Dedicating the 182-metre bronze figure to the nation, Modi said if we were connected from Rajasthan's Kutch to Nagaland's Kohima and Jammu and Kashmir's Kargil to Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari, it was because of Patel's determination. The former Deputy Prime Minister played a major role in integrating over 550 princely states into the Indian Union after the Partition of 1947. (Read full story)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi India now meets the world on its own terms and is moving towards becoming an economic and military superpower. "India is moving ahead on the path shown by Sardar Patel. There was a time when we were seen as weak. But (Sardar Vallabhbhai)Patel turned those very weaknesses into our strength -- showed us the right path," Modi said unveiling the 'Statue of Unity' honouring the country's first Home Minister.
As per a government statement, the statue has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 tonnes of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure
Apart from the Patel bronze figure, other major attractions include the inauguration of a 17-km-long Valley of flowers, a Tent City for tourists near the statue and a museum dedicated to the life and times of Patel. The Tent City, located around four km from the Statue of Unity can house more than 500 tourists in one go. A viewing gallery at a height of 153 metres has been created inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of 1,210-metre long concrete Sardar Sarovar Dam, 3.2 km upstream as well as the nearby Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges
Three Indian Air Force planes flew past the Patel figure and created the tricolour in the sky after Modi inaugurated the giant. The Gujarat government expects the statue to boost tourism, with one estimate putting the daily numbers at 15,000
Apart from Prime Minister Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah were also present at the event. Tamil Nadu Ministers Kadambur Raju and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan are also present at the event
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel expressed hope that the landmark structure will boost tourism in the state. "The whole country is waiting for the inauguration of the statue. Tourists will feel good here in the natural environment. Tourism will increase here on a large scale which is good for our country," Patel told the gathering ahead of the inauguration.
In this file photo taken on October 18, 2018 Gujarat state chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani (C), deputy chief minister Nitinbhai Patel (L) and Gujarat's chief secretary JN Singh pose in front of a statue dedicated to Indian independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam near Vadodara
The Rs 2,389 crore monument is a tribute to Patel who played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947. It is almost 29 metres taller than China's Spring Temple Buddha that stands at 153 metres, and almost twice as high as the 93-metre Statue of Liberty in New York
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Located on Sadhu-Bet Island, Gujarat, the 182-metre tall statue occupies over 20,000 square meters, and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. The structure has the accolade of being the tallest statue in the world. The birthday of India's Iron Man is being observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day since the year 2014.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 'Statue of Unity' on the occasion his 143rd birth anniversary on Wednesday, October 31, 2018