Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Statue of Unity, built as a tribute to freedom movement icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary today.
Built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Home Minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India.  At 182-metre, the statue is touted as the world's tallest - it is 177 feet higher than China's Spring Temple Buddha, currently the world's tallest statue.

Talking about Patel as the first home minister of independent India, Modi said Patel used Kautilya's wisdom and Shivaji Maharaj's bravery to achieve the great feat of uniting India after partition. He did something that was unparalleled.

"Sardar Patel was made the Home Minister of India at the country's most difficult period. No one can imagine how he managed to keep India from disintegrating after partition. The greatness of his deeds cannot be put in words. Each and every one of us owes it to this man for what he has done for the country."

He added: "From Kutch to Kohima, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Sardar Patel united the country. This shows what a great resolve he had. It is because of him that we can travel to all the great sites and meet the great people of all the states without a visa."

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The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.

"This is the tallest statue in the world. People the world over will not only visit this site, but also remember this. They will not only remember this marvel, but remember the great people of India," Modi said. 

He added: "In order to build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of the soil and thus, a mass movement developed."

"There were many pessimists who used to always think that a diverse country like India can never remain United. It will fall apart. But, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel showed how it is done. We should learn how to grow from strength to strength, how to always stay united. ," Modi said.

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On the occasion, cultural and musical programmes will be performed by the bands of Gujarat Police, armed and paramilitary forces.e occasion, cultural and musical programmes will be performed by the bands of Gujarat Police, armed and paramilitary forces. 


Indian Air Force’s three Kiran Mk 2 aircraft have staged a fly past. 

The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. This gallery, at 153 metres height, will offer a view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges.