Tall and mighty, he towered over his neighbours His wise eyes rejoicing the fruits of his labour. His dream of merging the diverse community Was finally, sealed forever in the Statue of Unity. A Tribute to the Iron Man of India - Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Welcome to the World's tallest statue - The Statue of Unity Gujarat.
It is not surprising that the Statue of Unity in Gujarat has made it to the list of must-visit places for many travelers’, including Yours Truly. For one, I wanted to experience the sheer scale of the tallest statue in the World. And then, there was some astonishing Statue of Unity facts that add to the lure of this Sardar Patel Statue in Gujarat. For many, the draw lies in the additional places to see around Statue of Unity like the themed gardens, the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the eco-town of Kevadia (now called Ektanagar). If you are one of those travelers looking to satiate your curiosity, then this Statue of Unity guide is all that you will need to plan your trip here.
- 1 Travel Guide to Statue of Unity Gujarat
- 2 Who is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?
- 3 History of Statue of Unity in Kevadia
- 4 Interesting Statue of Unity Facts
- 5 How was the Statue of Unity built? | Architecture of Statue of Unity
- 6 Inside Statue of Unity | Statue of Unity Tour
- 7 Statue of Unity Laser Show – an unmissable part of the SOU Tour
- 8 Ekta Cruise – A 180-degree tour of the Statue of Unity
- 9 Places to see near Statue of Unity
- 10 Common FAQs for the Statue of Unity Gujarat
- 11 What is the best way to reach Statue of Unity?
- 12 Can you drive your own vehicle in Kevadia (Ekta nagar)?
- 13 How to book Statue of Unity tickets?
- 14 What is the best time to visit Statue of Unity?
- 15 Where to stay near the Statue of Unity?
- 16 What time is the Statue of Unity Laser Show?
- 17 How to book the Statue of Unity Laser Show tickets?
- 18 Can we go inside the Statue of Unity?
- 19 Is the Statue of Unity worth visiting?
- 20 Can the Statue of Unity be seen from space?
- 21 Which day is the Statue of Unity closed?
- 22 Travel and Photography Tips
- 23 Before you go, pin this
- 24 Booking Resources
Travel Guide to Statue of Unity Gujarat
A Statue of Unity tour does require a bit of planning for it isn’t just about seeing the gigantic sculpture. There are plenty of other places to see near the Statue of Unity and each of these requires you to pre-book tickets. This travel guide to the Statue of Unity (SOU) introduces these attractions in brief and gives you tips on getting around Ektanagar, where to stay and how to book Statue of Unity tickets.
For those, who are still confused about visiting the tallest statue in the World, I urge you to embark on this virtual Statue of Unity tour. I am sure that you will find your own reason as to why you need to visit this epic monument in Gujarat. So without much ado, let’s get started.
Who is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel?
Born in Nadiad, Gujarat on October 31, 1875, his full name was Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel. He grew up and completed his early education in Gujarat itself. He passed his first law exam – the district pleader’s exam in 1900 and set up his independent practice. Vallabhbhai Patel married early – at 16 and had two kids. Sadly, he lost his wife in 1908 and remained a widower for the rest of his life. In 1910, he moved to Middle Temple UK to study advanced law after which he came back to Ahmedabad, India.
He soon became a renowned criminal lawyer but remained indifferent to political uprisings till 1917. He became the first Indian municipal commissioner then. In 1928, he earned the title of Sardar after he led the Civil disobedience movement in Bardoli. After this, he became an active participant in the movements against the British to free India. This included the popular Quit India Movement in 1942.
After India became independent, he acted as a Deputy prime minister. He is best known as the person who helped merge over 500 princely states into one single United India. Later, he took on the role of the first Home Minister of Free India. His contribution earned him the title of “Iron Man of India”. It is this man – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who has been immortalized through the World’s tallest statue – The Statue of Unity.
If you plan to visit the Statue of Unity from Ahmedabad, you might want to see a few interesting things in this UNESCO World Heritage City. Embark on a heritage walk in Ahmedabad and discover its traditional pols, old homes and interesting landmarks that range from Mandirs to Masjids.
