Getting Awed by Statue of Unity || Travelling Camera in Gujarat

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.  


One fact that helped us overcome the disappointment of missing Gir was that Statue of Unity was about 200kms from Ahmedabad and just about 100km from Vadodara, which was another city we were planning to visit. Even though this did not completely make up for Gir, but it gave us enough excitement to dedicate a day to the site of the newly constructed statue.

One fact that helped us overcome the disappointment of missing Gir was that Statue of Unity was about 200kms from Ahmedabad and just about 100km from Vadodara, which was another city we were planning to visit. Even though this did not completely make up for Gir, but it gave us enough excitement to dedicate a day to the site of the newly constructed statue. 

We went to Statue of Unity on our last day in Gujarat. We had hired an Ola Outstation for two days. It was to take us to some sites around Ahmedabad and then to Vadodara, from there to statue of Unity on the last day and then back to Ahmedabad airport. We started at about 9 o'clock from our hotel in Vadodara and were soon on a smooth, beautiful highway. With music keeping us company, it was a beautiful and serene drive compared to the rough one of the previous day.

We went to Statue of Unity on our last day in Gujarat. We had hired an Ola Outstation for two days. It was to take us to some sites around Ahmedabad and then to Vadodara, from there to statue of Unity on the last day and then back to Ahmedabad airport. We started at about 9 o'clock from our hotel in Vadodara and were soon on a smooth, beautiful highway. With music keeping us company, it was a beautiful and serene drive compared to the rough one of the previous day. 


As we neared our destination, I started watching out for signs of Statue of Unity. At about 11 km from the statue, I was able to make out the silhouette in the distance on the left side of the highway. In no time, VJ and our driver was also able to spot it. The day was clear and I was very focused on spotting the statue. Those were the only reasons we could spot it. Otherwise it is difficult from such a distance.

As we neared our destination, I started watching out for signs of Statue of Unity. At about 11 km from the statue, I was able to make out the silhouette in the distance on the left side of the highway. In no time, VJ and our driver was also able to spot it. The day was clear and I was very focused on spotting the statue. Those were the only reasons we could spot it. Otherwise it is difficult from such a distance. 


As we drew closer, the statue came into the view, despite being prepared for it being huge, the actual sight completely overwhelmed us. It was simply the largest image of a human being we had ever seen. As we drew closer, the details impressed us as well - the nails, the wrinkles around the eyes, the knitting of the jacket, the buttons, the folds of the dhoti, and the nails. It was simply amazing.

As we drew closer, the statue came into the view, despite being prepared for it being huge, the actual sight completely overwhelmed us. It was simply the largest image of a human being we had ever seen. As we drew closer, the details impressed us as well - the nails, the wrinkles around the eyes, the knitting of the jacket, the buttons, the folds of the dhoti, and the nails. It was simply amazing. 


The terrain grew slightly hilly now and we were now driving alongside Narmada river. Very soon we came across the first gate. Visitors can choose to park their vehicles in a parking ground near this gate and board shuttles that can take them to the various points of interest in the Statue of Unity complex. These are comfortable AC buses that you thank the authorities for because of the unforgiving heat.

The terrain grew slightly hilly now and we were now driving alongside Narmada river. Very soon we came across the first gate. Visitors can choose to park their vehicles in a parking ground near this gate and board shuttles that can take them to the various points of interest in the Statue of Unity complex. These are comfortable AC buses that you thank the authorities for because of the unforgiving heat. 


The setting of the statue is quite perfect actually and you can see many little projects coming up around the area to make this remote location an attractive tourist destination. There are wildlife sanctuaries, gardens, amusement parks coming up all around. Hope all this development happens in a sustainable way and also does not take away the dignity of the place. We spotted some dinosaur statues lying on their sides along the road. That in particular runs a risk of looking tacky. Let's see.

The setting of the statue is quite perfect actually and you can see many little projects coming up around the area to make this remote location an attractive tourist destination. There are wildlife sanctuaries, gardens, amusement parks coming up all around. Hope all this development happens in a sustainable way and also does not take away the dignity of the place. We spotted some dinosaur statues lying on their sides along the road. That in particular runs a risk of looking tacky. Let's see.


