Statues are erected in order to honor a historical figure, or an ideology revered by the region. The famous Statue of Liberty, located on the shores of New York, is a reminder of the American values which helped build the nation. Other statues depict historical figures that were monumental in shaping the course of the nation. While some focus on erecting a statue that’s beautiful, others focus on their height. India, a land where every corner of the street holds a statue of its historical heroes, is now also home to the tallest statue in the world.
Named the “Statue of Unity”, it depicts the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, India. Along with Mahatma Gandhi, he was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement, helping the country gain independence from the arms of the British in 1947. The statue stands at 182 m, more than 50 m taller than the second tallest statue located in China. It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar and unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth.
The statue is located on a river-island facing the Narmada Dam (also called as Sardar Sarovar dam), around 60 miles southeast of the city of Vadodara in Gujarat. It was built on contract by Larsen & Toubro for $420 million, who took four years to erect the mammoth structure. It is constructed with steel framing, reinforced cement concrete, and bronze cladding. It is indeed, a ginormous structure that can be viewed for miles around.
In fact, Asia is home to the 22 largest statues in the world. A majority of them depict The Buddha and is situated in prominently Buddhist countries. Large statues are a signature of Buddhism as it provides a reminder of The Buddha’s teachings “as far as the eyes can see”. Russia is also home to several statues, prominently, “The Motherland Calls”, which stands at 85 m and depicts a women holding a sword.
Previous to the Statue of Unity, India’s tallest statue depicted theologian Ramanuja and was located in Hyderabad. The Statue of Unity is the first statue depicting a modern historical figure of that size and is sure to inspire several nations to do the same.
The Statue of Unity is a reminder that India must stand together, hand in hand, and work hard towards glory and prosperity. As western countries embrace nationalism and turn away from cooperation, the statue reminds Indians the values on which Independence was achieved. Even within India, political parties and religion must shed their differences aside and work together for a common goal that has the welfare of the nation at first. The statue is set to be a major tourist attraction, as it divulges its messages to the billions of Indians who come to witness the tallest statue in the world.