Let us know in detail, 12,000 meters tall and decorated with uniquely crafted bronze panels, India’s 50-storey Statue of Unity is a triumph of aesthetics and engineering. It is made from molten old farm equipment.
How was the tallest statue in the world built? There are few subjects more appropriate for the tallest statue in the world than Iron Man.
Indian politician and independence activist Vallabhbhai Patel has been nicknamed the ‘Iron Man of India’ for his incredible nation-building work that united all 562 independent princely states on the subcontinent after the British abruptly withdrew in the 1940s.
The statue was commissioned to celebrate Patel’s monumental achievement. And to underline the fact that it is for all Indians, farmers across the country helped to make their old unused scrap iron.
Is it built on a river island?
It was attended by about 100 million farmers, producing 129 tons of scrap iron, which is melted to form the foundation of the statue today.
The statue itself is 182 meters high, and this was no accident as the Gujarati legislature had the same number of seats.
It is built on a river island, facing the mighty Narmada Dam, where Patel grew up. That dam, like modern India, was partly his idea.
Renowned Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar, a coveted winner of the Padma Bhushan award for service to his country, was chosen to lead the design team.
He had already made a statue of Patel, who currently resides at the Ahmedabad International Airport.
Carpenter reportedly combed through thousands of photographs and consulted several historians to find the perfect resemblance to his masterpiece.
He then made models, first 3 feet high, then 18 feet, then 30 feet. With the model used as a reference by the Chinese casting company Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts, the finished clay model underwent careful 3D scanning, where The bronze outer layer was constructed.
How many laborers worked on this project?
Funding for the project came from various sources, mostly the Gujarat government, but also private donations and even a fun-run marathon. In all, it was estimated to cost approximately US$400 million.
Red.com will oversee the project along with Singapore-based Meinhardy Group and Indian infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro.
About 4,076 laborers along with 250 engineers worked on the project for 57 months.
The honest work began when Narendra Modi, the then Prime Minister of Gujarat, now Prime Minister, laid the foundation stone on 31 October 2013, Patel’s 138th birthday.
It was flattened from 70 meters to just 55 meters, so that the foundation could be laid. Of the many thorny engineering problems that had to be overcome, the most striking relates to the sculpture’s so-called thinness ratio.
This basically means that tall structures should ideally be thinner at the top than at the bottom.
The Ram V Sutar statue of Vallabhbhai Patel, however, is quite narrow at the base. In addition, the statue’s strictly progressive stance means that the graceful sanded feet are about 6.5 meters apart.
- The best way to solve this problem was to make two separate concrete cores.
- The same kind of core you might have seen a hundred times on skyscraper construction sites.
- Between them, these cores contain approximately 210,000 cubic meters of cement and concrete, 6,500 tons of structural steel and 18,500 tons of reinforced steel.
- Working in the hot climate of Gujarat created challenges for the concrete pouring team.
- Those needed to use an assortment of chiller systems to keep them cool enough to set the all-important coarse aggregate element of concrete.
- Lift shafts are hidden inside each core to take tourists to the observation gallery.
- Where more than 200 delighted spectators can see hundreds of acres of manicured grounds through strategically hidden rips in the Narmada Dam and Patel ki Dhoti.