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How to Plan a Trip to & What to Expect at the World’s Tallest Statue!

It is called the Statue Of Unity in honour of the man who united all the princely states and territories after the British left India in 1947 and made India’s geographical boundaries what they are today.

The man was Vallabhbhai Patel, fondly known as Sardar (which means ‘leader’).

Sardar Patel was a much respected figure in India’s freedom struggle and after India gained independence on 15th August 1947, he was handed the charge of uniting 562 independent entities to come under the Union of India.

He was also independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister.

He was truly a ‘tall’ figure in Indian politics and deserved nothing less than what was eventually built to honour him — the World’s Tallest Statue, that stands at 182 metres.

The Statue was completed and opened to public in 2018, but I could visit it only just recently.

My first reaction? It sure is BIG.

And, well made.

                       The Statue Of Unity and its complex is behind me

Since you cannot see the face of Sardar Patel on the statue because it is way too high, they have installed a smaller version of it inside the Museum, and it is a masterpiece!

His facial features have been captured well and his expression is one of peace.

                                            The Close Up of the Face

The Statue was built to face the Sardar Sarovar Dam, built on the River Narmada, because the Dam was Sardar’s dream project.

What I liked the most about my visit, apart from the Statue itself, was the complex they have built — it is world class! Such clean toilets!

Under the Statue, visitors can go to the Museum and Exhibition area, with an audio visual gallery, and to the Viewing gallery by an elevator that takes you up almost 153 metres in just 30 seconds!

          Viewing Gallery at Chest Level from where you can see the Dam

The Viewing gallery is at his chest level and visitors can also go up to the level from where his feet begin.

                                                At his feet, quite literally!

I also grabbed the opportunity to participate in the aarti at Narmada ghat. Though they seem to have taken inspiration from the Haridwar and Varanasi aartis, it was a lovely experience.

Here are the Tips to keep in mind when planning your own trip to the SOU:

1) Everything can be done online ( Entry into the complex has specific time slots and you can enter only if you have the online entry ticket. The complex is vast and there is a lot of walking to do, without cover. So its best to choose a morning or evening slot. If going in October — January, then you may choose the afternoon slot

2) There are numerous activities that groups can undertake in the area which is called Kevadia. There is a park, a nursery, visit to the Dam, Butterfly Garden, Cactus Garden, a cruise and even a nursery. The website is a good place to start planning your trip. Some of these are free with the entry tickets and for some of the sites, you have to pay extra

3) There are feeder buses that ply between the sites and the main entry area. This service is free with the ticket. Local tribal women have also been employed to run battery operated Pink Rickshaws on payment basis

4) The SOU premises are friendly towards Senior Citizens. The galleries in the main statue are accessible by escalators and elevators. The walk to the Statue itself from the entry gate is a bit long, and though they have made provision for wheelchairs, the wheelchair bound cannot go up to the Feet level of the Statue

5) The aarti at Narmada ghat is held at about 8:00 PM and anyone can participate in it. Devotees can even buy tickets for Yajman booking online

6) The SOU does have its own accommodation facility called Tent City in the area, though in my experience, these are not very well maintained. There is also a Ramada right next to the main entry complex

7) An ideal trip would be to reach the SOU area one evening, relax and see the Statue the following morning, followed by other activities and return to the nearest cities (noted below) by late evening. The total trip duration can be 1 night & 2 days, an ideal weekend getaway


The SOU is 200 kms from Ahmedabad, 91 kms from Vadodara (Baroda) and 155 kms from Surat.

This post was first published on Travel Shots

Ritu March 25, 2022