A little over a year of its dedication to Nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Statue of Unity has attracted horde of tourists. The World’s tallest statue — that of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — was dedicated to the Nation on October 31, 2018 which also marked 143rd birth anniversary of the Iron man of India.
The statue is called the ‘Statue of Unity’, and will be a symbol of the country’s unity and integrity. The 182-metre-high (600 ft.) Statue of Unity is twice the size of New York’s Statue of Liberty. Before this, the World’s tallest statue was the Spring Temple Buddha in China at 128 m (420 feet) high.
The statue is located some 200 km (125 miles) from the state’s main city, Ahmedabad. A 3.5 km highway has been built to connect the Statue of Unity in Sadhu Island to Kevadia town in Narmada district of Gujarat. It has a viewing gallery at a height of 153 m, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a go, and is able to withstand wind velocity up to 60m/sec, vibration and earthquakes.
About 22500 m ton (22500000 kg) of cement has been used to build the Statue of Unity. The project to commemorate Sardar Patel was announced by Modi in 2013 when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the first deputy Prime Minister of India post Independence.
The nationalist is also known as the ‘Iron Man of India’ after he persuaded feuding states to unite and become part of the Indian state after independence. The Statue of Unity Project also includes a unique museum and audio-visual department depicting the life and times of Sardar Vallabhbai Patel. Special boats to avoid vehicular traffic and pollution can access the statue and surrounding area. For Gujarat tourism, which already has the Great Rann of Kutch and the Gandhi circuit as big attractions, the Statue of Unity has now proved major attractions for tourists.
The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited has shared some statistcs
◆ Constant rush of tourists has been observed since the dedication of Statue of Unity to the Nation on 31st October 2018.
◆ Total 27,17,468 number of tourists visited Statue of Unity during its first year i.e. from 1st November 2018 to 31st October 2019.
◆ Till 10th November 2019, total 29,32,220 tourists have visited Statue of Unity.
◆ Out of which 2,91,640 tourists means approximately 10% have visited during recent Diwali festivals only.
◆ Average no. of tourists per day during Diwali Holidays is recorded as 22,434 as against 14,918 per day during last year’s Diwali holidays.
◆ Thus, number of tourists per day has increased by 50.4% due to addition of various newly developed tourists’ attractions.
◆ Overall average number of tourists is recorded as 9063 per day; whereas in normal working days it is 7030 per day and on weekend days that is Saturday and Sunday it is 13071 per day.
◆ Aggregate income generated so far is Rs. 80.65 crore
◆ Recently new adventure activities like River Rafting, Cycling and Boating have been developed at Kevadia, which have received an overwhelming response from youths and thousands are getting benefits of the same.
◆ In addition to these, activities like Night Trekking, Climbing Wall, Two-way Zip Line etc. have been developed at Zarwani Eco-tourism site.
◆ Night Tourism for the first time in the country – Main Road and all the Projects are illuminated at night with colourful and theme based lighting.
◆ A unique “Glow Garden” with illuminated plants and animals has become a major attraction – Daily 4,000 to 5,000 people flock around to see its beauty.
◆ Thus, Kevadia has been transformed into an unmatched tourists’ destination.