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Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi


During his eight years, Narendra Modi launched many architectural initiatives – from the Statue of Unity to the new upcoming Parliament building. The statues, the temples, the bridges, the tunnel are all a representation of the new India that he wants to portray to the world

India under Narendra Modi has changed dramatically. Since taking the reins of the country in 2014, the prime minister has not only brought about social and economic change, but there have also been many architectural marvels in his reign.

Over time, the Narendra Modi years will be remembered as the season of jaw-dropping gigantic sculptures and never-before-seen tunnels and bridges.

From towering statues to the longest bridges, here is a list of some of the most amazing architectural marvels that were built under Narendra Modi’s regime.

Statue of Unity

The Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world, by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, towers over the settlement of Kevadia about 200 km from Ahmedabad. AFP

In October 2018, Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity, a giant 182 meter structure built in honor of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district of Gujarat .

Now holding the record for the tallest statue in the world – it’s twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.

The ambitious project cost Rs 2,389 crores and required 25,000 tons of iron and 90,000 tons of cement. Nearly 3,400 workers and 250 engineers worked 24 hours a day on the site.

In 2021, the statue has become an international tourist destination, with the gigantic monument attracting more than five million visitors from around the world.

Bogibeel Bridge

Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi

The Bogibeel Bridge is the second longest road-rail bridge in Asia. The 4.9km bridge cuts train travel time between Tinsukia in Assam and the town of Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh by more than 10 hours. PTI

It was a moment of celebration and pride when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 4.94 km long Bogibeel Bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra. With this, India got its longest road-rail bridge.

It also boasts of being the second longest road-rail bridge in Asia. The 4.9km bridge cuts train travel time between Tinsukia in Assam and the town of Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh by more than 10 hours.

The project was initially sanctioned at a cost of Rs 3,230.02 crore and the final cost has been revised to Rs 5,920 crore.

Apart from providing better connectivity to the public, the bridge also helps strengthen its defense needs along the Sino-Indian border.

Atal Tunnel

Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi posing at the entrance to the Atal highway tunnel, near Manali in the state of Himachal Pradesh. AFP

The all-weather Atal tunnel was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2020.

Situated at an altitude of over 10,000ft, the 9.02km tunnel – connecting Manali to Lahaul – has been recognized as the world’s longest single-tube highway at this height by London’s World Book of Records.

This iconic tunnel is an engineering marvel in the Himalayas and has proven to be a game-changer for the districts of Lahaul and Spiti as it provides safe and all-weather connectivity to remote areas, and eventually the rest of the India.

Apart from travel safety, the tunnel, constructed at a cost of Rs 3,200 crore, has reduced the distance between Manali and Keylong by 46 km, saving more than two hours in travel time.

Statue of Adi Shankaracharya

Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi

Made from chlorite schist, a rock known to withstand rain, sun and harsh climate, the statue of Adi Guru Shankaracharya weighs 35 tons. Image Courtesy: @DDNational/Twitter

On the morning of November 5, 2021, ahead of the Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 12ft tall statue of Guru Adi Shankaracharya in Kedarnath.

The Shankaracharya statue, weighing 35 tons, was built at the seer’s samadhi sthal which was refurbished after suffering heavy damage in the 2013 flood.

The Hindustan Times reported that Mysore sculptor Yogiraj Shilpi completed work on the statue with the help of his son, Arun. Yogiraj was hired by the Prime Minister’s Office after a nationwide search. Yogiraj started working on making the statue in September 2020.

Kashi Vishwanath Corridor

Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi

The Kashi Vishwanath corridor connects the various ghats to the historic Kashi Vishwanath Dham near the iconic and one of the oldest ghats – Dashashwamedh Ghat. AFP

“Today, history has been made by bringing to life the socio-cultural history of this ancient city, which vibrates with Hindu philosophy as enshrined in our religious books,” Narendra Modi said as he inaugurated the Kashi Corridor. Vishwanath from Rs 700 crore to Varanasi in December 2021.

The Kashi Vishwanath Corridor Project connects the various ghats to the historic Kashi Vishwanath Dham near the iconic and one of the oldest ghats – Dashashwamedh Ghat.

As part of the project, the area around the temple was reduced from 3,000 to five square feet. Around 40 temples have been restored to their original glory here and 23 buildings have been added to the structure providing various facilities.

Thanks to the project, pilgrims no longer have to cross congested alleys to visit the temple, as it would be directly visible from the Ganges and easily accessible.

In a 45-minute speech, Narendra Modi said India was focusing on reviving its lost heritage and breaking out of the “inferiority” complex caused by centuries of “slavery”.

“Tyrants attacked this city, tried to destroy it. History bears witness to the atrocities of Aurangzeb, to his terror. He tried to change civilization with the sword,” he said. “But the soil in this country is different from the rest of the world. Here, if an Aurangzeb comes, a Shivaji also rises,” he added, raising the chant of “Har Har Mahadev,” associated with the Hindu god Shiva.

In his speech, Modi called Varanasi “imperishable” and a “class apart”, and confronted his political opponents. He said that when the corridor was designed, some people, because of their personal and political interests, used to say, “How will this be?” It will not arrive. Many people like Modi have come and gone.

“But Kashi is Kashi. Kashi is imperishable,” he added. “There is only one government in Kashi, the Mahadev government which holds damru in its hand.”

Hanuman Statue

Statues, temples, bridges, tunnel – the many architectural marvels of India by Narendra Modi

The 108 foot statue of Lord Hanuman in the Morbi of Gujarat. PTI

On the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, the Prime Minister unveiled a 108ft statue of Lord Hanuman in Gujarat’s Morbi. The statue is the second of four statues erected in four parts of the country, as part of the Hanumanji Char Dham project.

Upcoming projects

Ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections, other engineering and architectural gems are to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: The inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is scheduled for 2023. Temple authorities recently released a 3D video giving an overview of the project. The video gives a quick virtual tour of what the Ram Temple will look like once construction is complete.

The temple should be a three story structure with garbh griha and five mandapas.

Chenab Bridge: In September, the world will finally receive the world’s tallest railway bridge in the form of the Chenab Bridge. Located in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, it is 1,315 meters long and aims to enhance connectivity with the Kashmir valley.

When completed, the Chenab Bridge will have the distinction of being the highest railway bridge in the world at 359 meters above riverbed level. For reference, it is 35 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in France.

Netaji Statue at India Gate: In January, Narendra Modi announced that his government would install a statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at India Gate to honor his contribution to the independence movement.

The large statue, made of granite and 25 feet high, will be installed under the large canopy where the Amar Jawan Jyoti shimmers in remembrance of the martyrs of India.

New Parliament Building: The new structure, whose construction began in 2020, will be a four-storey structure with a seating capacity of 1,224 and will cost Rs 970 crore.

The building, triangular in shape, would carry three themes – the national flower, the lotus, the national bird; the peacock and the banyan tree, the national tree. While the lotus would feature in the Rajya Sabha of the new structure, the peacock and banyan tree would be prominent in the Lok Sabha and Central Lounge, respectively.

The new building will also have frescoes on the ceiling, shlokas inscribed on the interior walls and the national emblem crowning the structure, the dispatches said. The new building, constructed by Tata Projects Ltd and designed by Ahmedabad-based HCP Design and Management Pvt Limited, will be equipped with all modern audiovisual communication facilities and data network systems.

With contributions from agencies

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