Plan a Statue of Unity trip: Tips on Tickets, Timings, Costs

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Statue of Unity Trip

Are you thinking of visiting the Statue of Unity and have no idea how to plan the trip? I can completely understand your difficulty. When I was researching travel plans for the Statue of Unity, I wasn’t able to find any structured information on planning a Statue of Unity trip. I had to call multiple travel agents and watch many videos online to get a hang of the booking process, ticket costs and go through multiple websites to gather general tourist information. But now after planning the Statue of Unity trip all on my own, I feel confident enough to write a detailed post on how to plan a trip to the Statue of Unity.

The major cities closest to the Statue of Unity by road are Vadodara (2 hours away) and Ahmedabad (3.5 hours away). The closest railway station is Kevadiya (10 minutes away). To visit the Statue of Unity, tickets must be bought in advance either from the official SOU website or the SOU app.

However, the planning process is not too straightforward or self-explanatory. To avoid making any mistakes, you need to consider multiple factors. Continue reading this post for in-depth tips on which ticket type to buy, the best time to visit the Statue of Unity, timings, nearby attractions, stay options and more.

In-depth tips to plan a Statue of Unity Trip

To help you plan the perfect trip to the Statue of Unity, I will be breaking down this section into handy, insightful tips based on my personal travel experience. Read this section thoroughly before buying the tickets to the Statue of Unity or before making any reservations. I promise that going through this section will help you save a lot of money and will also guarantee a smoother travel experience.

So now without further ado, let’s get started!

Visit during the winter

The best time to visit the Statue of Unity is during the cooler months i.e between November and February. However, the late rainy season i.e. the period between the end of July and September can also be quite pleasant provided you are willing to bear with a few light showers.

Summers in Gujarat can be really harsh and a visit to the Statue of Unity during summers can leave you sweaty, dehydrated and in a rather unpleasant state of mind.

Visit between Tuesday and Sunday

The Statue of Unity is open between 8 am and 6 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays. Therefore, make sure you plan your visit to the Statue of Unity between Tuesday and Sunday. In fact, to experience a hassle-free trip, it is best to visit the Statue of Unity on weekdays when there are lesser crowd and tickets to the light and sound laser show are more easily available.

Weekends at the Statue of Unity attract plenty of crowds and those travelling with kids and senior citizens may be inconvenienced due to the long queues at the entrance gate, longer waiting periods at food courts and crowding at washrooms.

We visited the Statue on a Saturday and my little daughter ran out of patience waiting for the long queue at the bus stations. The crowds also made social distancing within the complex area impossible and overall I regretted my decision to visit the Statue of Unity on a weekend.

Understand the different ticket types

Statue of Unity tickets come in four types. Check the table below for information on the cost of Statue of Unity tickets and the inclusions of each type of ticket.

SoU Entry TicketAudio Visual Gallery & Exhibition,
Valley of Flowers,
Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint and
Bus Service for above places
Projection Mapping (i.e. laser show) to be specifically selected at no additional charge
Viewing GalleryAdult: Rs. 150
Child (Age 3-15): Rs. 90
SoU Viewing Gallery TicketViewing Gallery
Audio Visual Gallery & Exhibition,
Valley of Flowers,
Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint and
Bus Service for above places
Projection Mapping (i.e. laser show) to be specifically selected at no additional charge
NilAdult: Rs. 380
Child (Age 3-15): Rs. 230
SoU Express EntryExpress Entry to Viewing Gallery (no need to wait in long queue)
Audio Visual Gallery & Exhibition,
Valley of Flowers,
Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint and
Bus Service for above places
Projection Mapping (i.e. laser show) to be specifically selected at no additional charge
NilAdult: Rs. 1,030
Child (Age 3-15): Rs. 1,030
SoU Foreigner VGExpress Entry to Viewing Gallery (no need to wait in long queue)
Audio Visual Gallery & Exhibition,
Valley of Flowers,
Sardar Sarovar Dam Viewpoint and
Bus Service for above places
Projection Mapping (i.e. laser show) to be specifically selected at no additional charge
NilForeigner Adult: Rs. 1,530
Foreigner Child (Age 3-15): Rs. 830

Still confused? Let me simplify it for you.

