On soaking in the Statue of Unity

By Tushar Ghosh 

The first glance was breathtaking. An utterly surreal moment of finally fulfilling a dream—to stand in front of the Statue of Unity and soak in the magnificence and beauty of the tallest idol in the world. From the time I saw it and till the time I left, it took my breath away. The grandeur of the statue will be etched in my memory forever. This was a trip that my family and friends had been planning for some time. I had heard so many people talking about this statue. I had read about it. All this created a longing, a strong desire to go and see it. It was in the bucket list of places I wanted to see.

Located on the Narmada River in the Kewadiya complex, about 100 km southeast from the city of Vadodara, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue stands at 182 meters, twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in New York. It was completed in a record time of 33 months. When I looked at the statue it was difficult to believe that such a huge thing was completed in such a short span of time.

The entire area around the statue and its ecosystem is known as Ekta Nagar. From the moment the ticket is booked on the Statue of Unity app, the excitement builds up. The information on the app, which has to be downloaded first, is very clear and concise. Everything is listed and easily understood. After I booked my family for this three-day trip with 22 others, I knew that it would be full of memories. There are so many attractions for tourists visiting Kewadiya. The exhibition hall, museum, the Wall of Unity, laser light and sound show, tour of the valley of flowers, tour of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, boating, helicopter ride, sightseeing of the historical Shoolpaneshwar sanctuary, trekking in the eco-tourism area of Zarvani, bird watching and shopping all combine to make the trip worth all the time and energy. The jungle safari is unmi­ssable, a unique experience watching wild animals and birds in their habitat.

The entire tour is designed to give the family a good time. Adults have as much fun as the children and the inner child in you is left wanting more. Every evening, except on Mondays, a laser show lights up the Statue of Unity. Laser lights are projected on the statue and it is absolutely divine. This is a 15-minute show and the multiple colors beamed onto the statue left me very happy. This is accompanied by an excellent narration of the life and time of Sardar Patel and his contribution to the Independence movement. I got goosebumps when I heard Sardar Patel’s voice and then the National Anthem. Listening to the National Anthem in that setting with the play of lights on the face of Sardar Parel transports you to a different world.

When I saw the Children’s Nutrition Park, I was curious. However, as you go deep into this park, you realize that this one-of-a-kind park is made on an interesting theme. It was very entertaining and provided the adults as well as the children with important information on the right eating habits and different food items. There is so much we have taken for granted so when I heard about the nutritional values of food, I was struck with wonder. In reality, this kind of experiment works very well on children. It is a fascinating experience for them.

The Nutri-train is very popular with children and adults alike. The names of the stations are very interesting too. They are called Phalshaka Griham, Payonagari, Annapurna, Poshan Puram, and Swastha Bharatam. There is a café that serves only nutritious and healthy food. Famous nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar has developed the Children’s Nutrition Park. The e-cycle rides are a must-do adventure thing. The roads are winding as they take you around the statue. Seeing the statue from close quarters is another memory to be added. One thing that struck me as different was that the entire complex is wheelchair-friendly. There are wheelchairs available across Ekta Nagar just in case someone is tired from walking in the complex. Everyone I saw at this place had a mesmerized look on their faces. Everyone must visit this place at least once in their lifetime.


(Article courtesy: outlookindia.com. Tushar Ghosh is Vice President, media marketing, Outlook)

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: Pinterest)

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