[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n the 143rd birth anniversary of the Iron Man of India on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, in Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district. The 182m-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was inaugurated along the banks of Narmada river.
Modi lead the puja ceremony with water brought in a kalash (metal pots) from 30 holy rivers, including the Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra among others.
The Rs 2,389-crore monument is a tribute to Patel who played a major role in integrating the princely states into the Indian Union after the partition of 1947.
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.
The statue, whose foundation was laid by Modi in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, will dwarf the current tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China (128m), and will be almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York. But the Statue of Unity will lose its crown to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial, a 192m statue under construction in the Arabian sea off the Mumbai coast, when work is expected to finish in three years.
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.
While the statue has been on everyone’s mind for quite some time, here’s how twitter reacted to it after the inauguration: