Sandhu Bet in India will soon boast of the world’s tallest statue expected to be twice as high as the Statue of Liberty.

Dubbed the ‘Statue of Unity’, the controversial monument will cost a staggering US$460 million and nearly five times as high as Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

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The architectural masterpiece will connect India’s past, present and future. It is a tribute to the beloved Iron Man of India and will change India‘s identity to the world as not just a tourist attraction, but a source of inspiration and a symbol of unity.

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What will the world's tallest statue look like?

A project of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the foundation stone was laid on October 31, 2013, the 138th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, but construction began in October 2014. The statue is erected on a tiny rocky island around 1.8 miles from Sardar Sarovar Dam in the lap of the Narmada riverbed. The base on which the statue stands has three levels that contain an audio-visual gallery, a memorial garden and a museum/exhibition hall showcasing the life, contributions and achievements of Sardar Patel.

The site would include an observation deck that will be able to accommodate 200 people at a time. This large decked area will enable visitors to get a 360-degree panoramic view of the Vindhyachal and Satpura mountain ranges, the 132-mile long Sardar Sarovar Dam, and the 7.4-mile long Garudeshwar Reservoir. An open lift will also be constructed alongside the monument so visitors will be able to go all the way up to the statue’s head and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the surrounding landscape.

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The statue and its surrounding attractions will be accessible via boat.

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The site will include a visitor and conservation centre, a memorial, a 3-star hotel, an underwater aquarium, research centres and institutes, recreational spots and restaurants.

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An initiative to boost tourism

During a rally in Dabhoi in 2017, Prime Minister Modi said, “Lakhs of foreign tourists visit Taj Mahal in Agra every year, but I feel that they will be forced to visit the Statue of Unity once it is completed. We were presenting Taj Mahal to foreign tourists, but this statue will also become another architecture marvel.”

It will officially replace the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China, as the world’s tallest statue.

The statue is expected to be inaugurated on October 31, 2018, the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.