Statue of Unity (SoU): An Accolade to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Unveiling the Legacy of the Iron Man of India
Fenced amidst the stretch of the Satpura & Vindhya mountain ranges, on river Narmada’s pendant- ‘Sadhu Bet Island’ in the Indian state of Gujarat today, stands the newly inaugurated, record-breaking engineering marvel- ‘Statue of Unity’ ( SoU). Towering over at a height of 182 meters (597 ft.), the statue poses as a tribute to India’s first deputy Prime Minister- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, famously known as the Iron Man & architect of the independent country. Posing as a symbol of national harmony and integrity, the foundation of this marvel was laid way back in 2013 by the then chief minister and current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. He envisioned a period that would make-proud every Indian in saluting and commemorating the sterling contributions of this personage, spurring academic, historical, national and spiritual values. Crediting its success to every mastermind who pillared the execution of this Indian wonder, PM Modi the visionary, Padma Bhushan winning sculptor-Ram V Sutar, Larsen & Toubro (Construction & engineering company) and state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. along with 250 engineers and 3,400 laborers strived rigorously for 33 months carving the project to success.
Signifying the date of its inauguration, 31st October also marks the birth of Sardar Patel escalating the day to a memorable forte, mounting the structure to break records for not just becoming the tallest in the world but also its completion within the shortest span of time. As a symbol of unity with a vision to unite the country in terms of brotherhood, PM Modi stated, “We embark on a sincere attempt to do justice to this great visionary and his epochal contribution to the Indian nation. The statue will stand high not just in meters and feet but much more in terms of academic, historical, national and spiritual values. My vision is to develop the place as a source of inspiration for ages to come”.
Sensational Construction & Engineering Milestones
The mega-monument along with its surroundings occupies over 20,000 square meters and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake, serving as a part of a larger tourism ecosystem. Engineered incompatibility to counter natural catastrophes, like harsh winds (withstanding wind speeds of up to 50 m/second)& earthquakes (up to 6.5) the structure is gilded with a composition of bronze, concrete, steel, and crowd-sourced iron. Made accessible from a bridge connecting the mainland, the most suggested route channels via boat-ride to reach the island making the experience a comprehensive treatment for its visitors.
Designed beyond a memorial, the Gujarat government has not just accommodated a 3-star hotel, a viewing gallery, shopping complex, and a research center, but also installed high-speed elevators that lift up to the height of 400 feet through the cores of the statue to get a panoramic view of its picturesque surroundings. With a capacity of holding upto 200 people at a time, the viewing gallery resonates the life and times of the legendary Sardar, accompanied by a laser-light and sound show on the unification of India post independence. Moreover, besides these remarkable features, the structure offers something for those with a polaroid inclination, housing an exclusive selfie-point that portraits the view of the larger expanse of its natural surroundings.
Left with tremendous experiences, the statue truly lives by its name as it garners unity by standing tall, composed with materials acquired from India’s essence – farming tools from all over the country igniting a spirit of brotherhood and union. This marks the uniqueness of the marvelous structure commemorating the memory of a renowned leader who stated, “Manpower without unity is not strength- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.”
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