World’s tallest statue unveiled by Prime Minister Modi

Saul Bowman
November 1, 2018

At 182 meters, it is the tallest statue in the world built at a cost of $610 million in Kevadiya, a village in Gujarat state.

The official Statue of Unity website also states that it is meant to 'remind every individual of our great nation's freedom struggle. Since the statue has been constructed on the Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada River, visitors can see the Sardar Sarovar Dam laid out in front of them from there.

The statue is part of a broader project by Modi to counter the opposition Indian National Congress Party's firm claim on India's history by way of the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, his mentor, peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, and his daughter, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated by her guards in 1984.

Modi, whose nationalist government has made the statue one of its flagship projects, paid tribute while the air force jets roared overhead and dance troupes performed. Hundreds of Chinese have been among the 3,500 workers involved in its construction.

Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a 350 rupee admission fee for the 153m-high observation deck. He is also seen as an important figure in uniting the country, and is credited with convincing most of the individual states in the region to join India over Pakistan after the British left.

In the largely tribal town of Dediapada, roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the statue, villagers shuttered shops and closed the main market for the day in protest. REUTERS/Amit Dave General view of the "Statue of Unity" portraying Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of India, during its inauguration in Kevadia, in the western state of Gujarat, India, October 31, 2018.

He said Patel was a Congress leader and BJP should not be allowed to adopt him.

The exterior of statue is coated with 1,850 tonne of bronze.

At 182 metres, the statue will measure twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and nine times that of the Angel of the North.

India is also working on a giant statue of 17th-century warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, riding a horse and brandishing a sword, which should dominate the Mumbai shoreline from 2021.

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