10 things you must know about Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity, the world's tallest statue

New Delhi, News24 Bureau, Oct 30: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India will be immortalised on his birthday on 31st October. The Statue of Unity, built as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would be the tallest in the world and the quickest to be completed in just 33 months. Here are 10 unknown facts about this historic statue, which is going to be the tallest in the world:

1. While China's Spring Temple Buddha took 11 years to complete, the Statue of Unity took just 33 months.

2. At 182 metres from the road entry and 208.5 metres from the river entry, the iconic statue is taller than the 153m Spring Temple Buddha in China and almost twice the height of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York.
3. The giant statue will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Oct. 31.

4. Built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore, the Statue of Unity project, barring bronze cladding which is a fragment of the mammoth work, has been done indigenously. The statue is located approximately 3.5 km downstream from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, on Sadhu Hill on the bed of the river Narmada.

5. The raft construction of the structure began on Dec. 19, 2015, and took 33 months of construction time for completion. It devoured 180,000 cu. m. of cement concrete, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel, 6,500 tonnes of structured steel, 1,700 tonnes of bronze and 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding.

6. The statue is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in characteristic garb in a walking pose and it rises out of a star-shaped, geometric base that covers the entire Sadhu Hill.
7. The statue is slender at the base, which goes against the norms of what other tall statues have followed. The walking pose also opened up a gap of 6.4 metres between the two feet which then had to be tested to withstand wind velocity, the company mentioned.

8. Mostly the huge statues in the world have a wide base on which they stand. In the case of this statue, the standing leader's two legs were to be shown separately, which resulted in a narrow base for the structure. This was the biggest challenge, as one has to make the structure withstand the high wind speed at the same time, it should meet the sculptors' aesthetic requirements. Another challenge was the statue is of a living legend and not an imaginary persona.

9. 2,000 photographs from archives were studied and then the artists zeroed in on one photograph, after consulting multiple stakeholders like historians and people who had seen Sardar. Experts used technology to convert the 2-dimensional photograph into a 3-dimensional model. This was challenging.

10. The shape of the shawl, its fall and texture are unique considering the peasant background and the sculptor Ram Suttar had to work hard and diligently to come as close to reality as possible. It has been engineered to withstand wind speeds of up to 50 m per second (almost 180 km). The Statue of Unity can also survive earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale, at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue.