An iconic 182 meter tall statue, a tribute to the Iron Man of India, is being built at the Sadhu-Bet Island, approximately 3.5kms south of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in the Narmada district of Gujarat This inspiring memorial site, with a number of edu-tainment components, is located between the Vindhyachal and Satpuda Ranges rising weir Narmada River, impounded by Garudeshwar, the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the town of Kevadia. The majesty of this grand monument will be enhanced by a picturesque backdrop. Its unique location will prove to be beneficial for eco-tourism and regional development.
Considering that the location of the Statue falls under the jurisdiction of Narmada district that is predominantly tribal, much importance will be given to the issues of tribal culture and economy of the are to be included in and around the Statue.
Patel, who was born in Gujarat on 31 October 1875, was a key player in India’s struggle for independence and instrumental in uniting it as one nation after the country freed itself from British colonial rule in 1947.
The total project cost is estimated to be Rs. 2989 crore, and will be completed in four years. has been officially inaugurated in Gujarat state, India on 31 October 2018.
A consortium of world class construction companies that executed the project are – Michael Graves Architecture and Designs, Turner Construction and Larsen &Toubro. The Sculptor of the project is Ram V Suthar from Noida, India.
In order to connecting the entire nation with the statue was the Loha (iron) campaign, in which an agricultural tool each was collected from around 700,000 villages across India, melted and used. In all, 135 tonnes of iron was donated by farmers to support the project, for which Modi’s slogan was Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (One India, Noble India). Earth was also collected from all the country’s states and districts to form a rammed earth wall backdrop to the flag, and the base, visitor centre and landscaping uses locally quarried stone.
The Statue of Unity is nearly 50 storeys tall, and together with its three-level base measures 240 metres, making it the world’s tallest statue. Height of the Statue is 182 m /597 feet.
On the outside, the Sardar Patel statue is plated with 1,700 tonnes of bronze and 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding made up of 565 macro and 6,000 micro panels. The core of the statue is made up of 210,000 cubic metres of cement concrete, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel and 6,500 tonnes of structural steel.
As the scale of the project is large and have level of complexity, there were several challenges to overcome-
- Larsen & Toubro Ltd, which designed and executed the project after winning a tender, deployed a team of over 3,000 workers and 250 engineers. Although the statue was designed and made in India, the bronze panels had to be cast in a foundry in China, since no such facility to handle such a huge project is available in India.
- One of the biggest challenges for L&T was to ensure that the statue looks as similar as possible to Sardar Patel. For this purpose, they hired well-known sculptor Ram V. Sutar from Noida, who went through over 2,000 archival photographs of the “Iron Man” and spoke to several historians and those had seen him to come up with the design matching Patel’s bodily and facial features.
- For the construction of the statue, the engineers had to be extra cautious in ensuring that the monument had the capability to withstand heavy winds of up to 130km/hour and earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on Richter scale. They also used two tuned mass dampers of 250 tonnes each to ensure that in any given situation the base of the structure always remains rooted.
- Another headache for engineers was the walking pose of Sardar Patel, which meant that the statue is the most weakest at its base as there is a gap of 21 feet between the two legs. Keeping the legs of a statue together helps balance its weight.
- Sardar Patel wore a traditional Indian dhoti of draped fabric, which allowed the team of the project to design the elevator towers in a staggered fashion while giving the proper external appearance,” he added.
A steel space frame is attached to this core, from which the 22,000 square meters of individually formed bronze panels creating the sculpture’s shape were hung. The sculpture’s “skin” weighs over 2,000 tons.
Along with the world’s tallest statue, the complex includes an exhibition hall in the base of the statue topped by a memorial garden, a visitor centre and guest lodgings, a pedestrian and road bridge connecting the statue’s river island to the mainland, and a 2 mile road to the town of Kevadia. From 157 metres, around the chest level, a visitor’s gallery with the capacity to accommodate a batch of 200 people offers a view of the Satpura and Vidhyanchal mountain ranges where the borders of Gujarat converges with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. It also offers a bird’s-eye view of Gujarat’s lifeline – the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The base of the statue , with an exhibit floor, will house a memorial garden and museum on a multimedia platform. From here, two elevators to carry 40 people each at a single time will take visitors to the viewing gallery.
This monument will not just be a mute memorial like the rest, but a fully functional, purpose-serving tribute that will spur all round socio-economic development, in the form of better connectivity, healthcare & education infrastructure, research center for agriculture development and various tribal development initiatives. The underlying themes and pillars associated with the monument are:
Shrestha Bharat Bhavan
Shrestha Bharat Bhavan is designed to be approximately 52 key providing a 3-star facility on two guestroom levels above a public floor containing meal services, a ballroom, and other meeting and event spaces. King rooms and suites are located on the river side of the building, where they have access to balconies overlooking generous gardens.
The simple and modern architectural character of the Shrestha Bharat Bhavan is complemented by lush plantings along the balconies, linking the building to the landscape and reinforcing the environmental theme of the development.
Distinctive and dramatically lit architectural elements, such as the circular stair hall facing the garden and river, create a special guest experience as well as a memorable image of the Hotel.
Museum & Audio Visual Gallery
The Statue of Unity Project will also include a unique museum and audio-visual department depicting the life and times of Sardar Vallabhbai Patel.
A Laser, Light and Sound show
A Laser, Light and Sound show on the efforts of Unification of India.
A research centre dedicated to the research and development of subjects close to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s heart like Good Governance and Agriculture Development. Here, subjects like Water Management and Tribal Development will also be studied and researched.
A Monumental View
A heavy-load open lift with a panoramic view will be built alongside the Statue of Unity. Visitors will be able to rise up within statue, walk into a viewing gallery and enjoy a panoramic view of the Sardar Sarovar Nigam project and the surrounding region from an astounding height of close to 400ft.
Hospitality & Entertainment
Refreshment areas like restaurants and recreational spots to make the project area an attractive tourist spot, thus facilitating tourism and employment for the surrounding tribal region.
The statue and surrounding area will be accessed by special boats to avoid vehicular traffic and pollution
The Statue of Unity won’t hold the title of world’s tallest statue for very long. A 212-metre high statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, India’s 17th century warrior king, astride a horse is planned to open in 2020 off the coast of Mumbai.
Originally the Shivaji monument was due to be just 208 metres, but the design was revised to add some extra height on when it transpired that China’s Spring Temple Buddha in Henan was getting an extra pedestal added to make it 208 metres, too.
New York City’s statue of Liberty, built from copper in 1886, is just 47 metres high and sits on a 46 metre base. In South Dakota a mountain carving process has been underway since 1948 to create a 172-metre sculpture of Lakota warrior chief Crazy Horse.