The towering Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest, is an engineering marvel like no other. Completed within four years and build with a budget of Rs 2989 crore, the statue was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi last year on 31st October. The statue is located on Sadhu Bet islet in the Narmada River, 3.1 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadia. The statue is the core of this massive project, and subsequently the development of the Preserve around the Statue as a tourist enterprise is taking place with and intention to catalyze economic growth of the region and encourage future visitors. The facilities that are being developed / constructed as a part of this phase of the Statue of Unity project includes following main constituents:
1. The 182 meter tall, world’s highest, Statue of Unity
The statue is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of India’s Iron man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The observation deck level in the statue is at approximately chest height reachable by high speed elevators, which permits views of the countryside and the nearby Sardar Sarovar Dam, an important tourist venue in its own right.
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2. Road connecting M&VC and Shrestha Bharat Bhavan
An internal road, having length of approximately 5.8 km is constructed and improvements are being done to the existing road networks/bridges/culverts connecting the area of Sadhu Bet islet including demolition and upgrading the existing Suryakund and Panchmuli bridges located along the stretch of the road leading from Kevadia Colony to Sardar Sarovar dam which also has parking/transport sites adjacent to the town of Kevadia.
3. Main bridge connecting Memorial & Visiting Centre and Sadhu Bet Island
The 300 meter long bridge connects main land near M&VC and Sadhu Bet islets where statue is being constructed. Architecturally beautiful bridge has nine visible piers and is surrounded by river water. The 26 meter wide bridge has airport-style tavellator on both sides of the deck and a middle bridge road.
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4. The Statue Base
There is an Exhibition Hall and Gallery at the at base of the statue. The base contains a two-level, contemplative Memorial Garden on its roof. The Exhibition Hall provides accounts of the life and accomplishments of India’s first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the history of modern India. Perimeter windows look out onto the Narmada River.
5. Memorial and Visiting Centre
Memorial & Visiting Center, Bus arrival/ departure and ticket counter, Garden, Boat dock & ramp and service area is on the northern side of the Narmada River.
6. Viewing Gallery
The viewing gallery is at + 193 meter level (from the bottom of its underground base called Reduced Level or RL) and will have one view of the river on its way downstream and other windows that allow view inside the statue, its skeleton. The most attractive of the views in the gallery is from the front side of the statue, facing the dam from which one can observe the whole visitor centre, the dam, the reservoir and the reserve forest.
7. Shrestha Bharat Bhavan
An administrative complex / management hub cum hotel (Shrestha Bharat Bhavan) and Conference Centre is being constructed.