Over 27,000 people on Saturday visited the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Narmada district, the highest since the Sardar Patel memorial was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 and opened to the public on November 1.
The statue, built on an islet near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadiya, at 182 metres is the tallest such structure in the world.
With the capacity of the high-speed lift which takes tourists to the viewing gallery inside the statue being 5,000 persons per day, the state government asked people to plan their trip to the memorial keeping this aspect in mind.
The viewers gallery inside the statue is at a height of 135 metres and can accommodate up to 200 persons at one time.
Narmada district Collector R S Ninama, while confirming that 27,000 tourists visited on Saturday, said the administration was expecting the figure to go further up Sunday.
He told PTI the high number of tourists was because of Diwali vacations and the Gujarati New Year holiday.
Mr Ninama said the number of feeder buses ferrying visitors from the parking lot to the statue had been increased to 40 from 15 for Sunday.
In a statement, the state government appealed to the visitors “to plan their trip keeping in mind the timing as well as the capacity of the infrastructure at the Statue of Unity.”
The government statement also informed visitors that the memorial remains closed every Monday for maintenance.
“The two lifts at the Statue of Unity can carry up to 5,000 people in a day to the observation deck (viewing gallery). Therefore, all visitors are requested to plan their visits keeping in mind the timings as well as the capacity of the infrastructure,” the statement said.
“It is a request to the people of Gujarat to plan their visits in a way that there is no overcrowding and no one comes back disappointed from the Statue of Unity visit,” it added.
Apart from the statue, people can go to the Visitors Centre, souvenir shop, exhibition hall, viewing gallery among other attractions.
The entry ticket for the statue and viewing gallery is Rs 350 for adults and Rs 200 for children in the 3-15 age group.