The main difference between an Entry ticket and other types of ticket is that an entry ticket does not let you visit the viewing gallery while all other types of ticket give you access to the viewing gallery. In fact, an express ticket gives you a faster access to the viewing gallery as you can skip the long queues and directly get inside the life that takes you to the viewing gallery. The foreigner ticket also includes this privilege.

However, I am about to drop a truth bomb on you that will save you a lot of money. (If you are a foreigner, I’m sorry, this tip won’t help you!)

The viewing gallery is terrible. It does not have a clear viewing glass and is basically a horrible looking wall with small rectangular peeping gaps. And what can you view from here? The river Narmada and the Sardar Sarovar Dam. But believe me when I say this- the viewing gallery is pretty much the worst place in all of Kevadiya to view both these attractions. The river Narmada can be seen from almost everywhere in Kevadiya and the entry ticket to SoU includes a ticket to the dam. Thus, I see no point in spending any additional money on a ticket that gives you access to the viewing gallery.

We had bought an Express Ticket and felt so furious about having spent an extra Rs. 880 only to gain quicker access to the rather disappointing viewing gallery. Similarly, people who bought a regular viewing gallery ticket were also disappointed with the viewing gallery as it just did not justify the queue and the long wait of about 30-60 minutes.

Thus, I urge you to learn from my experience and buy a regular entry ticket. You won’t regret missing out on the viewing gallery! I promise!

Buy the ticket online or on the app

The Statue of Unity ticket must be bought online or on the app. There are ticket windows near the entrance bus stop. However, the ticket window only sells limited express entry tickets to the Statue of Unity. All other tickets must be bought online until the present global situation improves.

To buy the ticket you can use the official website of the Statue of Unity or download their official app. You will need to log in using your mobile number to make the bookings.

While booking the tickets to the Statue of Unity you will need to do the following:

  • Select the type of ticket you would like to buy
  • Select the date and time slot. (It is best to book an 8 am slot or a 4 pm slot so that you get to keep a large chunk of your day free to visit other attractions)
  • Select Projection Mapping (Projection Mapping means the laser light and sound show that takes place after sunset). It is best to view Projection Mapping from the SoU Campus as the SoU Helipad is a bit far away)
  • If you are confused about which other attractions to cover, you can skip this step and proceed to check-out and payment. (You can always buy tickets to the other attractions later once you’re more sure about what and how many you would like to visit)

Stay in a nearby hotel/tent

The rules about commuting inside the Statue of Unity area have kept changing over the last few months. From allowing tourists to take their vehicles right up to the gate of every attraction to making the use of their buses compulsory for commuting to launching e-travel rickshaws – the rules surrounding local commute are ever-evolving and unpredictable.

Plus, you will need to head back to your accommodation some time during the day, especially if you are travelling with young children or senior citizens. Thus it is advisable that you book your accommodation as close to the Statue of Unity complex as possible.

That’s why it is best to stay in a hotel or a tent close to the Statue of Unity area. Also, note that the entire tourist area is fairly young. So no matter where you stay, you will be a bit disappointed with the value you get for your money. The tents will not feel super luxurious and the room quality of hotels by renowned brands will also feel slightly underwhelming for the price. But I guess that’s a price we have to pay when we visit a town developing to attract tourism.

The best places to stay near the Statue of Unity are-

NameImagePrice RangeBrief DescriptionLatest Price
The Fern Resort – Sardar Sarovar $$$– Property is right opposite Kevadiya Railway station
– Rooms are clean and the hotel is well-maintained
Ramada Encore by Wyndham$$$$– Property is right opposite the ticket counter of Statue of Unity
– It is the best hotel in this region
Statue of Unity – Tent City$$$$– It offers full board plans
– Location is close to the Statue of Unity
– Staff is willing to arrange a full tour for you
BRG Budget Stay$– Great value for a budget-price
– Location is close to the Statue of Unity

Do not carry food or large bags inside the complex

The Statue of Unity complex is huge. At the entrance, you will be frisked and your luggage will be scanned. There are certain items that are prohibited inside the complex and if these items are found in your luggage, they will be removed and thrown away. To avoid this issue of getting your personal items thrown away, you have two options:

  • Deposit your bag at the baggage deposit counter outside the main bus stand or
  • Do not carry prohibited items

The items that are prohibited inside the main Statue of Unity Complex are weapons, sharp objects, inflammable objects, sports goods and food. Only baby food and medicines are allowed inside. You are not even allowed to carry a large bag, large backpack or a large laptop bag.