History of Statue of Unity in Kevadia
It was in October 2013, that the then Chief Minister of Gujarat – Narendra Modiji announced the mega project to build the tallest Sardar Patel statue in Gujarat. A few days later on Sardar Patel’s 138th birth anniversary, the first foundation stone was laid by Modiji at Kevadia. A trust called Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) was formed to execute this project. One of the key tasks undertaken by them in conjunction with the Gujarat Government was to collect scrap iron from the villagers in India. By 2016, around 135 metric tonnes of iron were collected from farmers who discarded their old farming equipment.
Numerous events like the Run for Unity were conducted to gather funds. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) won the bid for the construction in 2014 and under the supervision of a consortium formed by Meinhardt Group, Turner Construction and Michael Graves and Associates the project began. Several locals and tribes from the Tadvi tribe, Limdi and Kevadia opposed the development. However, despite the opposition, the project took shape and finally, on Sardar Patel’s 143rd birthday in 2018, Modiji inaugurated the mighty Statue of Unity. It is not only a dedication to the Iron Man of India but is an icon of India’s engineering and technical capabilities.
Interesting Statue of Unity Facts
There are some pretty astounding facts about the Statue of Unity Gujarat that has put it on the radar of many travelers. In fact, some of these are what made my own Statue of Unity visit interesting. Check them out –
- The SOU stands 182 m above the ground. It is twice the size of the famous Statue of Liberty. It beat the former tallest statue of Spring Temple Buddha in China by 29 m
- The Sardar Patel statue was completed in a record time of 3 and a half years. This includes the time from planning to construction and finally, the inauguration of the statue.
- It was designed by Ram V Suthar – a Padma Shri awardee, who went on to get a Padma Bhushan award too in 2016.
- The Statue of Unity is located between Vindhya and Satpura hills in Kevadia. It faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam that has been built on the Narmada River.
- Over 3000 workers were involved in building this tallest statue in the World. This includes 300 odd engineers from L&T
- The Statue of Unity in Kevadia has been made using 130 tonnes of scrap iron gathered from over 100 million farmers residing across 169,000 Indian villages.
- The manner in which this Statue has been constructed allows it to withstand earthquakes and winds of around 100 km per second.
- In around 100 years, the statue will turn completely green. This is owing to the natural oxidation of the Bronze cover that the statue has.
- At 153 m, there is a viewing gallery inside Statue of Unity. There are four high-speed lifts that take you to this gallery in under 30 seconds.
- The zone around Statue of Unity has been declared as India’s first electric vehicle zone. You cannot get your own vehicle here unless it is an EV. To commute around the statue, you can either hire one of the electric autos or get onto the hop-on bus.
- Talking of Electric autos, most of the autos at the Statue of Unity are driven by local women. This is a part of the initiative to provide skills and training to the locals around Kevadia.
Interesting – right? – especially the one about the Viewing Gallery. Wait till I tell you about what I saw from inside the Statue of Unity.
How was the Statue of Unity built? | Architecture of Statue of Unity
It was the design of the Indian sculptor – Ram V. Sutar that was selected to make the Statue of Unity. The design is a giant replica of the statue that is present at the Ahmedabad airport. It brings forth the steely determination of Sardar Patel while reflecting a certain softness and kindness through his eyes.
The construction of SOU began on Sadhu Bet – a small island along the Narmada river. The place was located between Satpura and Vindhya hills. To create a firm base, the island was chiseled down to a flat 55m from a peak of 70 m. Next, the scrap iron that was collected from various villages was used to make the reinforced and structural steel for the core of the statue. Around 210,000 cubic meters of cement, 6500 tonnes of reinforced steel and 18,500 tonnes of structural steel went into this task. The statue was then covered by numerous Bronze plates that were made in a Chinese boundary – Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts Co. Ltd.
Inside Statue of Unity | Statue of Unity Tour
There are actually five zones in this Statue of Unity Gujarat. The first three are accessible to the public while the top two are out of bounds. These five zones can be described as –
- Zone One – from the ground floor to Sardar Patel’s feet. This has a memorial garden and a museum.
- Zone Two -From his feet to his thighs. This is at a height of 149 m.
- Zone Three includes the Viewing Gallery at 153 m. This extends from his thighs to his chest.
