Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

PM inaugurates Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity, world's tallest at 182 metre

PM inaugurates Sardar Patel's Statue of Unity, world's tallest at 182 metre

At the same time, a team of Jaguar fighter aircraft will fly over the statue and a team of MI-17 choppers will shower rose petals.

The statue was reportedly built with funds allocated by the Gujarat state government, it has also received support from the federal government and individual contributions.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, centre, waves during the inauguration of Statue of Unity at Kevadiya Colony in Narmada district of Gujarat State, India, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018.

Patel was India's first interior minister and deputy prime minister.

The former UP chief minister said the "foreign stamp" on the construction of Patel's statue will always trouble Patel's followers.

That makes the mega statue nearly 200 feet higher than the world's next largest, the Spring Temple Buddha in China, which stands at about 420 feet.

On Wednesday, Modi called the statue "a symbol of India's integrity and resolve", BBC News reported.

PM Modi also paid tribute to former PM Indira Gandhi.

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Students sit in formation to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of India, ahead of the unveiling of the Statue of Unity portraying Patel. "Located by the banks of river Narmada, the height of this statue is twice that of America's renowned "Statue of Liberty", Prime Minister said in his Mann-Ki-Baat broadcast through All India Radio.

Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Patel were the three key leaders of India's independence struggle, he said.

- Statue's surface (skin) has 553 bronze panels - each panel has 10-15 micro panels - made at a Chinese foundry, as there was no facility available in India to make panels of this scale.

In recent years, Mr Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has embraced Patel in an attempt to claim his legacy.

Another statue, set to be even taller than the Statue of Unity is being built in the Arabian ocean, just off the coast of Mumbai.

Posters of Mr Modi with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were torn down or had their faces blackened at the weekend. Following this, he will also perform a special prayer at the feet of the newly constructed Statue and visit the museum and exhibition.

The Statue of Unity website, which has given the structure the tagline, "the statue as grand as the stature", says: "Built in less than five years, it is the world's tallest, grandest and giant statue".

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