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Statue of Unity - Engineering

The SoU stands tall as an inspiration to future generations, a reminder of Sardar Patel’s sterling contribution and a symbol of national harmony and integrity. At 182 meters from the road entry and 208.5 meters from the river entry, the SoU is the tallest statue in the world. For a sense of its height, the statue is 100 times larger than a man of average height of about 5 to 5 and a half feet!

  • The statue is regarded as a lifelike representation of Sardar Patel in characteristic garb in a walking pose.
  • It rises out of a star-shaped, geometric base that covers the entire Sadhu Hill
  • It has a unique, lean width to height ratio, far more exacting than existing technical norms, that calls for special engineering considerations>
  • The structure has two vertical cores, each housing a high-speed passenger elevator
  • The vertical cores support the steel frames to which about 6500 bronze panels are clad
  • A viewing gallery at the 135 m level, at the chest, can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one go and affords a breath-taking view of the dam and its environs

Material Used in Construction

  • 210,000 cubic meters of cement concrete poured into the statue
  • 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel
  • 6,500 tonnes of structural steel
  • 1,700 tonnes of bronze
  • 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding made up of some 565 macro & 6,000 micro panels

Engineering Challenges

Natural factors like wind and earthquakes posed stiff challenges. Situated right in the middle of the river Narmada, the statue is exposed to the tunnel effect of winds blowing down the river. The statue has been engineered to withstand wind speeds of up to 50 m per second (almost 180 km/hr).

Also, to arrest any sway of such a tall structure, two Tuned Mass Dampers of 250 tonnes each have been used. In any given situation, all the four corners of the base raft remain rooted to the ground.

The SoU can also survive earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale, at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue.

The walking pose of statue opened up a gap of 6.4 meters between the two feet which then had to be tested to withstand wind velocity.

Since Patel’s face was an important aspect, special care was taken in casting the facial features that had to be as close as possible to the Sardar’s face.

Statue of Unity

SOU Construction

Statue of Unity