A Guide to 6 Destinations for the Sardar Patel Trail in Gujarat

India’s iron man, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was born into a Gurjar farming family. Above the ears, he played a leading role in India’s freedom struggle and single-handedly incorporated more than 500 princely states into the Union of India. Reason enough for a tourist trail to be built around the life and times of Sardar in Gujarat, his home state. From his family home in Karamsad to the Sardar Sarovar project and the tallest statue in the world, there is plenty to see.

Family house of Sardar Patel, Karamsad
One of India’s greatest rulers, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was born in Nadiad on October 31, 1875 to Jhaverbhai, a farmer, and Laad Bai. He then spent the first years of his life at the family home in Karamsad, a small town in Anand district. The mudbrick building was also the home of his older brother, Vithalbhai Patel, a noted political leader, and a younger brother and sister. The ancestral house is now preserved as a memorial to Sardar; it also serves as the headquarters of the Sardar Patel Trust. Karamsad is also home to a magnificent memorial dedicated to Sardar Patel. Spread over seven acres and set in lush green landscapes, the structure includes a photo gallery. There is also a display of personal effects and memorabilia, including the Bharat Ratna awarded to him.

Schedule 9am-6pm

Sardar Sarovar Dam, Kevadia

The Sardar Sarovar dam in Kevadia Ramniklal Modi/Shutterstock.com

It was Sardar Patel’s dream that the water from the Narmada River, 98% of which was wasted, would be used. One of the 30 planned dams on the Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Dam, often called the lifeline of Gujarat, is the second largest concrete dam in the world in terms of the volume of concrete used. Nestled in the foothills and surrounded by natural beauty, the dam site is stunning during the monsoon when the dam overflows. Schedules 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial, Ahmedabad
The Moti Shahi Mahal, a palace built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1618 and 1622, houses the national memorial of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Located in Shahibaug, the museum and exhibition center dedicated to Sardar Patel is surrounded by well-appointed gardens. The building has four wings and a central hall. The central hall features portraits of Patel, his family, friends and colleagues during the Indian freedom struggle. Relics of Patel’s life, personal possessions, stories and newspaper cartoons of the time are on display in two of the four rooms. One room highlights Sardar’s youth, education and legal career, his camaraderie with Mahatma Gandhi and his work integrating princely states. His personal belongings including his kurta khadi, jacket, dhoti, shoes etc. are on display. A room is devoted to the Sardar Sarovar project, a large dam and hydroelectric power station project on the Narmada River.
Schedule 9:30am-5:00pm; monday closed

Statue of Unity, Kevadia

The Statue of Unity in Kevadia
The Statue of Unity in Kevadia Dipesh Devdas Motivaras / Shutterstock.com

Sardar Patel’s house now also houses the tallest statue in the world! The colossal structure, which rises 579 feet above the ground on a river island in the Narmada River Valley, is an astonishing likeness of Sardar. Construction of the statue, which faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam, began in 2013 and was completed in 2018. It was designed by Padma Bhushan’s award-winning sculptor, Ram V Sutar, and used 70,000 tons of cement, 18,500 tons of steel bars. , 6,000 tons of structural steel and 1,700 tons of bronze.

Schedule 8am-6pm; monday closed

Sardar Patel National Museum, Bardoli
It was the women of Bardoli who bestowed the iconic title of Sardar on Vallabhbhai Patel. The title, which means chief or leader in Gujarati and many Indian languages, was won spontaneously and affixed to his name permanently. The Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928 is considered a major episode of civil disobedience in the Indian independence movement when peasants in the taluka revolted against the increase in land revenue by the British. The Sardar Patel National Museum, in Bardoli, is spread over 20 rooms and features rare photographs and dioramas of Sardar’s life, as well as superb oil painted portraits of satyagrahis and activists. We also come across rare visuals from the Bardoli episode in Indian Independence, such as arrests of activists and Sardar mobilizing farmers.

Schedule 10am-5pm; Closed on Wednesday, 2nd and 4th Saturday

Valley of Flowers, Kevadia

The Valley of Flowers in Gujarat
The Valley of Flowers in Gujarat Shutterstock

The Statue of Unity welcomes all visitors with a colorful carpet courtesy of the Valley of Flowers which has been laid along the banks of the Narmada by the Forestry Department of the Government of Gujarat. Spread over 230 acres, the beautifully landscaped gardens feature over 100 types of flowers, as well as climbing plants and colorful herbs.

Comments are closed.