The challenges and joy’s of designing World’s Tallest Statue- Sardar Patel statue sculptor speaks

Saurabh Kumar

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Greater Noida (31/10/18) : Today morning Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the much anticipated World’s tallest statue that stands at a height of 182 meters.

Touted as the “Statue of Unity”, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s bronze statue is honoring the country’s first deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Patel, fondly known as the “Iron Man of India,” played a key role in unifying India’s princely states into a single, independent and united country.

The prolific Indian sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, who was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1999 was bestowed with the responsibility of carving this magnificent statue. Sutar has a long list of awards and recognition to his name including the latest “Tagore Award.”

However for the sculptor Sutar, who is the man behind many iconic statues’s in India, including the Gandhi statue at the Parliament, it was still no easy feat. He initially carved a human-sized statue of Sardar Patel which was taken to different places in Gujarat for taking people’s opinion about the same. The statue was also seen by some people who have seen Patel, when he was alive. Only after the statue was approved by all for being a close resemblance, of Patel, its make was decided.

Conceptualised as Sardar Patel walking on the Narmada river towards the Sardar Sarovar dam, the design of the statue took a lot of brainstorming among experts due to various challenges related to its location, height and pose. The bronze statue is now nothing less than an engineering marvel.

Sharing his experience of crafting this masterpiece, Sutar said that it has not been an easy task to design the statue as he never had the opportunity to meet Patel in his life. To understand and finalize the right expression, he had to dig out the details and had to read a lot about him. They had shortlisted around 2,500 pictures of Patel to finalize the sculpture. Every muscle has to be sculpted finely with the right texture, since designing such a giant statue is not an easy task.

 

Statue of Unity, honouring Sardar Patel, set to be the World's Tallest Statue
Statue of Unity, honouring Sardar Patel, set to be the World’s Tallest Statue

First, a 3ft clay model was prepared at his Noida Studio after which it was enlarged to 18 ft and then to 30 ft clay model. It took around one year to complete the work and in the project his son Anil Ram Sutar also mades his contributions.

It was also very challenging to find the right kind of construction associates who can partner with a project of this enormity. Later a Chinese foundry was finalized to offer their expertise in the casting of bronze parts. The outer layer of the Statue was made of bronze and small pieces were assembled at the site of construction.

The statue also has a lift that can take viewers to a great height inside the statue. Standing at almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, the Statue of Unity project also consists of a memorial garden, visitor’s center and miles of roadways and bridges to connect the statue to the other parts of country.

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