Know all about world’s ‘tallest’ Ambedkar statue, set to be inaugurated on 14 April in Hyderabad

The 125-foot-tall statue has been attracting scores of commuters everyday and has been designed by renowned father-son sculptors Ram and Anil Sutar.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Apr 13, 2023 | 11:00 AMUpdatedApr 14, 2023 | 5:00 PM

125 foot tall Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad

On a busy sunny afternoon on Wednesday, 5 April, the Hyderabad weather took an unexpected turn and it started raining heavily.

Right then, several of the daily wagers working at the newly built BR Ambedkar statue took shelter under the mammoth structure.

However, immediately after the downpour stopped, they got back to work.

“We have to finish the work within a week. The statue is almost done but the garden and museum are yet to be completed,” one of the hundred such workers told South First.

When South First again visited the statue on 12 April, preparations were in full swing for its inauguration and final touches were being given.

The 125-foot-tall statue of the Dalit icon and the Father of the Indian Constitution on Hyderabad’s NTR Marg is scheduled to be inaugurated on his 132nd birth anniversary,14 April, by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.

Under-constriction museum at the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad

Under-constriction museum at the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

Seen as one of the flagship projects of KCR, the statue stands on a structure resembling the current Indian Parliament.

“The structure will house a museum and an audio-visual 100-seater auditorium. The museum will have several articles and pictures of the life history of Babasaheb while a short film will be played in the auditorium for the visitors. A library will also be built in due course,” I Ganpati Reddy, chief engineer of the Telangana Roads and Buildings Department, which is doing the work, told South First.

Modeled the most famous pose of Ambedkar, the statue already attracts the attention of scores of commuters every day.

The under-construction new Telangana secretariat, beside the statue, has also been named after Ambedkar by the state government.

Another landmark, the Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial, is also being built right in front of the secretariat.

Related: KCR moves to name Telangana Secretariat after BR Ambedkar

World’s ‘tallest’ Ambedkar statue

View of the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue and Telangana secretariat from Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad.

View of the 125-foot-tall Ambedkar statue and Telangana secretariat from Hussain Sagar. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

The statue in Hyderabad is claimed to be the world’s tallest of Ambedkar, and weighs around 474 tonnes.

Of this, 114 tonnes of bronze is used for casting the exterior while 360 tonnes of non-corrosive “special” stainless steel has been used to build the statue’s internal strength.

“The construction of the structure began four years back (2019). Beige and red sandstone were brought from Rajasthan to construct the basement structure,” Reddy said.

Built at an estimated cost of ₹146.5 crore, the project is spread over 11 acres — five acres for the campus and six acres for parking — and is adjacent to the renowned Hussain Sagar lake. A high mast light, pointing towards the statue, will also illuminate it at the night.

Under construction audio-visual auditorium at the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad

Under construction audio-visual auditorium at the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

Ambedkar holds a “Constitution of India” book in his left hand, which is clearly visible from the ground.

“It is a replica of the original constitution,” Reddy pointed out.

The overall height of the structure is 175 feet — the 125-foot-tal statue and the 50-foot Parliament edifice spread across 20,000 sq ft.

While KCR is expected to inaugurate it on 14 April, the campus will not be immediately open to the public.

“It will take another two-three months to complete the rest of the construction. Only then it can be opened to the public,” said Reddy, adding whether there would be an entry fee was to be decided by the department maintaining the statue.

Related: KCR wants Centre to name Parliament building after Ambedkar

Designed by renowned sculptors

Face designed by Ram and Anil Sutar of 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad

Face designed by Ram Sutar and Anil Sutar of 125-foot-tall Ambedkar statue. (Supplied)

The Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad is designed by renowned sculptors — Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan recipient Ram Vanji Sutar (98) and his son Anil Ram Sutar (65).

Operating under the name Ram Sutar Art Creations in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, the father-son duo have designed several monumental sculptures, including the world’s tallest statue — the Statue of Unity (597 feet) of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.

It was recently included in the World Book of Records in London.

The Sutars have also built a 108-foot-tall statue of 16th-century Vijayanagara Empire chieftain Nadaprabhu Kempegowda at Bengaluru International Airport.

“We were approached by the KPC (the Hyderabad-based firm that is executing the project). We first made a small nine-foot model of the statue and then a 25-foot model. It was approved two years back,” Anil Sutar told South First.

The KPC has also undertaken the construction of a 125-foot-tall statue of Ambedkar at Swaraj Maidan in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

It has also been implementing the work at the Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial and recently finished Phase 2 of the innovation incubator T-Hub recently.

Meanwhile, after the father-son duo decided on modifications to the final model, the creation of the 125-foot-tall statue started.

View of the 125 foot Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad on the way to NTR Marg in Hyderabad.

View of the 125 foot Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad on the way to NTR Marg. (Ajay Tomar/South First)

“The statue, like others, was first fabricated here and then sent to be assembled at the project site. We started work around a year ago in Noida. The installation started four months ago in Hyderabad. Then we assembled and welded bronze coating of different sizes over the steel armature. After that it was transported to Hyderabad when every 10-foot of the statue is ready,” explained Anil, who runs one of India’s largest foundries in Sahibabad.

About the durability of the statue, he claimed that a coat of polyurethane paint and polishing will keep it shining for the next two to three decades.

“The statue, including the hand, is designed by the engineer in such a way that it will withstand high wind pressure. We procured locally made bronze and steel for it.”

Related: KCR all set to unveil India’s tallest Ambedkar statue

Artistry and detailing stand out

Shoes and laces of the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad

Shoes and laces of the 125 foot tall Ambedkar statue. (Supplied)

What makes the statue stand out is its artistry and detailing, down to the shoelaces of Dr Ambedkar’s shoes.

“We wanted to make it as detailed as possible so that people can note and appreciate even the stitching on Ambedkar’s shoes, the shoelaces, the texture of the cloth and, most importantly, the facial expression,” Anil said.

He added, “It does not matter to us how much height it is. We just wanted it to look realistic. So attention was been paid to everything from facial expressions to hand details to the way he used to wear his watch, tie and belt.”

Expressing happiness about the completion of the Ambedkar statue in Hyderabad, Anil Sutar said, “When we created the Sardar Patel statue it was appreciated by all. Similarly, this is also an achievement as we had set a goal when we undertook the work and now it is completed. It boosts our confidence too and helps us to aim even higher. I get calls every day from Hyderabad from people expressing their happiness about the statue. So this appreciation feels good as an artist.”