India's Top Iconic Structures
Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity, constructed in remembrance of India’s Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31. Marking the 143rd birth anniversary of the freedom fighter and India’s first home minister, the inaugural event was one of a kind with Air Force planes showering flowers on the statue located near the Narmada Dam in Gujarat.
Here are 10 interesting facts you must know about this iron statue:
*The statue, 182-metre tall, is being mulled as the world’s tallest – twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in the US. It leaves behind China’s Spring Temple Buddha which is 153-m tall.
*The statue has been constructed on the river island of Sadhu Bet facing the Narmada Dam near Rajpipla in Gujarat. It is surrounded by a lake spread in an area of 12 square kilometre.
*The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan recipient Ram V Sutar, who also designed Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the Parliament. The statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wearing his iconic attire dhoti, kurta, Nehru jacket and shawl. It depicts Patel’s walking stance.
*The project of constructing the statue was awarded to Larsen & Tourbo in October 2014 at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore. Since then it has taken 250 engineers, and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.
*The statue that celebrates the Iron Man of India is made of iron collected from all across the country. A special drive called the Statue of Unity Movement was started under which the iron to be used for the construction of the areas around the structure was collected from farmers all across the country as they were asked to donate their used farming tools. Over 5,000 tonne of iron was collected from the drive.
*The iconic structure has been constructed using steel framing, reinforced cement concrete, and bronze cladding. The surface of the statue has been given a distinct design by using 553 bronze panels, with each having 10-15 micro panels. Over 75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 tonnes of steel structure, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel rods, 22,500 tonnes of bronze sheets were used for construction.
*The statue can withstand wind speeds of about 50 metre/second and earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale, 10 km deep and within a radius of 12 km.
*The construction of the structure has been interesting. Sutar gave a 30-ft bronze replica of the statue which was later scanned into electronic data and then converted into a data grid for a 182-m tall design. This data was later given to the foundry where the bronze was cast into panels.
*For the visitors, the statue has a viewing gallery that could accommodate over 200 people at a time. One could see the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges from the gallery.
*Once open to public, media reports suggest that officials expect over 15,000 visitors every day to view over 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research centre, all talking about Patel’s life. The ticket price will be Rs 120 for an Indian citizen and an additional Rs 350 to visit the viewing gallery.