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10 Facts About India’s Statue of Unity, the New World’s Tallest Statue

The 600-foot-tall monument has been completed in Gujarat, India.

Paul Keskeys Paul Keskeys

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The world’s tallest statue has been completed in Gujarat, India. Standing almost 600 feet tall, the Statue of Unity depicts Indian freedom fighter and politician Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement, and the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. Brought to fruition by Michael Graves & Associates in collaboration with Turner Construction and Meinhardt Group, the memorial took around 4 years to design and construct.

Here are 10 standout facts about this epic construction, including some mind-boggling statistics on the architectural materials used in construction…

world's tallest statue of unity india

Comparison with New York’s Statue of Liberty; photo by Ajit Solanki/AP/Illustration by William Neff/The Washington Post

1. The Statue of Unity is approximately 4 times taller than New York’s famous Statue of Liberty when plinths are discounted.

2. The statue cost approximately $430m (29.9bn rupees) to build.

world's tallest statue of unity india

Rendering by Michael Graves & Associates

3. The scale of the project is reflected in the staggering size and weight of its materials: the statue’s construction took 2,500,000 cubic feet of concrete, 5,700 tons of steel structure and 18,500 tons of reinforced steel rods.

4. There are approximately 12,000 bronze panels covering the structure, weighing around 1,700 tons.

world's tallest statue of unity india

Photograph courtesy of the government of Gujarat

5. It is projected that the memorial — remotely located 125 miles from the state capital, Ahmedabad — will become a nationalist pilgrimage for about 2.5 million visitors every year.

6. The statue’s height surpasses the Spring Temple Buddha in Henan, China, which, at 420 feet was previously the tallest statue in the world.

world's tallest statue of unity india

Photo by Amit Dave/Reuters

7. Visitors can go up to the viewing gallery, which is located near the chest of the statue at a height of 500 feet.

8. The Gujarat government reportedly relocated some 185 families to make way the statue, compensating them with 1,200 acres (475 hectares) of new land.

9. More than 2,000 Indian workers along with several hundred laborers from China contributed to the construction efforts.

10. The project has divided opinion in India, with some criticizing the government’s public spending on the project and others protesting against the displacement of farmers to make way for the memorial.

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Top image via the LA Times (Ajit Solanki / Associated Press)