Anyways, we did not park our cab at the first entrance. Instead we drove onward. Right in front of the entrance to the statue complex is a small cluster of shops. These mostly serve fried Gujarati snacks. We asked our driver to park here. Our driver, who looked barely past teenage, was gushing by now. This was the first time he was seeing the statue. He continuously talked about how he is going to bring his family here very soon. His excitement was infectious.

Anyways, we did not park our cab at the first entrance. Instead we drove onward. Right in front of the entrance to the statue complex is a small cluster of shops. These mostly serve fried Gujarati snacks. We asked our driver to park here. Our driver, who looked barely past teenage, was gushing by now. This was the first time he was seeing the statue. He continuously talked about how he is going to bring his family here very soon. His excitement was infectious. 


We asked our driver to park the cab near the market and crossed the road to enter the complex. There was a long queue for entrance. Vijay went to buy the tickets while I stood in the queue. The queue to the ticket counter was much shorter. The authorities have been considerate enough to construct a roof along the entire length of the area where people are expected to queue up. And all along the queue there are vendors selling water and soft drinks as well as some snacks such as chips and biscuits. One usually does not appreciate such measures, but Gujarat's heat makes you realize their worth.

We asked our driver to park the cab near the market and crossed the road to enter the complex. There was a long queue for entrance. Vijay went to buy the tickets while I stood in the queue. The queue to the ticket counter was much shorter. The authorities have been considerate enough to construct a roof along the entire length of the area where people are expected to queue up. And all along the queue there are vendors selling water and soft drinks as well as some snacks such as chips and biscuits. One usually does not appreciate such measures, but Gujarat's heat makes you realize their worth. 


One ticket costs Rs. 360 if you also buy for the chest-level viewing gallery, Sardar Sarovar Dam view point, and Valley of Flowers. We bought the tickets for the entire experience because we did not know if we would ever be back here. There's so much more to see in the world, so we believe one should explore each place as much as possible. There's no point repeating destinations. The Statue of Unity is quite new, so we felt that we were here at the right time too. Everything is perfect right now.

One ticket costs Rs. 360 if you also buy for the chest-level viewing gallery, Sardar Sarovar Dam view point, and Valley of Flowers. We bought the tickets for the entire experience because we did not know if we would ever be back here. There's so much more to see in the world, so we believe one should explore each place as much as possible. There's no point repeating destinations. The Statue of Unity is quite new, so we felt that we were here at the right time too. Everything is perfect right now. 


Anyways, it was a fast-moving queue and we were able to enter the complex within 15 minutes. There is a food court just before the entrance and it is a good idea to enter with a full stomach, because you can easily spend two hours around the statue and inside the museum, but food is not allowed inside.

Anyways, it was a fast-moving queue and we were able to enter the complex within 15 minutes. There is a food court just before the entrance and it is a good idea to enter with a full stomach, because you can easily spend two hours around the statue and inside the museum, but food is not allowed inside. 

There are two viewing galleries - one near the feet of the statue and one at the chest level. We first went to the one at the foot-level. You can take selfies and 360 degree shots. However, the statue is too tall, so it is difficult to capture it in one shot. Not impossible though. From this gallery, you can admire the detailing of the statue.

There are two viewing galleries - one near the feet of the statue and one at the chest level. We first went to the one at the foot-level. You can take selfies and 360 degree shots. However, the statue is too tall, so it is difficult to capture it in one shot. Not impossible though. From this gallery, you can admire the detailing of the statue. 

After visiting the viewing gallery at the foot level, we climbed down and entered the museum. Here you can find details about how the statue was made. And also details about the life of Sardar Patel. There's also a short movie that you can watch. This is also the place where you can board the elevators that take you to the chest-level gallery. You are assigned slots in your tickets. We had 12-2 slot and were a little early. So we had some spare time on our hands. We spent it roaming around.

After visiting the viewing gallery at the foot level, we climbed down and entered the museum. Here you can find details about how the statue was made. And also details about the life of Sardar Patel. There's also a short movie that you can watch. This is also the place where you can board the elevators that take you to the chest-level gallery. You are assigned slots in your tickets. We had 12-2 slot and were a little early. So we had some spare time on our hands. We spent it roaming around. 

