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Looking up to the world's tallest statues

November 01, 2013 10:32 IST

Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, who had appealed to the people of the country to help him build a statue in memory of the 'Iron Man of India' Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on Thursday, laid the foundation stone of the 182-metre tall 'Statue of Unity'.

Speaking at the ceremony Modi said, “This statue will be a symbol of India rising. I want people from all over the world to see this statue just like they go see America's Statue of Liberty or Paris' Tower (EiffelTower)”

Calling it a historic event at the banks of the Narmada, he said, “This was a dream for many years. Many people added new colour to this dream, they gave suggestions and after a lot of churning, this has happened. Many people have inspired and blessed us and I thank them today.”

The Statue of Unity is being undertaken by the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust, headed by Modi himself.

So what sets the ‘Statue of Unity’ apart from the other towering structures around the world?

Let’s take a look at some of the tallest statues and how tall they stand in comparison.


The Statue of Unity, Gujarat, India (Height 182m)

The proposed monument in honour of one of the country's founding fathers Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be constructed close to the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat's NarmadaRiver.

It will be two times taller than New York's Statue of Liberty and almost five times that of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer.

Projected to be one-and-a-half times that of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the statue will be the tallest in the world.

The statue will be built at Sadhu Bet, an island located 3 km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the riverbed of Narmada.



Spring Temple of Buddha, Henan, China (Height 153m)

Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

Built in 2002, the Spring Temple Buddha is at present the tallest statue in the world.

The statue is located within the Fodushan Scenic Area in Henan, China.

The 128 m statue depicting Vairocana Buddha has a 25 metre pedestal which together gives its total height of 153m.  

Plans for the construction of the Spring Temple Buddha were announced after the 2001 demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Spring Temple Buddha derives its name from the nearby Tianrui hot spring. 


Ushiku Daibutsu, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan (Height 120m)

Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

The bronze plated statue was built to commemorate the birth of Shinran founder of the Jodo Shinshu or ‘TruePureLandSchool’ of Buddhism

Built in 1993, the statue has a 10m high base and 10m high lotus platform.   

An elevator takes visitors up to 85m off the ground, where an observation floor is located.

Inside the statue is a four-story building, which serves as a museum.


Statue of Liberty, New York, USA (Height 93m)

Image: The Statue of Liberty is pictured from the Staten Island Ferry as people are reflected in windows in New York
Photographs: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

This iconic structure of freedom in the United States was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and was a gift to the United States from the people of France.

The Statue of Liberty is a neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New YorkHarbor, in Manhattan, New York City.

The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. 

Constructed in France, the statue was shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe's Island. 


The Motherland calls, Volgograd, Russia (Height 85m)

Image: People walk by 'The Motherland Calls' monument in Russia's southern city of Volgograd
Photographs: Ilya Naymushin/Reuters

The statue designed by sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad.

The memorial was declared the largest statue in the world in 1967 measuring 85 metres from the tip of its sword to the top of the plinth. 

The Motherland Calls is considered significantly complex from an engineering point of view. Two hundred steps symbolise the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad, lead from the bottom of the hill to the monument.

Valentina Izotova, the model who posed for the statue, is a native of the city. She was recruited by Lev Maistrenko, an artist who was working on the memorial complex in the early 1960s.


Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janerio, Brazil (Height 39.6m)

Image: The moon is pictured next to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro
Photographs: Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

A symbol of Christianity and a symbol of peace, the statue has become an icon of Rio and Brazil.

Christ the Redeemer statue is 30 metres tall, not including its 8 metres pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres wide. It weighs 635 tonnes, and is located at the peak of the 700-metre Corcovado mountain in the TijucaForest National Park overlooking the city.

Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone.

Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue; it was sculpted by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski.

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