Seven months after it was closed as the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25, Gujarat’s Statue of Unity will be open for tourists from Saturday, which is also the first day of Navratri.
Here are the guidelines issued by the Sardar Ekta Trust, which manages the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
1. Only 2,500 tourists will be allowed per day. The regular footfall before lockdown was 15,000 per day.
2. Only 500 will be allowed to visit the viewer’s gallery located at a height of 153 metres.
3. Tickets will be provided in two-hour slots through the website www.soutickets.in
4. Entry will be allowed to tourists only in the slot for which the tickets have been purchased.
5. No tickets will be issued physically from any ticket window.
6. Social distancing to be maintained everywhere including the hop-on, hop-off busses.
Monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India reopened since August with restricted number of tourists. On September 21, the Taj Mahal was reopened for tourists after a hiatus of six months.
The Statue of Unity was inaugurated in 2018 and within 2019 it surpassed the footfall at the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty in the US, with an average of over 15,000 tourists visiting the monument daily.
The Time magazine has mentioned the statue as among the 100 places to visit in 2019. It is built on an island in the Narmada river and overlooks the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has included the Statue of Unity in its list of eight wonders.