated with it. This time India has done it again, keeping its glorious name the way it is. The country created the world’s tallest statue, which is called the ‘Statue of Unity. It is a fine piece of architecture. The way it looks, the way it is aligned perfectly, standing high, touching the sky, telling stories, and inspiring the young generation.
My dear friends and beautiful readers, in this article, I am going to share my experience visiting “The Statue of Unity” and other places around.
About the Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is created in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was the first deputy prime minister and home minister of independent India. The statue is situated in the Kevadiya district of Gujarat, near the Sardar Sarovar dam at Narmada valley. The statue is the world’s tallest statue with a height of 182 meters and a weight of 1700 tonnes of bronze. This project was first announced in the year 2010 and started on 31st October 2014.
It took exactly 4 years to complete the whole construction. The statue was inaugurated on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 31st October 2018 by the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. This statue is one of its kind, so glorious and profound. This statue holds India’s rich heritage and culture uniquely all together. It was sculpted by Ram V Sutar from Maharashtra and is constructed by Larsen and Toubro construction company popularly known as (LTI).
The Statue of Unity has transformed the place into a tourist spot. Glorified with the beauty of the Narmada valley, mountains, greenery, and other man-made creations that have been built around this place. The statue is hollow inside and one can travel up off to the 46th floor high inside the statue; around the second button of Sardar Patel’s jacket. At this exact place, there is a lobby where we can stand and soak up ourselves in the beauty of the landscape. Beneath the statue, on the ground floor, there is a beautiful museum dedicated to Sardar Vallabhai Patel and his life. There is a video room as well, where tourists and visitors can watch a film dedicated to his selflessly dedicated life’s work.
Who was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?
Vallabhai Jhaverbhai Patel endeared as Sardar Vallabhai Patel and is also called the Iron Man of India. He was born in Nadiad, Kheda district of Gujarat. By profession, he was a lawyer but he played an important role in making India a free country. He was one of Mahatma Gandhi’s political lieutenants. Further, he organized peasants from Kheda and Borsad. He was also appointed as the 49th president of the Indian National Congress.
Sardarji was the first Home Minister and deputy minister of Independent India. His beliefs firmly stand on one thought of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. It means the world is one family, and one must live selflessly in unity. That is why in 2014, the Government of India declared his birthday Rashtriya Ekta Diwas – National Unity day. He single-handedly unified 565 provinces and states in the country during the partition of India. He transformed a scattered nation into a United nation, which is why he is called the Iron Man of India.
When and how was this statue created?
The Statue of Unity was built by a team of more than 300 engineers and 3400 workers. The materials used were 70000 tonnes of cement and nearly 25000 tonnes of Steel and 12000 bronze panels covering the structure weighing around 1700 tons. The base of the statue of unity is constructed with over 129 turns of scrap iron. It was actually donated by Indian farmers as a part of an outreach program for the project. The state government asked farmers to donate their used farming equipment to collect the iron needed for the statue of Sardar Patel. About 5000 tons of iron are believed to be collected in this outreach program. The statue of unity monument complex covers an area of 20000 square meters. It is surrounded by a small artificial lake which is a man-made Lake between Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges.
Places to visit near the statue
The tent city is specially built for tourists and pilgrims who are planning to stay near the statue. There are two tent cities, Tent City 1 and Tent City 2. The rooms available in tent Cities are luxurious, hygienic, and comfortable. It gives the tourist and visitors an amazing experience of staying in a tent near the river, with mountains in a wide open area. The booking for staying in a tent city is a prior requirement and it can be done from the official website for the statue of unity.
Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers is also known as Bharat van. It is a specially designed valley for flowers only. The valley is spread across 24 acres of land and it is complete heaven. It is covered with beautiful, colorful flowers along the bank of river Narmada. The project began with 48,000 plants in the year 2016 and at present, the count of plants has reached 2200,000 plants. There are more than 400 types of flowers, trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers, creepers, and whatnot. Besides these plants and flowers, several selfie points have been developed to take back fond memories of the visit. At the time of sunset, the selfie points are a major attraction for tourists.
The cactus garden is one unique garden at the Statue of Unity site. This garden is spread across 25 acres of land. There are 6 plants and 450 species of different cacti. The garden provides an experience of the desert ecosystem in midst of well-entrenched aquatic surroundings.
Ekta nursery was envisioned by the honorable prime minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. He suggested developing this nursery as a tourist destination and to spread awareness about eco-friendly practices followed in India. This nursery serves the dual purpose of serving as an educational comedy station center for tourists. It also provides employment to people living around. The nursery hills 1 million plants out of which 0.3 million plans are in ready to cell stage and the other 0.7 million are likely to be ready soon. There are many more attractions here in this nursery, they are-
- Bamboo craft.
- Areca leaf utensils
- Organic pots
- Bonsai plants.
- Hydroponic (soil-less farming)
- Honey bees
- Kadaknath (a type of chicken found only in India)
- A departmental cafeteria is also there together for tourists with fabulous tribal delicacies, herbal tea, and other food items cooked with natural ingredients.
Children’s Nutrition park
The Children’s Nutrition park is a theme park specially designed for children. The park is based on the theme of Shahi portion Desh Roshan. This theme park is envisioned and inspired by the honorable prime minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, which was developed as a part of Kevadiya’s development. It provides high-quality entertainment and vital knowledge to all the children visiting there on healthy eating habits and nutritional values.
This particular place gives you a fascinating experience of how life on earth was millions of years ago. It is a natural trail amidst the forest of Vindhyachal. The place will take you back to millions of years ago in the times of the dinosaur era. The recent discovery near Narmada valley has revealed that Rajasaurus Narmadensis, an endemic species of dinosaur existed in Narmada valley during the Cretaceous period. The park has an attractive replica of such kinds of dinosaurs which are about 75 feet in length and 25 feet in height. It offers the visitors a glimpse into the evolution of the planet and mankind.
Jungle safari is one of the most attractive places near the Statue of Unity. Children especially love this because it is a complete Safari, a state of art Zoological park. It has a unique collection of indigenous and exotic animals from different countries. The place takes you on an adventurous trip of watching wildlife closely with natural beauty, greenery surrounded by hills giving you the view of the Narmada river and Sardar Sarovar dam.
Arogya van exhibits a wide range of medicinal plants and health-related landscapes. This particular garden aims to promote natural Indian medicinal plants and yoga. The garden holds cultural values of our India. It is designed in such a way that it reminds us to take care of our health, the importance of natural medicines, and the power of yoga.
As the name suggests, Nauka means boat and Vihar means to roam around. It is a boating cruise of about 50 minutes on the Narmada river between two mountain ranges of the Vindhyachal and Satpura hills. It is man-made where the water of the Narmada river is artificially collected to give the tourist an experience of boating around mountains as a part of ecotourism activity.
River rafting near the Statue of Unity is Gujarat’s first river rafting activity. The place is located at Kalwani colony, near Kevadia colony, and nearby the statue. According to the Government of Gujarat, this facility is developed with help of an expert from Uttarakhand. It is an exciting experience riding and tumbling down the water of the fast-flowing Narmada river. The activity has been launched by the former chief minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani on 17 August 2019. The path for river rafting is about 4.5 km and is undoubtedly one of the most enthralling activities near the statue.
Light and laser show
Every day at the statue, a light and laser show happens at around 7:00 p.m. After that, the statue of unity closes for visitors. The show is then performed on the statue only in natural darkness and sheds light on the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It uses the statue itself as a Canvas with a beautiful mixture of laser light, colors, sound, graphics, and storytelling.
How to book a ticket for the Statue of Unity?
To visit the statue of unity one might need to book tickets priorly, as this is one of the famous spots for tourists and pilgrims. One may choose which activity or which place they want to visit, near the Statue of Unity. The recommendation is to visit the place to enjoy the natural beauty and to see such a phenomenal statue. It is naturally surrounded by greenery but after the rainy season the scenic beauty becomes more heavenly so I suggest that is the best time to visit. The official website to book the tickets is https://www.soutickets.in/. This website contains all the other information, instructions, and guidelines as well to visit this place, as provided by the government of Gujarat.
I sincerely hope that you all enjoy visiting this place and absorb the heavenly beauty that this place offers.
Apoorva is a Data Analyst by profession, Data Enthusiast, and likes to work and analyze data. She is a published poet, writer, painter, art, and music lover. She likes to chant Vedas and loves reading books in several genres. She believes that life is a series of tiny miracles and we just need to notice them, we just need to enjoy the ‘life’ ride patiently.