From tomorrow, a day after its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, the world’s largest statue — Statue of Unity or Sardar Patel statue — is very likely to become a major tourist destination in Gujarat. The state tourism department has already started advertising it as one of its attractions for visitors ahead of the winter holidays.
A tribute to the ‘Iron Man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity is not just a memorial, as the project is part of a larger tourism ecosystem. The picturesque environs of the Satpura and Vindhyachal hills against the mighty Narmada river provide the perfect background for viewing the statue built on an island. Proximity to the Sardar Sarovar dam only adds to its touristic appeal.
To welcome visitors, the Gujarat government has not only built a 3-star hotel, shopping centre and a research centre in the Sardar Patel statue complex, but has also built high-speed elevators that will take you to a height of about 400 feet through the core of the statue where you can get panoramic view of the surroundings. About 200 people can stand at any given point of time on a platform close to the chest of the statue.
Selfie point at Statue of Unity
For those who want to click photographs, the complex also has a separate selfie point from where you get a good view of the statue and its surroundings. There is also a museum and audio-visual gallery. Besides, visitors will also be treated with a laser, light and sound show on the unification of India in the post-Independence period.
Although there is a bridge to reach the statue from the mainland, the best way to reach Sadhu Bet island is to take a boat ride.
The nearest town from the Statue of Unity is Narmada district’s Kevadia, just 3.5 km away. This is now being connected through a highway. Making the journey more pleasant is a valley of flowers along the road. If you are coming via Ahmedabad, then you will have to cover a distance of 200 km to reach the spot.
Statue of Unity tour timings, tickets booking
The Statue of Unity is open to the public from tomorrow on all days of the week from 9 am to 6 pm. Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which is maintaining the Statue of Unity, has made it easier for you to book tickets. You can either book them on the spot or take the online route.
Online ticket booking for the Sardar Patel statue is open from this Saturday. For kids below the age of 3, entry is free and for all others, including adults and kids above 3, tickets are priced at Rs 350 per person. It includes entry to the observation deck, valley of flowers, the Sardar Patel memorial, museum and audio-visual gallery, the Statue of Unity site and Sardar Sarovar dam.
There is a cheaper option as well. For a basic entry ticket, which includes a visit to the valley of flowers, the Sardar Patel memorial, museum and audio-visual gallery, the Statue of Unity site and Sardar Sarovar dam, adults are charged Rs 120. For children aged below 15, the ticket price is Rs 60.
The development was reported by livemint.com