Guide to Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

The Lawns, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

Anyone with even a little knowledge of patriotic stories surrounding Indian Independence would have surely heard of Sardar Patel. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was often called as the Iron Man of India and was credited with uniting the various provinces under British rule and hundreds of independent princely states into one nation. He was tough with the princes and rulers when they would not join the republic as they could not see the benefits of a united independent India. Hence the name.  This and other stories flitted by in my mind’s eye even as my physical eye absorbed the fact that we were just 12 KM from the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world!

The Gateway to the Sardar Patel Statue of Unity Complex. 

The parking lot for private vehicles 

Presently we discerned the shadowy form of the statue of unity making its benign appearance in the distance, when we passed a hill. We were still a good 5 Kilometers from our destination when the driver of our coach pulled into a parking lot and said this was where we got off! My initial thoughts were that the driver must be joking. Surely Sardar Patel does not want us to trudge 5 KM to meet him, even though he was a tough task master. 🙂 

The clouds in my mind cleared when we found that from this point on we would travel in designated air conditioned buses to the main entrance of the Statue of Unity Complex. Visitors to the SOU (Statue of unity) complex, were not allowed to take their vehicles beyond this point as there were parking facilities and a couple of helipads,  at SOU for VIPS only. 

Pro Tip: leave eatables, cigarettes and stuff not required at the Statue of Unity Complex in the car itself. It is possible you may be stopped and asked to discard these at the main entrance by the security personnel. You may also leave your stuff at the locker room situated at this point. 

The parking lot, in  Kevadiya village, was huge. Looked like it could hold some 1000 cars! 

Ticketing Booths near SOU parking lot
This ticket booth is empty because most people get theirs online.

We were informed that we would be ferried in one of the 60 buses shuttling between the SOU , the parking lot and also other attractions in the vicinity like the Valley of Flowers and the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the River Narmada. This is a free and frequent service. However you would need to show your tickets. 

Sardar Patel SOU Bus Service
The free bus service

We flashed our tickets (I reiterate that those were all we flashed, hahaha) and got into one of the buses showing its readiness for departure with its rhythmic roar of engine while courteous guides called out “Stechu of unity, please get in.”. 

The Main Entrance 

The bus dropped us off at the main entrance and we joined queues segregated by gender and passed through a layer of security check and eventually reached a beautifully manicured lawn lined with flowering plants. . All the while the statue seemed to grow in size. All too soon we had to join another queue for another security check and we were inside at last. 

The bridge, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
The bridge, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

There was this beautiful bridge disguised as a walkway, whose central lane was open to sky, leading upto the Statue of Unity which was still a few hundred meters away. This was when the beauty and the height of the statue really made me stop. Nisha and I were overawed and we stopped to imbibe the view in front of us. The sheer magnificence bore a thumping testimony as to what humans can achieve.  This bridge connects the mainland with the river island upon which the Statue was built. 

Sardar Patel Statue of Unity 

Eventually we dragged ourselves towards the statue keeping our unblinking eyes fixed on the statue till we could hardly see the statue anymore, since we were too close to the 58 Metres high base.  

The Statue itself is divided into 5 areas. The Garden & Museum, Middle level and the observation gallery. The top 2 areas are not open to the public and is for maintenance only. 

The Museum

We spent some time in the museum, which had artifacts and documents on the life of Sardar Patel, his prominent participation in the Indian freedom struggle, his contribution after the Indian independence etc. 

There was also an audio visual treat which we had to miss for paucity of time. There was a huge head of Sardar Patel , which looked similar to the one on the Statue. This was a favorite place with  people and was perhaps the most popular selfie point. My request to visitors is , please do not stand on or touch or deface this exquisite piece of art. 

Museum Sardar Patel Statue of Unity, the Iron Man of India
The head at the Museum at SOU complex

There are lifts to take us to the foot of the statue level and also to the observation gallery level. 

These high speed lifts take less than a minute to reach the viewing gallery at 153 metres. 

The Statue 

The Design Features

The Sardar Patel Statue of Unity is 182 metres tall, which makes it the world’s tallest statue. Desgned by the famous sculptor and artist, Ram Vanji Sutar, it is located on the top of  the Island rock on the River Narmada, called Sadhu Bet. The statue appears to be looking at the Sardar Sarovar dam on the River Narmada, a project that was close to Sardar Patels’ heart but which saw the light of day much after his death. 

The river flows through the valley created by Vindhya Mountain Range in the North and Satpura Range in the South. Further down, the river marks the natural border with the state of Maharashtra. 

Iron Man of India
Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

Tip : Read about our trip to another border town called Saputara

Surely, a memorial befitting this tall leader. The statue stands on 58 metres pedestal making the total 240 Metres. In comparison the Statue of Liberty with its base is about 93 Metres high. 

The number 182 depicts the number of assembly constituencies in Gujarat. 

Lilliput and Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
Lilliput and Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
More Lilliputs and Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
More Lilliputs and Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

The outside shell of the statue is made of bronze panels of 8mm thickness. 

We stood at the base of the statue and I found that even the toes were bigger than me! 

Sandals of Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
The stitches on the sandals of the Statue of Unity

What also grabbed my attention was the attention to details. The pair of sandals has been modeled after typical Indian footwear.

Imagine what would be the shoe size? 🙂 🙂

The viewing gallery

Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
Sardar Sarovar Dam from the viewing gallery

The viewing gallery is at a height of 153 metres. The idea is that this gallery is at chest level. Symbolic of the people being in his heart.