- Zone Four is at a height of 200 m and can be identified as the area from his chest to his shoulders. This is the maintenance area
- Zone Five is the rest of the statue – i.e his head and shoulders
Zone One and three are the most important when you go inside the Statue of Unity. Zone Two primarily contains the high-speed elevators that take you from the ground floor to the Viewing gallery in around 30 seconds. There are two elevators in each leg that can accommodate around 26 people each.
The Statue of Unity Museum in Zone One
A large bronze head of Sardar Patel is the centerpiece of the ground floor where the museum is located. A replica of the gigantic statue, this is where you can admire the contrast of emotions depicted on Sardar Patel’s face. The kindness that reflects in his eyes and the grit and determination in his smile. One can also, admire the finer details like the wise wrinkles on his forehead and the finer lines of experience on his face.
Around the statue are exhibits that chronicle his life and achievements. The museum also, has a 15-minute audio-visual presentation of the same. A few of these exhibits also, detail the construction of this mammoth Statue of Unity.
Statue of Unity Memorial Garden in Zone One
The memorial garden of the Sardar Patel Statue Gujarat can be seen from the outside as well. However, when you are inside the Statue, you need take the elevator to the mezzanine floor and step out. On one side, you will see the landscaped green garden and the other side takes you right up to the feet of the Statue of Unity. I highly recommend climbing up the short flight of stairs at the memorial garden, right up to his feet. Then, you must look up to experience the full scale of this gargantuan statue. Believe me, it is mind-blowing!
In that moment of awe, I almost missed the details of the Statue’s feet. The perfectly shaped toes, conspicuous toenails and the typical Indian chappals that go with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s desi attire. Talk of attention to detail!
The viewing gallery inside Statue of Unity – Zone three
32 seconds is what my watch said as I zipped up in one of those high-speed elevators from the ground floor to the Statue of Unity viewing gallery in Zone three. The gallery can hold around 200 people at a time. From here, you get a view of the Sardar Sarovar dam on river Narmada as well as the two mountain ranges of Satpura and Vindhya.
Statue of Unity Laser Show – an unmissable part of the SOU Tour
This Statue of Unity guide will not be complete if I have not shared that one unmissable part of visiting the Sardar Patel Statue. I am talking about the Statue of Unity Laser Show. This is a 30 minute light and sound show that takes place every evening using the Statue Of Unity as its screen. Using the first of its kind high brightness projector, the Statue of Unity Laser show adds life to the stunning statue, literally showcasing Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel from his young lawyer self to becoming the Iron Man of India.
The delightful storytelling mixed with the right acoustic scores makes this Statue of Unity Laser show so interesting that you will not be able to tear your eyes off the statue. There are around 51 projectors that have been placed 600m from the statue for this show. The high-end projectors can withstand any weather conditions.
Ekta Cruise – A 180-degree tour of the Statue of Unity
Another way to enjoy the full scale of the World’s tallest statue is by taking the Ekta cruise on Narmada River. This cruise allows you a 180 degree view of the statue, from its back to the front of the statue. There are two options that you can avail of for this cruise –
- Unity 1 – a large vessel that seats around 200 passengers and has an upper and a lower deck. The total time taken to cover a distance of 7km from its start at Shreshta Bhavan to the Statue is 40 minutes.
- Unity 2 – a smaller ferry with a capacity of just 25 passengers. This is faster and takes around 25 minutes to cover the same distance.
The cruise has its own entertainment. There are souvenir shops and food stalls on the cruise. One can opt to either take a one-way journey or return on this cruise. The one-way option takes you from Shreshta Bhavan and drops you right at the Statue of Unity. From there you can use the battery-operated golf carts to get to the main statue and continue your tour through the museum and the viewing gallery inside the Statue of Unity.
Places to see near Statue of Unity
While the main tour of the Sardar Patel Statue ends here, I feel this guide will be incomplete if I do not mention the other places to visit near the Statue of Unity. Most of these places have been developed to complement your visit to Statue of Unity and add to some family fun. I will be sharing a detailed post on this section shortly but for now, a quick list.
- Sardar Sarovar Dam
- Unity Glow garden – perfect place to spend an evening
- Vishwa Van – themed garden with unique flora from across 7 continents
- Jungle Safari – an open-air zoo with sections for exotic animals like Kangaroos and tropical birds
- Pet Zoo – A close encounter with friendly animals
- Valley of Flowers – A themed garden with over 300 varieties of flowers and numerous photo points
- Arogya Van – a naturopathy center
- Ekta Nursery – a place to buy local, organic products
- Butterfly park – where you can see over 38 species of these winged beauties
- Cactus garden – has over 400 species of succulent plants – including flowering ones
- Children’s nutrition Park – Nutrition made fun for kids
- Ekta mall – a shopping mall with shops that sell specialities from each state of India
- Narmada Ghats – a little leisure, a little religious with a popular Shiva mandir by its side
- Zarwani Waterfalls – at a distance of 15 km, where you can dip under the cool waters of the cascade.
Hopefully, this brief introduction to the various places around the Statue of Unity has given you an idea of the scale of this destination. I am sure that this has tempted you further to plan a visit to this epic monument – the tallest statue in the World. Let’s move on to the helpful tips section of this travel guide to Statue of Unity.
Common FAQs for the Statue of Unity Gujarat
What is the best way to reach Statue of Unity?
The Statue of Unity is located in a small town called Kevadia (Ekta Nagar). Ekta nagar has its own railway station but does not have an airport as yet. The closest airports are located in Vadodara (90 km), Surat (150 km) and Ahmedabad (200 km). Here is how you can get to Kevadia from each of these cities.
Statue of Unity from Vadodara
There are multiple buses from Vadodara to Statue of Unity. Alternately, one can hire a private cab or an opt for a self-drive car from the city. The distance between Vadodara and Kevadia can be covered in 2.5 hours.
There are two trains between Vadodara and Kevadia. Both run in the morning from Vadodara to Statue of Unity and return in the evening. They operate on all days of the week.
Statue of Unity from Surat
When compared to Vadodara, there are fewer buses from Surat to Statue of Unity. However, one can easily get a private cab or a self-drive car from the city. The total drive time between Surat and Statue of Unity would be around 3.5 hours.
There are one daily train between Surat and Kevadia.
Statue of Unity from Ahmedabad
From Ahmedabad, you will find plenty of public and private tourist buses to Statue of Unity. You can also, drive yourself or hire a a private cab. The best route to take from Ahmedabad to the Statue of Unity is –
Ahmedabad – Anand – Vadodara – Statue of Unity (via NE 1)
Owing to the good roads, you can cover this distance in 3.5 hours.
The best option by Rail is the Ahmedabad Kevadia Jan-Shatabdi express. The train journey takes around 3 hours and it is quite a comfortable journey. The train also, has Vistadome coaches which give you a 360 degree view of the surroundings. There are a few other trains too that take you from Ahmedabad to Kevadia.
By Sea Plane
There are two flights that operate between Sabaramati river front in Ahmedabad to Kevadia. The sea planes cost INR 9000 per person for a one-way journey that takes less than 30 minutes. Currently, the service has been suspended but is likely to resume soon.
Can you drive your own vehicle in Kevadia (Ekta nagar)?
Kevadia has been deemed as India’s first electric vehicle zone (EV zone). You can get your own vehicle to the common parking area of Kevadia. From there, you can either hire one of the e-autos or get onto the Hop on- Hop Off buses to the Statue of Unity.
If you have booked any of the Statue of Unity tent city packages, then you can drive upto the tent city. After that, you will have to use the Statue of Unity Hop on Hop off buses or the e-auto rickshaws.
How to book Statue of Unity tickets?
Currently, the Statue of Unity tickets can only be booked online through their website. There are offline ticket counters near the Statue of Unity but these sell tickets only for the current day. The ticket availability at these offline counters cannot be guaranteed as there are fixed quotas.
There are three types of Statue of Unity tickets.
1) Statue of Unity Basic entry ticket
This is priced at INR 150 per adult and gives you access to the monument, museum, Statue of Unity Laser show, Valley of Flowers, Sardar Sarovar view points and the shuttle bus. It does NOT include the viewing gallery of Statue of Unity. If you wish to go to the Viewing Gallery, you will have to pay INR 380 extra per adult.
