India is set to unveil next week, the towering figure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a popular political and social leader, who was part of the freedom struggle that resulted in India’s independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Looming 182 meters (597 feet) above the Narmada River in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the statue is set to be unveiled on October 31, revealing a figure molded from approximately 1,850 metric tons of bronze.
“In the world, people talk about America’s Statue of Liberty. We want to make a statue of Sardar Patel at twice the size of the statue of Liberty,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013. The Statue of Liberty is 93 meters high, including its pedestal.
Mondi in 2010, when he was the chief minister for the state of Gujarat, announced The Statue of Unity. Built with funds allocated by the Gujarat state government, it has also received support from the federal government and individual contributions.
Estimated to cost over $410 million, the committee overseeing the construction asked for the public donations to finish the statue. Modi called on farmers across the country to donate iron.
Images show Indian workers putting the final touches on the statue of Patel, who’s wearing a shirt, shawl and loincloth with detailed folds. Promoted as a dream that Modi is keen to fulfill in his first term as Prime Minister, the project includes a museum, research and entertainment center. They have also set up a 3-star hotel in a complex nearby.
The Statue of Unity is not the only one that is waiting to break records. A new statue dedicated to a famous Maharashtrian warrior, Shivaji, is being built in the Arabian ocean, just off the coast of Mumbai.
Set to reach a height of 212 meters, this new statue could upstage Modi’s dream project.