Sharp at 12, we queued outside the elevators that would take us to the chest-level viewing gallery. And in no time found ourselves inside an elevator that was packed to capacity. Soon we were at the chest-level of the statue. And that too is really high up. The view from the gallery too is quite beautiful. But this area is not air-conditioned and can get quite hot. We spent less than 5 minutes here, clicked a few pictures and then headed back down.

Sharp at 12, we queued outside the elevators that would take us to the chest-level viewing gallery. And in no time found ourselves inside an elevator that was packed to capacity. Soon we were at the chest-level of the statue. And that too is really high up. The view from the gallery too is quite beautiful. But this area is not air-conditioned and can get quite hot. We spent less than 5 minutes here, clicked a few pictures and then headed back down. 

After this, we headed out and caught a shuttle to the Sardar Sarovar Dam viewpoint. Once we were in the shuttle, it took us about 10 minutes to reach the viewpoint. This is a cottage like structure from where you can see the dam quite clearly while standing in shelter. One should definitely visit this place. Remember to keep drinking lots of fluids though. You will also find people selling peanuts here. It is a good idea to grab a few to keep you nourished.

After this, we headed out and caught a shuttle to the Sardar Sarovar Dam viewpoint. Once we were in the shuttle, it took us about 10 minutes to reach the viewpoint. This is a cottage like structure from where you can see the dam quite clearly while standing in shelter. One should definitely visit this place. Remember to keep drinking lots of fluids though. You will also find people selling peanuts here. It is a good idea to grab a few to keep you nourished. 

After the Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint, we took the shuttle to the Valley of Flowers. You will find flowers of all colors and sizes here and many butterflies too. You can also click pictures of the statue from here. However, this can be one site that can also feel underwhelming after all the build-up. So go with moderate expectations. After clicking a few pictures here, you can take the shuttle back to the statue complex or to the main entrance, wherever your vehicle is parked.

After the Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint, we took the shuttle to the Valley of Flowers. You will find flowers of all colors and sizes here and many butterflies too. You can also click pictures of the statue from here. However, this can be one site that can also feel underwhelming after all the build-up. So go with moderate expectations. After clicking a few pictures here, you can take the shuttle back to the statue complex or to the main entrance, wherever your vehicle is parked. 

We took the shuttle back to the Statue Complex where our cab was parked. We had a few snacks there with chilled soft drinks and started the drive back to Ahmedabad. Though our trip to Vadodara had been full of disappointments, this trip to the statue of Unity had been completely worth it. But by the end of it we were hungry and exhausted, despite the fact that we had taken care to stay hydrated and nourished.

We took the shuttle back to the Statue Complex where our cab was parked. We had a few snacks there with chilled soft drinks and started the drive back to Ahmedabad. Though our trip to Vadodara had been full of disappointments, this trip to the statue of Unity had been completely worth it. But by the end of it we were hungry and exhausted, despite the fact that we had taken care to stay hydrated and nourished.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Above photograph shows the view of entrance section of Statue of Unity and the photograph is clicked from the base of the Statue. 

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Above photograph shows the view of the river Narmada from the top of the Statue of Unity in Gujrat. Somehow I was expecting a lot more from the top but it was not as impressive experience as I was imagining. And to make it worst, air conditioning of the space is pretty poor so you feel like going down in very less time. It's a very small space on the top with 2 sides with view and approximately 100 people at a time on the floor. 

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Here is another photograph of Narmada river and Sardar Sarovar Dam clicked from top of the Statue of Unity. 

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.

Our initial plan for our trip to Gujarat was very different from what it turned out to be at the end. For some reason, Google Maps decided to tell us (incorrectly) that Gir National Park is just half an hour drive from Ahmedabad. We definitely wanted to go to Gir, so booked the flight tickets to Ahmedabad. Don't judge us. This trip was literally planned just one day before the date of journey. After that, a friend enlightened us to the fact that Gir is actually a day-long drive from Ahmedabad. It was too late to change the flights, so we decided to make the most of our trip and plan for Gir some other time.


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