Ahmedabad : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the Statue of Unity, built as a tribute to freedom movement icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary today. Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue in a grand inaugural event on the banks of the Narmada river in Gujarat as PM Modi dedicated it to the nation. Built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Home Minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India. At 182-metre, the statue is touted as the world's tallest - it is 177 feet higher than China's Spring Temple Buddha, currently the world's tallest statue.
The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.
The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. This gallery, at 153 metres height, will offer a view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges.