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Statue of Unity

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st October 2018 morning unveiled the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, in Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada district. The 182m-tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was inaugurated to coincide with the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel, India’s first home minister.

Modi pulled a lever and inaugurated the statue at a ceremony along the banks of Narmada River in Gujarat’s Kevadiya. He led the puja ceremony with water brought in a kalash (metal pots) from 30 holy rivers, including the Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra among others.

Patel’s grand nephew Dhirubhai, who lives in Vadodara, said the occasion was a “once in a lifetime moment” for him and congratulated the government for its excellent work.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and home minister Rajnath Singh paid floral tributes to Patel in Delhi. Later Rajnath Singh and sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore flagged off a run for unity at the India Gate in the national capital.

The statue, whose foundation was laid by Modi in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, will dwarf the current tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China (128m), and will be almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

A fly-past by the Indian Air Force and music by the ceremonial bands of the Army, Navy and Air force was also part of the unveiling ceremony. “The statue is a tribute in a real sense as here the research on agriculture and tribal development will take place. These were the subjects close to Sardar Saab. It (statue) will open the floodgates of tourism in this tribal belt, bringing income to locals,” said Gujarat’s deputy chief minister Nitin Patel. Cultural groups from 29 Indian states are performing at the venue on Sadhu Bet, a hillock 3.1km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam.