People have a strange attraction for the exploration of statues and kings, Empires and even today’s governments have had a peculiar obsession with building statues. The purpose could be reinstating the power and heightened narcissism like that of the Roman King Caligula (37–41 ce) or to attract tourists like the tallest statues that stand today in the largest democracy.
What purpose do statues serve? Well, there is nothing new about the construction of tall statues. Statues have been constructed since time immemorial making a significant space in the tourism industry of their respective countries. These statues are often dedicated to great personalities or related to some important events of history. So, let us explore the top 10 of the tallest statues in the world:
Statue of Unity
The statue has been built as an ode to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first home minister of independent India. He was responsible for uniting all 562 princely states of the country to build the Republic of India.
The world’s tallest statue, against the backdrop of the climactic Satpura and Vindhyachal hills in Kevadia, was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 31st October 2018 — the 143rd birth anniversary of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The colossal monument towers over River Narmada, a tribute to India ‘from the people of Gujarat’ to the leader who placed people’s welfare first.
Height: Statue: 182 meters (597 feet) including base: 240 meters (790 feet)
Location: Narmada District, Gujarat, India
Spring Temple Buddha
Spring Temple Buddha is a majestic statue symbolising Vairocana Buddha standing tall in the Fodushan Scenic Area in the Zhaocun township of China.
Built between 1997 and 2008, the massive copper Buddha stands atop a 66 foot tall lotus-shaped pedestal that houses a monastery, giving it a total height of 502 feet. The statue is built on a hill that has been reshaped to form two further pedestals. The estimated cost of the entire project was $55 million and around $18 million was solely spent on the statue.
Height: Statue: 128 meters (420 feet) including base: 208 meters (682 feet)
Location: Lushan County, Henan, China
Laykyun Sekka is among the tallest statues in the world. It is a grand structure of Gautama Budhha in golden color, standing on a 13.5-meters throne. The construction of this statue started in 1996 and continued for 12 years. The statue was officially available for a public visit in February 2008. The statue boasts fine detailing.
Height: 116 meters (381 feet) including base: 129.2 meters (424 feet)
Location: Khatakan Taung, near Monywa, Myanmar
Ushiku Daibutsu is a statue located in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Ushiku Daibutsu is also among the tallest statues of the world that was constructed in 1993. It stands a total of 120 metres (390 ft) tall, including the 10 m (33 ft) base and 10m lotus platform. The statue held the record for the tallest statue from 1993–2008. It was built to celebrate the birth of Shinran, founder of the “True Pure Land School” of Buddhism. The statue depicts Amitabha Buddha and is made of bronze.
Height: statue: 100 meters (330 feet) including base: 120 meters (390 feet)
Location: Ushiku, Ibaraki, Japan
Sendai Daikannon officially known as the Sendai Tendou Byakue Daikannon is a large statue of Byakue Kannon bearing a gem in her hand located in Sendai, Japan. The statue represents a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Kannon known as Byakue Kannon, meaning “White-robed Kannon”.
At the time of its completion in 1991, it was the tallest statue in the world but has since been surpassed for that title but one of the top five tallest statues in the world. There is an elevator to take the visitors to the top of the statue.
Height: statue: 100 meters (330 feet)
Location: Sendai, Japan
Qianshou Qianyan Guanyin of Weishan
The Guishan Guanyin of the Thousand Hands and Eyes is located in Ningxiang, Hunan province, and is the fourth-tallest statue in China. It is a gilded bronze monument depicting a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Guanyin known as Shiyimian Qianshou Guanyin, meaning the “Eleven-headed thousand-armed Guanyin”, which stands at 99 m (325 ft) tall. The Ningshan County Government, with the help of local business and religious organizations, invested 260 million yuan to complete its construction in 2009.
Height: statue: 99 meters (325 feet)
Location: Weishan, Changsha, Hunan, China
Great Buddha of Thailand
The Great Buddha of Thailand is the tallest statue in Thailand, the second-tallest statue in Southeast Asia, and the seventh-tallest in the world. It is also known as The Big Buddha. The statue was constructed by Phra Kru Vibul Arjarakhun, the first monk head of Wat Muang Temple with the help of money donated by the realistic Buddhists to build this statue.
Height: statue: 92 meters (302 feet)
Location: Wat Muang, Wiset Chai Chan, Ang Thong, Thailand
The next in line is the 88 meters tall Hokkaido Kannon which is among the 10 of the world’s tallest statues. Also known as Dai Kannon of Kita no Miyako park. The construction of the third tallest statue of Japan was started in 1975 and completed till 1989. The statue has more than 20 floors with an elevator. Mostly the floors have shrines and places to worship and a platform offering spectacular views of the surroundings.
Height: statue: 88 meters (289 feet)
Location: Ashibetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
The Motherland Calls
The magnificent Motherland Calls is an allegorical image of the Motherland calling its kids to resist the enemy and carry on their further attack. With the glimpse of it, it is evident that the statue entails an extremely complex design from an engineering point of view, owing to its unique structure that has a sword raised high in the right hand while the left hand is extended to call someone.
Height: statue: 85 meters (279 feet)
Location: Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, Russia