I have visited the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, located in Gujarat, India. It was a Friday in February 2019 when I visited, and I went there from Surat at around 5 in the evening.
Table of Contents
Types of Tickets Available
|Ordinary||Allows visitors to go up to the steps of the statue||Rs 120|
|Gallery||Allows visitors to access the observation deck and go up to the chest of the statue||Rs 350|
There were two types of tickets available to visit the statue. The first type allowed visitors to go up to the steps of the statue, while the second type of ticket was for the observation deck. With the second type of ticket, visitors could take the lift and go up to the chest of the statue, where the observation gallery is located. The gallery ticket was priced at Rs 350, as against Rs 120 for the ordinary ticket.
Limited Gallery Tickets
I was surprised to find that on weekdays, the gallery tickets were completely sold out. I was told that they sell a limited number of gallery tickets, which is around 7000 per day. Despite this, based on the number of tickets sold, the Statue of Unity has been a huge success. Those who criticize it have to find problems in every solution.
Arguments against the Statue of Unity
Some people argue that the Statue of Unity is a waste of money, as it took Rs 3000 crores to make. They claim that if the SoU can only collect a profit of 80 crores in a year, it will take 40 years to break even. However, this argument is flawed because the government could have placed this amount in a fixed deposit and received over Rs 200 crore as interest. By this logic, the government should abandon all projects and keep the money in a fixed deposit in a bank.
Benefits of the Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is not just a structure but is supported by infrastructure that creates thousands of jobs and new opportunities within a radius of at least 100 km around the statue. From bus drivers to ticket sellers, hoteliers to engineers and project managers, the SoU has provided many job opportunities. It is beautifully maintained and administered, and is a project that is meant to last for centuries. Over time, it will give dividends many times more than its investment.
Visiting the Statue of Unity
The experience of being at the Statue of Unity was wonderful. Although I could not visit the observation deck due to non-availability of tickets, the high foundation of the statue was high enough to give me a breathtaking view of the valley. Despite having visited Europe and Singapore, this statue will remain one of the biggest structures I have seen in my life. The museum below it teaches visitors about the founding fathers of India, and the laser light show is the climax in the evening. I spent more than 3 hours around this idol without any boredom.
Benefiting Tourism in Gujarat
Visiting the Statue of Unity give many people the opportunity to explore many beautiful places in Gujarat, including the White Rann of Kutch, Sabarmati Ashram, Vintage Car Museum in Ahmedabad, Swaminarayan Temple, Adalaj Ki Vav near Gandhinagar, and Laxmi Vilas Palace of Gaekwad royalty in Baroda. That way, the statue is benefiting tourism in the entire Gujarat region.