by Meera Kalyani
The imposing statue is touted to be the world’s tallest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ on Wednesday. The 182-metre high statue is in honor of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and dedicated it to the nation.
The 2,389 crore monument, built on Sadhu Bet Island on Narmada River, is a tribute to Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary,who played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.
It is almost 29 meters taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha that stands at 153 meters, and almost twice as high as the 93-metre Statue of Liberty in New York.
Three Indian Air Force planes flew past the Patel figure and created the tricolor in the sky after Mr. Modi inaugurated the giant statue.
The Gujarat government expects the statue to boost tourism, with one estimate putting the daily numbers at 15,000.Apart from the Patel bronze figure, other major attractions include 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.