For centuries, humanity has erected enormous monuments to commemorate a god, a national hero, or a value of a certain culture. Each represented a huge challenge
A unique characteristic of human beings throughout their history has been art. Since the first pictorial representations in caves inhabited by primitive man, expressing ourselves through art has differentiated us from other species.
In this evolution, statues have played an important role. The oldest known, Venus of Hohle Fels, dates back more than 30 thousand years, and since then in all cultures and civilizations they have been used to represent deities, or fundamental concepts for society.
Among the most famous, such as the Statue of Liberty in New York (United States), or Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), are icons of the cities and countries where they are located, becoming architectural landmarks that merge with their own national identity.
However, they will not appear on this list, as here we will address the 10 tallest statues in the world, a category that is largely dominated by Asia and Africa and their deities, which rise imposingly towards the skies.
1- Statue of Unity (Height: 182 m):
Interestingly, the first on this list, full of statues in honor of gods and demigods, is one that represents a man, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, one of the heroes of India’s independence.
Completed in 2018, it is the tallest statue in the world. It is located on a river island in front of the Sardar Sarovar dam in the Kevadiya colony, in Gujarat, India.
Its official inauguration was held on October 31, 2018 on the occasion of the 143rd anniversary of the birth of Sardar Patel.
The renowned Indian leader evoked by this immense statue,He is one of the founding heroes of modern India and during the turbulent period that led to India’s independence from the UK, he was an important ally of Mahatma Gandhi.
During India’s first period as an independent republic, Patel served as Deputy Prime Minister, between 1947 and 1950, and from there he played a key role in integrating the princely states into the Indian federation. This achievement formed the cornerstone of Patel’s popularity in the post-independence era. He even today he is remembered as the man who united India.
That is why he is called “Sardar”, which translates as chief, and his statue of “Unity” is the tallest in the world.
This statue is supported by a 58-meter-high base, which makes the total height of the monument reach an impressive 240 meters.
2- Buddha of the Spring Temple (Height: 128 m):
At 128 meters tall, the Buddha of the Spring Temple ranks second on this list and first of all the Buddha statues below. In addition, it also constitutes the tallest statue erected in representation of a deity in the world.
Located in Zhaocun Township in Lushan, Henan Province, China, the statue features a sculpted base in the shape of lotus flower petals,which by itself has a height of 25 meters, and makes the total height of the monument reach 153 meters.
The large statue represents Vairocana Buddha, who is the cosmic Buddha of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism of East Asia, Tibet, Nepal, and Java. Its construction was completed in 2008 and its total budget was 55 million dollars, 18 million of which were invested in the statue alone.
3- Laykyun Sekkya (Height: 115.8m)
In third place is another Buddha statue that was also erected in 2008.This represents Gautama Buddha, the “historical Buddha” and founder of Buddhism.
The statue is located in the village of Khatakan Taung, near Monywa, Myanmar and reaches a height of 115.8 meters.
The Laykyun Sekkya Buddha is one of the most visited tourist attractions in this country, which is also close to a temple surrounded by bodhi trees, considered very sacred in Buddhism. Its construction began in 1996 and it was inaugurated on February 21, 2008.
The statue is made of gold, with a rigorous meticulousness in every little detail, which adds to its imposing realism.
4- Statue of Belief (Height: 106 m)
The Statue of Belief is the tallest Shiva statue in the world. It is located in Rajasthan, India and was presented in 2020, although it has not yet been officially inaugurated, which makes it the newest monument on this list.
Spread over 16 acres of land, construction began in 2012.The base of the Statue of Belief is 33.5 meters high. The shoulder height is 79 meters and in total Lord Shiva reaches 106 meters tall.In front of the main statue, there is a statue of Nandi, the bull that the Hindu god rides and serves as his and his wife Parvati’s guardian.
Surrounding the Shiva statue are three beautiful and huge gardens, an amusement park with ATV rides, craft stalls, an open-air theater, and food fairs.
Shiva, is one of the three maximum deities of Hinduism that together with Brahma and Vishnu constitutes the Hindu Trimurti. He is the god of destruction, something that in the Hindu religion has a positive connotation, since he destroys to rebuild. He is usually depicted as a four-armed figure with a crescent moon on his head and a serpent on his neck, a trident in one hand and a drum in the other, and a third eye on his forehead.
In Shivaism, a current of Hinduism, Shiva is the supreme god.
5- Ushiku Daibutsu (Height: 120 m):
In fifth place, another statue of Buddha appears, which is located in the Ibaraki prefecture in Japan, something that shows the extension of Buddhism in the Asian world.
The statue was built in 1993, and its structure alone is 100 meters tall, but when mounted on a 10-meter lotus throne and an additional 10-meter pedestal, it reaches 120 meters high.
For 15 years, until the inauguration of the Spring Temple Buddha was at the same time the tallest statue in the world and the tallest Buddha in the world.
Ushiku Daibutsu is made of bronze and represents Amitabha Buddha, the most important Buddha of the Pure Land school, a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism that is practiced mainly in East Asia.
The statue was built to commemorate the birth of Shinra, the founder of the “true pure land school” of Buddhism. ANDIt’s a fun place to hang out with friends and family, as there is a garden right outside where flowers bloom all year long. Visitors can pick flowers and take them as souvenirs.
6- Sendai Daikannon (Height: 100m):
Sixth place goes to another Japanese statue, which from 1991 to 1993 was the tallest statue in the world, towering an impressive 100 meters.. It is located in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
The statue represents the bodhisattva Kannon, who despite Western belief is not properly a deity.Bodhisattvas are beings who are on the path of enlightenment, on the path of the Buddha. Kannon is associated with compassion and although in other places practicing Buddhism she is represented as a man (and she goes by other names), in Japan she is represented as a woman.
The Kannon statue in Sendai is the tallest female deity or semi-deity statue in Japan and the world. She holds in her right hand the nyoihōju wishing gem, while in her left she holds a flask of water.
Visitors can take a tour of the 12 floors filled with Kannon-related artifacts. The entrance of the statue is a dragon with an open mouth that symbolizes good luck and prosperity. And at the top you can see an incredible view of the city of Sendai.
7- Guishan Guanyin (Height: 99 m):
In seventh place is a statue in honor of another bodhisattva, this time the one of mercy: Guishan Guanyin or Guan Shi Yin, which means “she who listens to the complaints of the World”.
This eleven-headed, thousand-armed bronze statue stands at a height of 99 meters in Huan, China and was unveiled in 2009.
The multiplicity of his eyes allows him to see the misfortunes of each one, and his 20 pairs of arms, come to the aid of the greatest number. She has many faces, a sign of deep humility, and each one can recognize in one face or another the representation that is made of the goddess.
Bodhisattva implies one who is enlightened and has gained consciousness to leave sufferings and become a Buddha and has renounced Nirvana with the intention of saving all of God’s children.
The Ningshan county government invested 260 million yuan ($41 million) with the help of local businesses and religious organizations for its construction. The backstory of the Guan Yin is associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the pinnacle of mercy, compassion, kindness, and love.
8- Great Buddha of Thailand (Height: 92 m) :
Made of concrete and painted gold, another great Buddha stands a towering 92 meters high in Thailand’s Ang Thong province.
Inaugurated in 2008, it is the eighth tallest monument in the world. The Great Buddha of Thailand represents the Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin, its construction was commissioned following the instructions of the first leading monk of the Wat Muang Temple.
The construction was carried out with the money raised by the donation of royalist Buddhists. Although the Big Buddha is the key point of interest, there is much more to explore in the temple thanit is surrounded by the largest lotus petals in the world.Visitors can also visit the museum that houses sacred objects and antiquities.
9- Dai Kannon of Kita no Miyako Park (Height: 88 m):
Built in the year 1989, the statue represents Kannon. It is located in Hokkaido, Japan andAt 88 meters it was the tallest statue in the world between 1989 and 1991 until another Japanese statue of Kannon replaced it for a few years as the tallest in the world.
Known as the Dai Kannon of Kita no Miyako Park, it is the third tallest statue in Japan. Construction began in 1975, it has 20 stories and encompasses an elevator to access the statue to the top. In many of its floors there are sanctuaries that offer a fascinating view to visitors.
Hokkaido is very harsh in winter with a lot of snowfall, the temperature usually stays below freezing and as far as the eye can see everything seems frozen. In summer the weather is not very friendly either, as the humidity becomes unbearable. Therefore, the best time to visit the country is during the fall and spring. It is one of the best places to visit in April, given the pleasant weather.
9.1 – Mother of All Asia – Peace Tower (Height: 88m):
Tied for ninth place is the Mother of All Asia, also known as the Peace Tower, which at 88 meters is the world’s tallest statue of the Virgin Mary.
The statue was commissioned to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines and if the entire structure on which it is mounted is counted, it reaches a height of 98.15 meters.
The work is located in the municipality of Batangas, in the province of the same name in the Calabarzón region. Its construction began in 2013 and was completed in 2021, just in time to commemorate the date that inspired the monument.
The statue features 12 Marian chapels on the third floor, a restaurant, conference rooms and audiovisual projections, shops, and an observation deck on the 17th floor.
Its main sculptor was Eduardo de los Santos Castrillo, a national of the Philippines who died before the complete inauguration of the work.
10- The Motherland Calls (Height: 85 m):
In the tenth and last place on this list isthe tallest statue in all of Europe: The Motherland Calls; located in Volgograd, Russia.
This imposing statue alsois the tallest of a woman in the entire world, excluding pedestals,and was inaugurated in 1967.
Feminism in the strict sense, “La Patria Llama” is an allegorical representation of “Mother Russia” calling her children, asking them to resist and fight the enemy while encouraging them to continue the attack. The intricate architectural brilliance appears exorbitantly complex due to its unique structure that has a sword raised in one hand and another hand extended to call out to someone.
The statue was sculpted by structural engineer Nikolai Nikitin, and was declared the largest statue in the world in 1967. It was made to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II in which Soviet and Allied troops defeated the Nazi German army. Volgograd is the name by which the city of Stalingrad is currently known.
Honorable Mention: Statue of Liberty (Height 46 meters)
It is perhaps the most famous statue in the world, as it is the icon of the United States, so we could not finish this list without talking about it.
Although the height of the statue itself, 46 meters, places it far below the colossi seen so far, if its impressive pedestal of 47 meters is counted, it achieves a total height from the base to the tip of the torch of 93 meters, competing with the Great Buddha of Thailand.
“Liberty Enlightening the World”, the real name of the Statue of Liberty, is located on Liberty Island to the south of Manhattan Island (New York), next to the mouth of the Hudson River and near the Ellis Island.
It was a gift from the French people to the American people to commemorate the centennial of the United States Declaration of Independence and as a sign of friendship between the two nations. Its official inauguration was made on October 28, 1886 under the presidency of Grover Cleveland.
This work by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is made of copper sheets and has changed color over time, from the original shade of its material, to the iconic shade of green it is today.
Also called “Lady Liberty” or “Lady Liberty”, for many years it became the first thing that European immigrants saw when they arrived in the United States after crossing the Atlantic, because its proximity to Ellis Island, (for many years the customs office in New York), made it the point of reference for entering the country.
This statue represents freedom and emancipation against oppression and is one of the seven wonders of the modern world.