You know how they say that you take for granted what’s right in front of you? Our trip to the Statue of Equality in Hyderabad was one such trip. We live on the outskirts of Hyderabad city, so the Statue of Equality is just a 15 minute drive away but we just never got around to going there.
Finally, an impromptu trip was what it took to get us there. We were on the other side of town and suddenly decided to drive up to this place in the early evening as it would be the best time to see the place in the daytime and after dark.
The Statue of Equality: What’s it about
The Statue of Equality is located in a large expanse of land with the statue rising above it all. As soon as you enter the vicinity, it gives you a feeling of being cut off from the chaos of the world.
The impressive 216 feet statue is of Shri Ramanujacharya who was a 10th Century Hindu philosopher and social reformer. He believed in the intellectual basis of religion along with devotional worship. It is the second tallest sitting statue in the world.
The golden statue gleams in the sunlight and looks striking against the blue sky. As day turns into evening, the place is lit up. The changing coloured lights on the statue look vivid against the dark night sky. It is worth seeing the place at both times.
The Statue of Equality: What to see
The Statue of Equality complex from the outside looks radiant in the daylight. The golden statue towering above all else is awe-inspiring. The beautiful stone structures with intricate carvings represent the different art forms from a variety of ancient Southern kingdoms.
Once you enter the complex, take a walk down the 108 Temple Way. This circular structure surrounds the main statue and is made of stone with 108 small temples carved into niches within it. The contrasting colours of light and dark stone looks stunning, and the subtle lighting in the evening gives it a classy look.
The musical fountain right at the entrance has a 10 minute show four times a day to the tunes of hymns playing in the background. It is a beautiful performance that you can watch sitting on the stairs leading to the main statue.
The evening Aarti takes place at 6:30 pm when all the temples simultaneously conduct the prayers. You could participate at any of the 108 temples. The place resonates with positive vibrations with the chantings.
If you’d like, you could buy a ticket and write your name on it, then present it to the priest to include in the prayer. Do stay till the end for the prasadam.
The main statue is impressive and in the evening, the coloured lights on it look striking against the night sky. The base of the statue has a Vedic digital library and research centre with ancient Indian texts and a gallery.
Don’t miss the smaller Gold Ramanuja statue mid-way up the steps. It is made out of 120 kgs of gold.
As an atheist, I still found it a nice way to spend the evening taking in the calmness of the place without focusing on the religious aspects of it.
The Statue of Equality: Things to keep in mind
- No phones or cameras are allowed inside the premises
- Take a refillable water bottle as there are many water filling counters inside
- Go in the evening around 4 or 5 pm so you get both, the day and night views
- The complex is accessible to all and wheelchairs are available for the elderly
- Clean restrooms are available inside the complex
- If you are unable to walk the 108 steps to the top, take the elevator instead
- Note that you need to leave your phone and shoes at Gate 1 but you exit at Gate 8. You need to then walk back all the way to collect it. It’s better to leave these in the car if you get a parking spot closer to the entry gate.
- You can carry your wallet or some money as there’s a small food court and Prasadam counter at the exit
The Statue of Equality: Phone-free environment
We are all so attached to our phones that the thought of going a day without it seems like an alien concept. For us, taking pictures of everything we see, everywhere we go has become an ingrained experience.
When we realised that we’d need to surrender our phones and camera before we entered the Statue of Equality, we were disappointed to say the least. However, once we were inside and spent some time, we realised how relaxed we were since we didn’t have our phones. There were no selfie stops or trying to find the perfect angle for the perfect picture. Everyone there was just enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of the space.
You can take as many pictures as you want from the outside, but once you’re inside, just enjoy being in the moment.
The Statue of Equality: Plan your trip
- Entry fees: Rs 200 for adults and Rs 125 for kids aged 6-12 (it can be bought online)
- Timings: 11 am to 8 pm (last entry)
- Musical fountain shows are at 1 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm
- The complex is closed on Wednesdays, but do check the Website for announcements
- Aarti Coupon: Rs 100
- Parking: Fasttag has been activated for parking but it did not charge us anything although it says Rs 40 for cars and Rs 20 for 2-wheelers
- An audio tour headset is available near the phone locker counter
- Do not try to sneak in your phones or cameras. There’s strict checking, and if you’re found with one, there’s a hefty fine of Rs 5,000/-
Find more things that you can do in Hyderabad besides being stuck in a crowded mall: Things to do in Hyderabad