Statues … they come in all different sizes … but ever wonder how massive statues like the Great Buddha in Thailand or the Statue of Liberty in New York are built? Recently, a 597-foot-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first deputy prime minister, was completed and unveiled in Gujarat, India. Named the Statue of Unity, it now claims the title of tallest statue in the world. While the look and feel of the statue was conceived by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, it took a team of architects and engineers eight years to plan the design and construction of the statue. Why so long? Besides the fact that it was going to be a huge statue, it was also going to be an occupied statue. What do we mean by that? Well, like the Statue of Liberty, the Statue of Unity had to be constructed so that visitors could ride an elevator up to a viewing platform, and the base of the statue had to include a visitor’s center, hotel, and a memorial garden. Building a base that would anchor a nearly 600-foot-tall statue, and an elevator inside to reach a viewing platform 500 feet up, was no simple task! After the planning was complete, it took another four years to build the towering art piece. Steel was purchased from all over India and dirt was taken from all twenty-nine Indian states to build a wall that serves a background to the national flag.
Interesting fact: While the Statue of Unity may be the tallest statue in the world right now, it won’t be for long. A 695-foot-tall statue of the Indian warrior-king Chhatrapati Shivaji is set to be completed in Mumbai in 2020.