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India unveils world’s tallest statue



India on Wednesday unveiled the world ’ s tallest statue in the western state of Gujurat in celebration of her unity .Towering at 182 metres , the Statue of Unity is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel , a hero of India ’ s freedom struggle and the country ’ s first deputy prime minister .

Patel , a Gujarati, was known as the ‘ Iron man of India ’ as he went about persuading all the princely states to join the Indian union after independence from British rule in 1947 .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi , who also hails from Gujarat, dedicated Patel ’ s statue to the people of India on the 142 nd birth anniversary of the statesman ’ s birth .

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The record – breaking monument , which towers over the Narmada River , was built at a cost of 29 . 89 billion rupees ( 430 million dollars ) .

Based on award – winning sculptor Ram Sutar ’ s creation , the statue was built by engineering firm Larsen and Toubro .

The bronze statue, which depicts Patel wearing the traditional Indian attire of a dhoti and a shawl , took 33 months to build and involved 250 engineers and 3400 workers , according to the Press Information Bureau of India .

“ To build this statue, [ hundreds of thousands ) of farmers from all over India came together to donate their tools , portions of their soil and a mass movement developed around the statue, ” Modi said in his speech .

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Thousands of policemen guarded the venue during the inauguration , as local tribal people have been holding protests in recent months claiming the project had destroyed natural resources , the Times of India newspaper reported .

The 128 – metre Spring Temple Buddha in China had previously held the record for the tallest statue.

( dpa / NAN )