2) Statue of Unity Basic Express entry ticket
This includes all the areas and shows mentioned in the Basic ticket plus the viewing gallery. It costs INR 1030 per adult. The key advantage of this ticket is that it is a skip-the-line ticket, allowing you quicker access to the elevators to the viewing platform. With a basic Statue of Unity ticket, you might encounter a long wait time at these elevators.
3) Statue of Unity Foreign Express entry ticket
As the name suggests, these tickets are skip-the-line tickets for international visitors. They are priced at INR 1530 per adult.
You will need to use the same website to book your tickets for all the other places to visit near Statue of Unity. This is also, where you can book your Ekta cruise tickets.
What is the best time to visit Statue of Unity?
In terms of season, the best time to visit Statue of Unity is from September to February, when the weather is pleasant. Summers are extremely hot with temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees celsius. Monsoons can hamper your outdoor experience.
Statue of Unity is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Monday is a public holiday. The Statue of Unity timings are from 8 am to 6 pm. I recommend visiting the Viewing gallery during early evenings when you can see the blue Narmada river from the top.
Where to stay near the Statue of Unity?
There are numerous hotels near Statue of Unity that cater to all possible budgets. The most popular among them is the Narmada tent city. Tent city 1 has mid-priced glamping facilities and is located 11 km from the Statue of Unity while Tent City 2 is by the reservoir and is slightly higher in price. The glamps here are more luxurious.
Besides these, at the higher price point range, you will find resorts like the Ramada Encore resort by Wyndham and the Fern Sardar Sarovar resort. If you are looking for budget stays, try the BRG Budget Stay in Kevadia. All these Statue of Unity hotels can be booked online using the Booking resources below.
What time is the Statue of Unity Laser Show?
The Statue of Unity Laser show timings are from 6:45 pm to 7:15 pm
How to book the Statue of Unity Laser Show tickets?
The Statue of Unity Laser show tickets is included in the entry tickets themselves. There is no additional charge for the same.
Can we go inside the Statue of Unity?
Yes, you can go inside the Statue of Unity. There are two main zones that you can visit. The first is on the ground and mezzanine floor. This includes the Museum, exhibition hall and the memorial garden. The other zone is the Statue of Unity viewing gallery at a height of 153 m. This can be accessed via the high-speed elevators in the Statue of Unity.
Is the Statue of Unity worth visiting?
Statue of Unity is the tallest statue in the World. The sheer scale of the monument is what makes it worth visiting. In addition to the same, you can go inside Statue of Unity, and visit the museum and the viewing gallery at a height of 153m. The Statue of Unity laser show is what makes your visit even more interesting as do the various themed attractions including parks, zoos and health centers around it. There are numerous adventure activities too, that one can do near the Statue of Unity.
Can the Statue of Unity be seen from space?
There are satellite pictures that show that the Statue of Unity is visible from space.
Which day is the Statue of Unity closed?
Statue of Unity and all the nearby attractions are closed on Mondays.
Travel and Photography Tips
- Statue of Unity is India’s first electric vehicle zone. You will find numerous e-autos and regular hop-on buses around the statue. These work on fixed charges and one will have to use these to move around the place.
- You can even hire bicycles at various points to move around Kevadia
- For aged and disabled, there are wheelchairs available at the Statue of Unity.
- There are numerous water stations around the Statue of Unity. You will also, find small ice cream shops and a Starbucks outlet here.
- You will be able to capture the Statue from various points – the Ekta cruise deck, the ferry point near the Statue, from the Valley of flowers and right at the entrance to the Statue of Unity. I even recommend getting a few shots of the Statue in the evening, when it is all lit up. A wide-angle lens would be ideal but even a basic kit lens does it job.
- There is no additional charge for photography.
Before you go, pin this
- Booking.com has some of the Kevadia hotels listed on their site. You could use the given link to browse and book the same.
- Klook.com has various local tours and car bookings available that you can use to book your trip to Statue of Unity. In fact, you can book a complete day tour from a city using the link given.
- For any of your travel needs or general shopping, consider using Amazon through this link.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
P.S – I was invited by IndiaTourism Mumbai and Gujarat Tourism to experience the Statue of Unity
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.