New Delhi (NVI): Within a span of one year, more than 26 lakh tourists visited India’s ‘Statue of Unity’, the highest statue of the world double the size of Statue of Liberty, as it retained its name in Time magazine’s list of 100 most important tourist destinations across the globe.
This was informed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 58th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ on October 27.
The Statue of Unity portrays Indian freedom fighter Sardar Vallabh Bhai patel, who played a lead role in integrating different princely states into India, post its independence.
“You will be happy to note that in a year, more than 26 lakh tourists visited the ‘Statue of Unity’. This means that an average of eight and a half thousand people witnessed the grandeur of the ‘Statue of Unity’ every day,” the Prime Minister said.
“October 31, 2018, is the day when the ‘Statue of Unity’ was dedicated to the nation and the world in memory of Sardar Saheb. It is the tallest statue in the world. It is double in height compared to the ‘Statue of Liberty’ located in the US,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister will be visiting the Statue of Unity ahead of 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
Hailing the Statue of Unity, Modi said, “The reverence and devotion for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in their hearts was reflected in the form of homage paid to him.”
“Besides, at present, it houses many centres of attraction such as Cactus Garden, Butterfly Garden, Jungle Safari, and Children’s Nutrition Park, Ekta Nursery, which are all constantly evolving and providing a fillip to the local economy,” he said.
“Local people are not only getting innovative opportunities for employment but for the convenience of visiting tourists, many villagers are providing facilities like homestays. And these hosts are being professionally trained in the technique of running a homestay,” he added.
He further said, “The locals have now started the cultivation of Dragon fruit and I am sure that it will soon become a major source of livelihood for the people there.”
He stressed that ‘Statue of Unity’ can be a subject of research for India and the constituent states, as well as for the tourism industry.
“People arrive there from the country and abroad. And one after the other, ancillary services like transport, lodging, guides and eco-friendly services are getting inducted by themselves,” said Modi.
“A large economy is developing and people are generating facilities as per the requirement of the tourists. The government is also playing its role,” he added.
Informing that ‘Statue of Unity’ has retained its name in the Time magazine’s list of 100 important tourist destinations around the world, Modi said, “of course I hope, that all of you will devote some of your precious time to visit the ‘Statue of Unity’. But my appeal is, that every Indian who takes out time to travel must visit at least 15 Tourist Destinations of India with family and experience a night stay at whichever place you go to.”