The Patel work, dubbed the Statue of Unity, stands at nearly 600 feet tall and is almost twice as high as the Statue of Liberty.
Sometimes size really matters when you want to make a statement. It's a notion the creators of an effigy of India's lauded politician and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel probably had in mind when designing this monument.
The statue is certainly larger than life, created from a sky-high budget of roughly $400 million. Officially inaugurated on Wednesday in India's district of Narmada in the state of Gujarat. The statue also tops what used to be the world's tallest artistic testament, that being the Spring Temple in Buddha located in China, which is roughly 177 feet shorter.
The size is probably a critical method to get India's citizens to become more familiar with some of the country's unsung heroes of its drive to independence from British rule back in 1947. While most of the world credits Mahatma Gandhi for liberating India from the powers of colonialism, the current Hindu nationalist government wants to pay tribute to some of the country's lesser-known movers and shakers of the independence movement.
Often hailed as the Iron Man of India, and the country's first deputy prime minister, Patel is recognized more for his work after independence. HIs biggest job involved integrating nearly 600 princely states with the rest of India, recognized as a dominion in its post-British dominion years. That was no small task, considering many of them wanted to either remain as kingdoms or consolidate with India's chief rivals Pakistan. The geographical shape of India on the world map is largely a result of Patel's work.
Commissioned by the government in 2010 and taking roughly nearly two years to build, the construction of the statue hasn't been without its share of controversy. The work required the excavation of 1,700 tons of bronze and 25,000 tons of steel, not to mention the raw materials extracted to make nearly 6.8 million cubic feet, has been targeted by protesters for damaging the environmental landscape and taking property away from the indigenous Adivasi people who were living on the site where the statue was built.