Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the “Iron Man of India”, was the man of firm grit, courage, and enthusiasm. A shrewd and kind-hearted statesman, Sardar Patel played a pivotal role in the unification of post-independent India. Kutch to Kohima, Kargil, or Kanyakumari – if we can travel freely today across the beautiful and bountiful lands of India, it is because of his tireless efforts.
His principles and ideologies have inspired millions across the globe, and I have been no exception to it. His incredible life journey, replete with countless instances of valor and selfless sacrifice; has positively touched my life, instilling in me— a ‘never-to-give up’ attitude, and a willingness to serve people with a compassionate heart. I truly idolize him. And this is the reason, why I couldn’t stop myself from visiting Gujarat when I first heard about the ‘Statue of Unity’ being built in his honor.
I desperately wanted to see the world’s tallest statue. And with a weekend off, I got the opportunity to plan a short visit to this historic monument. So, I quickly booked the Statue of Unity tour package, grabbed my bags, and set upon an enticing journey to see this great man come alive in all his glory.
And to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the iconic Statue of Unity. It was simply amazing to witness the bounties of nature complimenting the impeccable architecture to offer a beautiful panoramic view.
Here’s a short snippet of my enthralling trip to the marvelous Statue of Unity; a trip that gave me memories of a lifetime, a trip that filled me with much pride and honor, a trip that left me, absolutely speechless and mesmerized, and last, but not the least, a trip that I would really recommend everyone to go for.
1. Easily Accessible Location
The Statue of Unity is easily accessible from some of the major cities of Gujarat such as—Vadodara, Surat, and Ahmedabad.
But, I preferred taking a flight to Vadodara since Vadodara Airport is the nearest airport to the Statue of Unity. And then, it’s nearly a 90 km drive from the airport, which takes approximately an hour to reach the historic place.
2. A Magnificent Work of Art
And, here I was, right in front of the world’s tallest and most intricately designed statue, personifying the first deputy prime minister of independent India. An absolutely out-of-the-world feeling!
Standing tall at an impressive height of 597 feet or 182 meters, the Statue of Unity literally gave me goosebumps. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It felt heavenly; certainly, incredulous. No wonder that it took 250 engineers, 3,400 laborers, 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel bars, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel, and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze—to build this iconic statue.
3. Picturesque View
But, the real wonderment was yet to strike me! With the mighty forests, awe-inspiring mountains, and the refreshing Narmada River in its backdrop, the very sight of the Statue of Unity was ethereal. It felt absolutely magical to witness such great work of art amidst resplendent bounties of nature. Further, the viewing gallery of the Statue of Unity offers a breath-taking view of the ‘Valley of Flowers’ and ‘Sardar Sarovar Dam’, which is simply irresistible. I was left dumbstruck! Undoubtedly, the administration chose a perfectly apt location for the celebrated Statue of Unity!
4. Helicopter View
Thanks to the Statue of Unity tourism guide, I got to know that we can even have the aerial view of the Statue of Unity with a 10-minute helicopter ride. And I certainly didn’t want to miss this opportunity. So, I took the tickets available at the location, and yippee, I was in a helicopter, having a gala time watching the magnificent statue and its beautiful, rejuvenating environs.
5. Sneak-Peek into the Life of the Iron Man of India
Next, I landed into the huge complex of the Statue of Unity that is home to many opulent restaurants, shops, and not to be missed, the sumptuously impressive museum, which has some of the beautifully-created sculptures and paintings that depict the entire life journey of the great Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. I munched on some mouth-watering delicacies at one of the restaurants, bought mementos—caps, t-shirts, and the Statue of Unity replica from the souvenir shop, and then, visited the much-talked-about museum. Trust me; it was an ultimate privilege to view the life journey of such a great personality, all at once. I big cheer to the creators!
Since there are many tourist places near the Statue of Unity, so, I decided to visit them too, and indulge in some more pleasure. And, the best part was that the entry charges for some of these places were included in the ticket that I bought for the Statue of Unity. These include: –
6. Valley of Flowers
A riveting landscaped garden, with hundreds of species of native flowers, shrubs, trees, bamboo, grasses, and a lot more; made me feel very close to nature. To be there in the midst of refreshing flora is a blessing!
7. Sardar Sarovar Dam
My next stopover was the Sardar Sarovar Dam—the world’s second-largest concrete gravity dam. Surrounded by lush green forests and gigantic mountains, the dam has everything to make it an absolute favourite among nature lovers and picnic-goers. It also has boating at a specially designated spot on the upstream of the dam on River Narmada. The Sardar Sarovar Dam viewpoints offer a great location for taking selfies and photographs.
8. Laser Show
After spending quality time at the Sardar Sarovar Dam, I headed back to the Statue of Unity in the evening around 6:15 to attend its famous Laser or Light and Sound Show.
It was simply awesome! Utterly mind-boggling! The laser show illuminates the structure of 182- meter height, showcasing the life journey of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel and his role in the unification of post-independent India. With a perfect amalgamation of laser lights, sound, and graphics, this 30-minute show leaves the viewers spellbound.
There are a total of 51 high-resolution projectors used in the show. All of them are fixed at a distance of 600 meters. It uses the high brightness projectors that are installed for the first time in India. Moreover, the lenses and lasers can withstand all weather conditions, which is indeed a great feat.
Truly, if you are looking for some fascinating short-break holiday options, then, a trip to the Statue of Unity can definitely fulfill your purpose.
After the show ended, I wasn’t left with much time. But, there are certainly many other intriguing tourist places near the Statue of Unity; some of these are—Sardar Patel Zoological Park (2.5 km from the Statue of Unity), Panchmuli Lake (5 km from the Statue of Unity), Zarvani Waterfall (14 km from the Statue of Unity), and Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary (104.8 km from the Statue of Unity) to name a few. Please note that the entry charges for these places are not included in the Statue of Unity ticket.
All in all, I had a great time and was more than content with my Statue of Unity tour package. I just had a weekend off, but if you have enough time, then, I would certainly recommend you to go for a Gujarat tour as the place is quite captivating and enthralling. For that, I would suggest you first enquire about the itinerary, and then, book the Gujarat tour package so that you don’t miss out on any of its historic places.