The world’s tallest statue, which towers over the Narmada river in western India, cost a mammoth $430 million (Rs3,000 crore) to build. The 182-metre structure has now earned a rare bragging right: It is visible from space.
Commercial satellite network Planet has tweeted an oblique satellite image of the Statue of Unity, captured on Nov. 15, clearly showing the structure looming over the riverside landscape.
This puts it in an elite league of man-made structures that can be seen from above the Earth, like the Palm Islands along the coast of Dubai and the Great Pyramids of Giza.
The statue, dedicated to India’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, is built on an island in the state of Gujarat. It was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi on Oct. 31, Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary.
Ever since its commissioning, the bronze-clad statue came under heavy criticism for being a waste of taxpayer money. Most of the funds came from the Indian government and public sector companies such as the Indian Oil Corporation and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
The statue is nearly 100 feet taller than the Spring Temple Buddha in China—the second tallest statue in the world now. It’s also twice as tall as New York’s Statue of Liberty.