India proposes Statue of Unity as eighth wonder

Statue of Unity, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Soho House, Time Magazine, The Federal, English news website
Standing tall at 597 ft on an island in the Narmada River, the Statue of Unity towers over the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. Photo: PTI File

India has proposed the Statue of Unity as ‘eighth wonder’ at the ongoing tourism campaign of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) according to reports.

The Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, independent India’s first home minister as well as deputy prime minister. The structure was chosen after Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) approval over Hampi in Karnataka and the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra and the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Other six of the remaining countries present at the summit proposed historical sites while one nominated the natural beauty of a lake according to The Hindustan Times.

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The SCO Secretariat in Beijing had earlier this year requested its member countries to suggest a tourism destination that could be promoted.

The 597-ft tall Statue of Unity in Gujarat has also been featured by the Time magazine in its second annual list of the 2019 World’s greatest places, a compilation of 100 new and newly “noteworthy destinations to experience right now”.

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According to the website of the Statue of Unity, the structure is aimed to inspire generations and showcases Patel’s vision on unity, patriotism, inclusive growth and good governance. Till now 2.06 million people have visited the statue, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Patel’s birth anniversary on October 31, 2018.