News Excerpt
Recently, Prime Minister  inaugurated 17 tourism projects around the Statue of Unity (SoU), now called the ‘Kevadia Tourism Circuit’, on his two-day visit to Gujarat, the first since the pandemic struck.

Pre-Connect
•    Nestled between the Satpura and Vindhyachal mountain ranges in Kevadia of Narmada district, the 182-metre-high statue dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, built at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore, is said to be the tallest in the world.
•    Since the SoU was inaugurated in October 2018, the state government has worked to bring Kevadia on the world map of tourism with a cluster of theme-based projects.
•    The government projects the SoU to have an economic impact of Rs 9,000 crore by 2022, which will translate into the socio-economic uplift of the region up to a radius of about 100 km around the statue.

Analytica
Kevadia Tourism Circuit
    Kevadia, a village in the tribal Narmada district, is home to the Sardar Sarovar Dam reservoir on the Narmada river, and was a popular picnic spot even before the SoU came up.
    The circuit covers 35 tourist spots, out of which the Valley of Flowers, Vishwa Van, Jungle Safari, Cactus Garden, Butterfly Garden, Ekta Nursery, Tent City, Khalvani Eco-tourism, Zarwani Eco-tourism, NaukaVihar and River Rafting, located around the periphery of the statue and the Narmada Dam, are already open.
    In 2019, the Gujarat Assembly passed a Bill to establish the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SoUTA) that will have powers ranging from acquiring land for any development project in the area, which is predominantly tribal, to taking punitive action against those violating it or encroaching on it.
    What is billed as India’s first commercial sea plane service will connect the SoU to the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad. A ropeway is also coming up across the Narmada dam, connecting the two banks of the Narmada river.
    About 116 houses in 22 villages around the SoU have been identified to make 252 rooms available for tourists wishing to enjoy an experience of a homestay in a tribal village. The spare rooms in homes of families have been renovated for the purpose, which aims to generate income for the host families.


Major Attractions in Kevadia
Sardar Patel Zoological Park and Jungle Safari-The park is spread over an area of 375 acres at seven levels ranging in altitude from 29 metres to 180 metres. In all, the safari will have 1,100 birds and animals, and will be the only safari of its kind in the country with such a wide range of exotic animals.
Children’s Nutrition Park- The park is billed as the “world’s first technology driven Nutrition Park”. It will offer a “nutri-train” ride on a 600-m track around the 35,000 sq m park.
The Mirror Maze- It has a 5D virtual reality (VR) theatre and augmented reality (AR) games to enhance nutritional awareness through entertainment.
Carnival look and Riverfront cycling tour