The world’s tallest statue, which portrays one of the founding fathers of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home state of Gujarat on Oct. 31.
Sardar Patel, known as the “Iron Man,” was instrumental in the integration of nearly 500 princely states into the Indian union after independence.
At a height of 240 metres, the iron and bronze statue is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. and cost $420 million to build.
It will be the tallest statue in the world, beating China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which stands at 153 metres.
The statue is seen as a not-so-subtle bid by Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to appropriate an independence-era hero associated with the opposition Congress party.
The statue is set against the basalt rocks of the Vindhyachal and Satpura hills, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, on the island of Sadhu Bet, in the river Narmada.
© 2018 Reuters