India has unveiled the world's tallest statue amid controversy and protests from locals who say it's a waste of public money.
The 182m high structure in the western state of Gujarat is a bronze-clad tribute to the independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
It was designed by the decorated Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the "statue of unity" which cost $US430 million ($NZ656m), would serve as a major tourist attraction.
Speaking at the unveiling, he described it as "a symbol of India's integrity and resolve".
But locals have labelled it a waste of public money saying the funds could have been put to better use.
There have been violent protests against the statue which has become a rallying point for local farmers who are demanding compensation for land that they say has been acquired by the government for various projects, including the construction of the memorial.
The Gujarat government is reported to have paid more than half of the funds for the statue, while the remainder came from the federal government or public donations.
The memorial has been seen as a pet project of Mr Modi, who like Patel, was born in Gujarat. He commissioned the statue when he was the state's chief minister in 2010.
It is nearly twice as tall as New York's Statue of Liberty and has surpassed the height of the Spring Temple Buddha in China which, at 128m, was previously the tallest in the world.
But it won't remain the world's tallest statue for long. The government in India' western state of Maharashtra is constructing a memorial to the Maratha warrior king Shivaji that is estimated to be 190m tall.
Patel was India's first interior minister and deputy prime minister. He was known as the "Iron Man of India" after he persuaded feuding states to unite and become part of the Indian state after independence.