The viewing gallery can accommodate 200 visitors at a time.   The mesh of the shirt through we can view the Narmada Sardar Sarovar Dam is almost 4 cm thick.

Now we can say that the heart of Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel touched us!

Viewing Gallery, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
Viewing Gallery, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity

It is said that much of steel that went into the concrete came from various farmers who donated their tools to be melted and used in the two huge concrete towers inside the statue.

Laser show 

The Laser show start once it becomes dark However we did not see it as we had a flight to catch from Vadodara.

Sardar Patel Statue of Unity
A view of the Garden and the bridge. A small portion of the dam is visible in the distance

Useful Information for visiting Sardar Patel Statue of Unity. 

Opening times : 

08:00AM to 06:00PM  , Tuesday to Sunday. SOU complex is closed on Monday. 

The Laser Light and Sound Show start at 7:30 PM onwards daily.

Tickets

Tickets may be purchased in situ at SOU ticketing centre from 7:30AM to 5:30PM.

Ticket prices are 

Adults – INR 150  , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 90

Viewing Gallery Ticket  (includes entry ticket)

Adults – INR 380  , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 230 

If you want to avoid the queues then then buy Express tickets

Adults – INR 1030  , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 1030 

One may purchase the tickets online at https://soutickets.in or by using the mobile app soutickets.

The entry ticket is cheaper, at 

Adults – INR 120  , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 60 

Viewing Gallery 

Adults – INR 350 , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 200 

Express tickets

Adults – INR 1000 , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 1000 

The ticket prices for foreign nationals are a bit more expensive at  Adults – INR 1500  , Child (3 to 15 Years)  – INR 800 (looks a a bit steep, but quite inline with Statue of Liberty ferry + crown at USD 21.50) 

Pro tip: The tickets include entry to Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Facilities 

There is a Locker room to store items which may not be allowed inside the Statue of Unity Complex . 

Golf cart facility is available for those who may need it . 

Food court has enough options for those feeling hungry and thirsty after all the excitement. 

A small but well stocked  souvenir shop to buy T Shirts, hats, key chains, Fridge magnets, Statue replicas etc. 

Souvenir shop at SOU complex
Souvenirs

There is a plan for boating jetty, but it is not clear when it would be opened for public.

Washrooms are there but not enough, according to me, for the number of visitors expected.

Other FAQs, facts, figures and tidbits

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Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the tallest Statue

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65 thoughts on “Guide to Sardar Patel Statue of Unity”

  1. It must be imposing in person! I mean, the fact that the statue can be discerned from a distance of 5 kilometers? Fascinating. No wonder, given that it’s 182 meters tall.
    It’s probably even more spectacular since it’s placed on the top of the rock. Love how it appears to be overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the project that was close to his heart, as you say.
    Useful tips, thanks. 🙂

  2. I knew nothing about Sardar Patel before this post, and I’m really glad that I read it. No small task gathering all those independent states into a united nation. That statue is fitting — something enormous that relies to the enormous accomplishment. It’s so impressive, and I’d love to see the museum, too.

  3. The world´s tallest statue must be impressive in real life! I´ve heard of it but knew little about the man behind the story – Sardar Patel! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This post I sure learnt a lot. I never even heard of Sadar Patel before and how the story behind Indian Indpendance (I am British and I know we had India until after the Second World War I believe, I havent been to India yet but I do plan to do a lot of research on the history before visiting India). I didnt even know that this was the world’s tallest statue, so now I want to check this out. I love the monuments and statues in Asia and this one is for my bucket list.

  5. Thanks for the handy guide! I would love to visit the largest statue in the world! It’s amazing to see how large it is in comparison to a person, thanks for including those shots. The view from the observation deck must be astounding! Sorry that you didn’t get to see the laser show. That just means you’ll have to go back! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wow, this statue of Sardar Patel is amazing. I had heard to him and his dealings during the British rule, but probably didn’t realise the gravitas of the man. The view from the observation deck would be incredible. I can’t believe it is 58m high – that’s crazy. What a monument!

  7. I didn’t know the tallest statue in the world is in India. Seeing the people standing next to it really displays how massive it is. The amount of security surprised me, has it ever been threatened?

  8. I really like your wonderful post. Very nicely written post, This post is very interesting and informative. I loved to read such kind of article and I happy to be here, thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  9. Wow, I’ve never heard of this university – and of Sadar Patel either. Very, very interesting – and even more impressive. It must be amazing standing next to this – literally – grand gentleman. Now you know that an ant feels like 😉

  10. Wow! Everything is so huge! Is there anything that isn’t giant-sized there? Thanks for the tips on visiting and all the fun photos that put the statue’s size in perspective!

  11. I honestly have never heard of Statue of Unity. I have visited the Big Buddha in Hong Kong and I was so fascinated by it, so I need to check this out. (Reciprocated by Natasha Romero-Salas)

  12. this is very use full information for us. i love this because in this post you describe about sardar-patel-statue-of-unity. thanks for sharing.

  13. Woooah! It is hard to imagine how tall 182m is…but those massive feet and giant stitches make it easier to get your head around just hw huge it is! What an interesting place!

  14. I know next to nothing about this area, let alone such a huge statue! It was a pleasure to learn a little bit about it, especially since I won’t be able to get there any time soon.

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