31st October 2013 was when the project to make the world’s tallest statue was announced by our prime minister. 5 years later, on National Unity Day, the Statue Of Unity was inaugurated. The 182-meter tall statue is an ode to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is considered an architect of modern India. Your very own Maharaj was invited by Gujarat Tourism and the Ministry Of Tourism to experience the World’s Tallest Statue in Gujarat. I spent 2 days there and this is going to be my ultimate guide to The Statue Of Unity.
Anyone who is a history buff would definitely know about the turn of events in 1947. While India gained independence from the British, there were a lot of princely states that operated as separate states. With over 500 of them, convincing them to join India was a mammoth task. The then deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was tasked with the duty to unite India. Some princely states readily agreed to join India, while others like Hyderabad and Travancore weren’t quite ready. Sardar led the talks with the princely states which eventually lead to united India we see today.
Lesser-known Facts About The Statue Of Unity
I had read a lot about the Statue of Unity but wasn’t quite convinced about it being the tallest statue in the world. However, after visiting the world’s tallest statue, I can surely say that it’s an architectural marvel. A monument of great pride for us. Making something this huge wasn’t easy but eventually, we did it. Before I share my experience of visiting the Statue Of Unity, here are some lesser-known facts about the Statue Of Unity.
- It stands tall at 182 meters (587 feet) making it the Tallest Statue In The World – Guinness World Record
- The height of 182 actually represents the number of legislative seats in the state of Gujarat
- The statue is designed by Ram Sutar who is a Padma Shri and Padma Bhusan awardee
- The statue is a larger version of the one installed at Ahmedabad Airport
- Only 3 zones are accessible to the general public, the head and shoulder are not open yet
- The viewing gallery is located at a height of 153mts
- 5,000,000 tourists visited the monument by March 2021
- It can withstand wind speeds of up to 180kmph
- It can also withstand earthquakes of up to 6.5 on the Richter scale
- It took 57 months to complete the project
- L&T won the contract for the design, construction and maintenance of the statue
These were some amazing and mind-boggling facts about the Statue of Unity. Having said that, let’s see what all you can do at the Statue Of Unity in the next section.
Maharaj’s Guide to Statue Of Unity
Located in Ekta Nagar (formerly known as Kevadia), the Statue of Unity is a destination worth visiting. While it isn’t the only place in the area, it is THE place to be. There are a lot of other attractions around the Statue of Unity about which I’ll probably have another blog post. In this post, I’ll solely talk about the Statue of Unity, how to reach and what to do.
How to reach Ekta Nagar
It is located at about 200kms from Ahmedabad and about 100kms from Vadodara. Both the cities are well connected via air, rail and road. If you are coming in by flight, I’d suggest travelling to Ahmedabad because there are more flights compared to Vadodara. There’s also a train from Ahmedabad to Ekta Nagar – Jan Shatabdi – that runs daily. It also has a Vistdome coach which I feel you must travel in at least once.
As you get closer to the final destination, you’ll notice the change in landscape. From the flat highways and fields, you’ll see hills and rivers. You can spot the Statue Of Unity from a far distance. The entire area of Ekta Nagar is converted into an eco-friendly zone and only electric vehicles can ply. Private vehicles are currently not allowed in the area. This is the basis of my long discussion with the team on the ground.
How to book tickets to the Statue Of Unity
There are about 20+ attractions in and around the Statue Of Unity and all of them have ticketed entry. There are limited tickets on a daily basis, hence I’d suggest you plan your travel and have your tickets booked in advance. The ticket price to the Statue of Unity is Rs 308 per adult. It includes an express visit, the viewing gallery and the laser show. You can book the tickets at soutickets.in (If you plan to book tickets for all the attractions, you might have to pay close to Rs 3500 for an adult)
Reaching Statue Of Unity
There are multiple ways to reach the Statue Of Unity, the first one is through the regular entry and the second one is through Ekta Cruise. If you are short on time, then the first option is what you should opt for. Enter the campus, get your tickets verified and walk straight to the statue. However, if you have more time and want to have the ultimate experience of viewing the Statue Of Unity, you should try the Ekta Crusie.
Ekta cruise has 5 slots in the day starting from 9 am and the last one being at 5PM. There are 200 tickets sold daily and priced at Rs 400 per adult. The cruise can be taken from near Shreshta Bhavan. It’s a decent cruise with a huge seating capacity at the bottom and an open deck above. The cruise starts with some dance performances post which you can head to the upper deck.
