Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday dedicated to the nation a 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, believed to be the tallest in the world and said it will be a reminder about the courage of a man who thwarted efforts to disintegrate India.
Gujarat Governor O P Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Amit Shah were present at the unveiling of the 'Statue of Unity'.
The ceremony coincided with Patel's 143rd birth anniversary.
Had Sardar Patel not united the country, we would need visas to see lions or pay homage at Somnath or view the Charminar in Hyderabad, the prime minister said.
He added that the statue will remind those who question India's existence that this nation was, is and will remain eternal.
He described the Statue of Unity as a symbol of the country's engineering and technical capabilities.
It has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure.
A viewing gallery has been created at a height of 135 metres inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of the dam and nearby mountain ranges.
(With inputs from agencies.)