GUJARAT – Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the world’s tallest statue in Gujarat, India today. The enormous structure, the image of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India, is 597 feet tall, 177 feet taller than the Spring Temple Buddha in China. To put its size into perspective for Westerners, India’s Statue of Unity is 292 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.
Sardar Patel is credited with being one of the leaders in the unification of India.
Prime Minister Modi said that “The height of the statue is to remind the youth that the future of the country will be as huge as this. [It is] symbolic of our engineering and technical prowess.” Modi’s vision for the project, which he outlined eight years ago, is for the statue to become a worldwide tourist attraction. “See our height, measure this nation’s height. This is what we want.”
One author of a biography of Patel noted that “In Modi’s worldview, this statue is a crucial part of the signaling of the rise of India” and presenting that rise before the world in visual terms.
The website of the world’s tallest statue “Statue of Unity” self-describes as “The Tallest, The Grandest.” Among the many interesting facts about the statue are:
- That it will include an observation deck large enough to accommodate 200 people at a height of 502 feet above the ground
- That it is composed of two semi-joined, composite concrete cylindrical cores surrounded by a structural steel frame that supports the exterior cladding
- That it contains 1,700 tons of bronze, 18,500 tons of reinforced steel, 6,500 tons of structural steel, 180,000 cubic meters of concrete, and 1,850 tons of bronze cladding
- That it overlooks the Sardar Sarovar Dam
- That two miles of new, multi-lane highway was built for public access
- That iron tools collected from every state were gathered, melted, and converted to rebar for use in the foundation
- That a cadre of 4,000 laborers worked around the clock for 33 months to construct the statue
- That it is expected to generate about 15,000 direct jobs for tribal people
- That a 128-room, three-star hotel has been erected adjacent to the statue
- That the base houses a museum and audiovisual gallery of India’s struggle for independence
- That the site will feature a laser and sound show depicting the unification of India
Advertisement for the statue declares:
“This monument will not just be a mute memorial like the rest, but a fully functional, purpose-serving tribute that will spur all-round socio-economic development, in the form of better connectivity, healthcare and education infrastructure, a research center for agriculture development and various tribal development initiatives.”
For Christian readers, the statue is somewhat reminiscent of those cited in the books of Daniel and Revelation.
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- The Telegraph, Introducing the world’s tallest statue – nine times bigger than the Angel of the North
- The Washington Post, Four times as tall as the Statue of Liberty: India’s new monument to its ‘Iron Man’
- Hindustan Times, Modi’s ambitious project: The story behind the making of Statue of Unity
- The Statue of Unity website, The Statue as Grand as the Stature