It takes about 30 mins for the cruise to reach the Statue of Unity. We took the 5 PM cruise and totally loved it. It wasn’t too sunny, the cool breeze and the calm water just made it perfect. Sans the people and added good music, it’d surely make a lovely romantic evening!
As the cruise reaches the statue, that’s when you realize how massive this is. You’re pretty close to the statue and are left in awe. A good spot to take a selfie is when the cruise is docked. From there you can get a free buggy ride to the Statue Of Unity. If you already have the tickets, you can directly enter the premise and head to the statue.
Exploring the Museum
The way leading up to the statue is quite spacious and wide. There are moving walkways on either side to make it easier for people to walk. Since we had ‘special privilege’ we were allowed to access the premise even after it was closed to the general public. On the ground floor is the museum. It shows the history of how this structure was built along with depicting the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. You’re first greeted by the head of Sardar Patel after which you’ll learn how the whole statue was built.
It’s an amazing museum with some Hitech installations and pleasing artefacts. There’s also a place where you can take a pledge too. There are some predefined pledges that you can take and have your name on the screen. There’s also an AV room that has some shows around this, but since we were running late, we had to skip that and head to the viewing gallery.
The Highest Viewing Gallery
The viewing gallery at the Statue Of Unity is among the highest in the world. The elevators that take you there are also some of the best in business. It can go from 0 to 26 floors in just 30 seconds! At that speed, your ears are bound to pop, no matter if you’re a frequent flyer or not. The viewing deck can accommodate 200 people at a time. The viewing gallery opens at the chest of the statue – both front and back. The front one is larger and open.
There are grills there so you can even put your hand out. If you have a 360 camera or GoPro, you’ll get a good shot for sure. I tried with my Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G but was scared in case it fell from my hand. The statue overlooks the Narmada Dam and the views are nothing but stunning. The blue-green water with sandstone floors is distinctly visible. It isn’t windy as I had thought.
Also, the gallery isn’t spacious and some of you might feel claustrophobic, so do keep that in mind. Otherwise, a must-have experience. I wish the lifts had some LCD screens that showed the building of the monument instead of just posters.
Magnificent Evening Laser Show
The last activity that you must do at the Statue of Unity is to attend the laser show. The show happens daily at 7 PM and can be viewed from virtually anywhere. However, the best seats are in the house – in the SOU complex. The price of the laser show is included in the ticket. There are a couple of viewing decks – one on the ground floor and the other on the first floor. The seating is on a first come first serve basis. It doesn’t matter much as to where you sit, since the statue is visible from anywhere. However, if you plan to take videos, make sure you are seated in a good spot.
The show has a laser projected from somewhere near the dam. It starts by depicting Sardar Patel’s early life. His education and law practice followed by the struggle for independence. The narration was pretty good. Coupled with the nice graphics, the laser show is a hit. It lasts for about 20 mins and ends with the national anthem because that’s what brings unity to diversity!
Note: If you plan to visit the Statue Of Unity and witness the laser show on the same day, let me tell you that it will be hectic. The show ends by 8 and if you are travelling back to Baroda or Ahmedabad after that, you will easily take 4-6 hours. Hence I suggest spending the night there.
Statue Of Unity is Worth a Visit
I was in awe right from the first glimpse I got of the Statue Of Unity. Ekta Cruise just upped my awe until I reached the foot of the statue. The statue is HUGE. So huge that even the toe is bigger than me! The museum is amazing and I wish I had more time to explore it. The viewing gallery provides some breathtaking views. Overall, the Statue Of Unity is a must-visit place. It’s an engineering marvel that we all must witness at least once in our lifetimes. The best part is that it’s in India, so you don’t need to spend a bomb to visit the tallest statue in the world.
I hope you found Maharaj’s ultimate guide to the Statue of Unity worthy and helpful. As I mentioned earlier, this blog post was only about the Statue of Unity and not the other attractions around it. If you have any queries regarding this, do mention int the comments below, tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM me on Instagram or Get In Touch.
I’d like to thank Gujarat Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. Of India for inviting me to experience the Statue Of Unity. Everything on the trip was taken care of by the ministry. However, my experience shared above is genuine, unbiased and purely based on what I experienced.