India is set to make history as it unveils the world’s tallest statue on Wednesday.
“Statue of Unity,” which is dedicated to Indian independence movement leader Vallabhbhai Patel, will reportedly stand at 597 feet tall, almost doubling the height of the “Statue of Liberty” in New York.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head the unveiling on October 31, coinciding with the birthday of the hero who is regarded as the “Unifier of India,” the Times of India reports.
Set on Sadhu Island in Western India, surrounded by the waters of the Narmada River, the monument cost over $576 million and took nearly five years to finish.
It will be about 100 feet higher than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which is the current record holder for the world’s tallest statue.
”Statue of Unity” will be five times the height of “Christ The Redeemer” in Rio De Janeiro and more than double the height of “The Motherland Calls” statue in Volgograd, Russia, according to the Financial Express.
According to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, the construction involved thousands of laborers and hundreds of engineers working on millions of tonnes of cement and steel in a span of almost five years.
Upon unveiling, the “Statue of Unity” will feature a visitor’s center and a viewing gallery at the height of 501 feet, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time. There is also a three-star 128-room hotel built adjacent to it.
The statue was conceptualized by Prime Minister Modi as a memorial to Patel, who, ironically, stated that he was against the concept of buildings and statues being built to glorify individuals.
“I want people from all over the world to see this statue just like they go see America’s Statue of Liberty or Paris’s [Eiffel] Tower,” Modi was quoted as saying in 2013.
“This was a dream for many years. Many people added a new color to this dream, they gave suggestions and after a lot of churning, this has happened.”