Nearly a month back on the 26th of September we visited the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity. Today is the great man’s birthday and what better way to celebrate than remember our visit and his awe inspiring life story !
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the original iron man… it’s totally inaccurate to compare him to Bismarck. The original iron man, Sardar Patel brought together 560+ small and big principalities (kingdoms) together into unified Bharat and that too in a short span of time, less than a year. The unification work started in June 1947 a couple of months before independence and was completed by Sept 1948.
The 560+ principalities spoke different languages and had different cultures … they all were united by the thread of Bharat and Hinduism but still they were independent kingdoms. Sardar Patel did not resort to force except in certain principalities. The rest were simply brought together through negotiations. Some willingly acceded and some had to be manoeuvred into acceding.
When we saw the pre-independence map of India, at the Statue of Unity, the enormity of Sardar Patel’s work and contribution hit home.
The Statue of Unity is a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel. It deserves to remain the tallest statue in the world because it is the statue of the tallest man in terms of character and resilience. The world needs to know more about him.
A quick contrast with Otto Van Bismarck. Bismarck was the prime minister of the Kingdom of Prussia who wanted to unite the smaller kingdoms into the German empire. A single language was spoken across these communities and they all followed the same religion. The debate was merely about leaving out the Kingdom of Austria or including them in the German empire.
Three wars later the German empire was a reality. Bismarck was a great strategist no doubt, but it would have been interesting to see if he was faced with the task in front of Sardar Patel. Bismarck unified Germany in 1871 and a full 76 years later, Sardar Patel unified Bharat once again (post the 1000 years of invasions and colonisation).
Statue of Unity – The Tourist Spot
The Statue of Unity truly sets the standard for world class … it’s not merely living upto the standards. You can book the tickets online, especially for the viewing gallery. We drove down from Ahmedabad.
There is ample parking. Once you park the car, there are electric autos exclusively driven by women that will take you to the statue and adjoining areas. We paid Rs. 500/- for two hours. It was really hot and humid so we didn’t go to see the Sardar Sarovar Dam as planned.
The auto dropped us off at the entrance and after security check, we walked into the base of the statue. The entrance is fully covered and you have a food court as well incase you want to eat something before starting the tour.
Once you are at the ground level (base of the statue), you can take the elevators to the viewing gallery which is at the chest level of the statue at 126 metres. The Sardar Sarovar Dam is visible from the gallery. You can also see inside the statue and it shows why it’s an engineering marvel.
Do watch this short video of our trip to the Statue of Unity and follow our You Tube channel for more such videos.
Happy birthday to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and gratitude for keeping us together as a nation. Happy Rashtriya Ekta Diwas 🙏🏿🇮🇳