Akshay wasn’t allowed to carry his laptop bag because according to the authorities it was too big. He, thus, had to walk all the way back to the deposit counter near the bus stand and then wait in the queue at the entrance again to get inside the complex. A situation like this can not only cost you a lot of time but would also prove to be extremely tiring.

Reach the complex before time

As I have mentioned above, the main complex is quite big. The queue at the entrance can also be a bit long. Thus to ensure that you are allowed entry inside the complex, it is best to reach the complex at least 10-15 minutes before your scheduled time.

Thus, if you have booked a slot of 4 pm to 6 pm in the evening, try to reach the complex at 3.45 pm. This way, you will get the entire two hours to explore the open area, click enough photos of the Statue of Unity, climb right up to the foot of the Statue and also spend enough time at the museum.

Visit the museum

The Statue of Unity museum is spectacular. The gallery looks appealing with its large pictures and stunning colours. The museum also has multiple mini-theatres that play information-packed video content on the Indian freedom struggle, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and the peculiarities of the local area.

Overall, the experience of visiting the museum is highly immersive in sharp contrast to most Indian museums that use dated techniques of displaying exhibits.

Thus, even you are like me who dislikes museums for being boring, do give this museum a shot. I am sure you will be impressed.

Visit nearby attractions

There are plenty of places to visit inside the Statue of Unity area. The popular ones are:

Jungle Safari: A zoo spread out over an expansive land area housing some rare and exquisite animals like a giraffe and a zebra.

Pet Zone: A petting zoo with pet animals like goats, rabbits, etc offering a rare opportunity to you to pet these animals and spend some memorable time with them.

Children’s Nutrition Park: A vast educative park made for children with an intention to teach them about nutrition. It has an internal train that is a great attraction amongst kids.

Unity Glow Garden: A beautiful park that must be visited at night is full of attractive installations that glow in many different colours and looks stunning.

In addition to this, you can go on a 3-hour eco-tourism trip, enjoy river rafting, couples’ cycling or eat at tribal cafes.

Frequently Asked Questions on Statue of Unity trip

Is the Statue of Unity worth a visit?

The Statue of Unity, being the tallest statue in the world, is an absolute must-visit. The complex also houses a state of the art museum and the sound and light show at night further enhances the visual appeal of the statue.

Moreover, the nearby area also boasts of a wide variety of unique and impressive tourist attractions such as a Jungle Safari, Children’s Nutrition Park, Eco-tourism, river rafting, Valley of flowers, Unity Glow Garden etc.

How many days are enough for the Statue of Unity?

The Statue of Unity can be seen in one day. However, if you wish to attend the light and sound show and also visit the many tourist attractions in the Statue of Unity area, you must plan to spend at least 2-3 days.

How to reach the Statue of Unity?

The nearest airports and major train junctions to the Statue of Unity are Vadodara and Ahmedabad. The Statue of Unity is only 2 hours away from Vadodara and 3.5 hours away from Ahmedabad. Moreover, numerous trains stop at Kevadiya Railways Station which is only 10 minutes away from the Statue of Unity by road.

Can senior citizens and children visit the Statue of Unity?

The Statue of Unity can be visited by senior citizens and children. However, keep in mind that visiting the Statue and the nearby attractions requires a lot of walking and changing of bus shuttles.

Most places have been made wheel-chair friendly. However, the parking spaces are quite far from the entrance of the Statue of Unity complex. Thus, if you want to visit the Statue of Unity with children or senior citizens, please keep enough extra time on hand and slow down the overall pace of your trip.

What are the best attractions near the Statue of Unity?

The best attractions near the Statue of Unity are the Jungle Safari, Children’s Nutrition Park and the Unity Glow Garden. Nature-lovers will also love the Vishwa Van, Valley of Flowers and the Cactus Garden while adventure lovers will be drawn to river-rafting and cycling.

I hope that this long post on the Statue of Unity helps you plan your trip well. If you have any questions or if you would like to leave any additional information based on your experience, please leave a comment down below.

Suggested Additional Resources:

A to spend 1 day at the Statue of Unity

Detailed Guide on the Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

Also, check out posts on other Indian destinations here

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