Rai University, Ahmedabad, had organized a one day visit to the historic Statue of Unity – The World’s Tallest Statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on 25th September, 2019, along with all undergraduate first year students enrolled. The Statue was built as a symbol of unity and peace and to commemorate the contribution of Shri Sardar Patel, the first deputy Prime Minister of India and a revered freedom fighter. The Statue was inaugurated recently on 31st October 2018, and till then had become a popular tourist spot. The Statue of Unity is a testimonial to the life of Shri Sardar Patel, a role model of unity and statesmanship. The tallest statue of the world enjoys a splendidly scenic location facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam, 3.2 kilometres away. This colossal statue stands on the isle of Sadhu-Bet in River Narmada, at Kevadia, District Rajpipla in the Indian State of Gujarat, with the majestic Vindhyachal and Satpuda Mountain Ranges in the backdrop. The statue is fast becoming one of the country’s top tourist attractions. During the visit we had visited many scenic spots and the learning’s from the visit were quite fruitful.
All students and staff had visited ‘The Monument’, wherein an observation deck was made within the statue at the height of 135 metres that can accommodate 200 people at a time and had offered a panoramic view of the beautiful Vindhyachal and Satpuda Mountain ranges, the 214 kilometre long Sardar Sarovar Reservoir and the 12 kms long Garudeshwar Reservoir.
The visit to ‘Museum’ offered a unique experience and education to students. The museum at the base of the statue had modern audio-visual systems for an inspiring insight into the life and work of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The visit to ‘Sardar Sarovar Dam’ had helped to gain lot of knowledge. The dam being the third highest concrete dam (163 metres) in India is ranked as the second largest in the world with an aggregate volume of 6.82 million cubic metre; This dam, with its spillway discharging capacity of 85,000 cubic metre per second (3 million cubic foot per second), stands third in the world. During the visit, it was learned that the reservoir occupied an area of 37,000 hectares and had linear stretch of 214 kilometre of water and an average width of 1.77 kilometre. The Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of the Sardar Sarovar Dam was fixed at RL 138.68 metres (455 feet).
Thereafter, visit to ‘The Valley of Flowers’ was quite fascinating as it was spread across 600 acres with a length of 6 kilometre from Vindhyachal and 11 kilometre on Satpuda side. The Valley of Flower began with 48,000 plants in 2016 and had now reached upto 2,400,000 plants. There were five unique creations at the valley in the form of thematic parks-gardens namely: Garden of Senses and Panchatatva Garden, Green Energy and Upcycling Park, Sardar Park, Butterfly Garden and Adventure Park. Besides the parks, several photo booths and selfie points were developed to take back memories of the visit. Two beautifully located lotus ponds had enhanced the student’s experience. Lastly, visit to the ‘Laser Light and Sound Show’ was unforgettable. The mesmerizing show had demonstrated celebration of the unification of India after Independence. This was a must-see show instilling a feeling of pride and national unity whilst depicting Sardar Patel’s vision for India. Thus, the entire visit had inspired students and had imbibed feelings of unity, patriotism and inclusive growth.
Overall the visit served to demonstrate as classical example of a unique grand project that had created social infrastructure, employment generation, tribal’s development and most important was environment protection. Also, another fascinating feature observed during the visit was that together with providing food, accommodation and visitor facilities to tourists, the hospitality and entertainment projects in the vicinity of the statue were helping in realizing the potential of tourism and generating employment for the local people. The project was encompassed with restaurants and recreational spots to make the area an attractive tourist destination, thus facilitating tourism and employment in the surrounding tribal region. Thus, it was indeed a memorable experience for all students that were accompanied by university faculty members and visit served to be a true inspiration for them.