The Statue of Unity in Gujarat and Soho House in Mumbai were featured in Time magazine’s second annual list of the world’s greatest places this year. The list is a compilation of 100 new and “newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now”.
The Statue of Unity, a tribute to the country’s first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is the tallest statue in the world, standing at a height of 182 metres. It was built at a cost of around Rs 3,000 crore and has surpassed China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which is 128 metres tall.
“It towers over the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the western Indian state of Gujarat, offering visitors the chance to see views of nearby mountain ranges from its chest,” the description of the structure in the magazine’s list said. It also added that Patel was “claimed as an icon of right-wing Hindu nationalists” and that it was a “monument to the country’s political divisions, as well as to Patel”.
Mumbai’s upscale Soho House is situated in an 11-storey building that comprises a library, a movie theatre with 34 seats and a rooftop bar and swimming pool, overlooking the Arabian Sea. “The unique feel comes in the shape of block-printed fabrics from Rajasthan; handwoven cane furniture; environmentally sustainable, sari-coated lampshades; and some 200 art pieces by mostly South Asian artists,” Time said.
Soho House in Mumbai is Asia’s first establishment of the hotel chain that exists across the United States and Europe. The magazine’s list also included Zakouma National Park in Chad, Red Sea Mountain Trail in Egypt, Newseum in Washington and The Shed in New York City, among others.
On the selection process of the “world’s greatest places”, Time said: “We evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence.” It also said that it sought nominations across several categories, including parks, museums and restaurants. “How does one measure the greatness of a place – in miles covered, dollars spent, or visitors captivated?” the magazine said. “Such metrics can play a part, but also important is something that many travelers aspire to experience: the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary.”
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.