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BAPS Hindu temple inaugurated by PM Modi in Abu Dhabi visited by over 3.5 lakh devotees in 1st month

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UAE, Abu Dhabi, devotees, Hindu Temple, PM Modi
Image Source : PTI (FILE) Devotees visiting the BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Abu Dhabi: More than 3.5 lakh devotees visited the first stone Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February, according to temple authorities. The grand temple was inaugurated during a dedication ceremony attended by over 5,000 invitees and opened for visitors on March 1.

“In the first month, there were approximately 350,000 devotees and visitors, 50,000 of whom visited each weekend (Saturday–Sunday). It’s important to note that on Mondays the Mandir conducts private prayers and is closed to visitors, meaning the complex was accessible for only 27 out of the 31 days in March,” a temple spokesperson told news agency PTI.

“Every evening from Tuesday to Sunday, Ganga aarti is performed at 7.30 pm on the banks of the Swaminarayan ghat, which has been created using holy water from Ganga and Yamuna transported from India,” he added. It is important to mention that the temple was built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sansthan on a a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah at an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore.

“Since the temple is little on the outskirts and in the middle of a desert, public bus service from the city has been started for weekends to allow visitors to easily come to the temple,” the spokesperson further said.

Abu Dhabi’s iconic temple design

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the Ram Temple in Ayodhya which was inaugurated on January 22. The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the largest in all of the Gulf region. The UAE has three other Hindu temples in Dubai.

Standing tall at 108 feet, the BAPS Hindu Mandir is not only a symbol of spiritual devotion but also a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. The foundation stone, a cornerstone of cultural unity, was laid by Prime Minister Modi in 2017, reflecting the collaborative effort to bring this vision to life. The UAE had allocated land for the construction of the temple during PM Modi’s visit in 2015.

The UAE has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government. Seven spires representing seven emirates of the UAE, carvings of camels, and national bird falcon, are part of the architecture of the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi. To give equal representation to the host country, the temple also features the UAE’s national bird, the falcon.

Apart from 15 tales from India, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories from Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African civilizations have also been depicted in the temple. While the outer walls of the temple are made using sandstone from India, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately designed and carved columns and walls.

Over 300 high-tech sensors to measure temperature and monitor seismic activity, fly ash in the foundation to reduce carbon footprint, 18 million bricks, nano heat resistant tiles and no usage of iron and steel—the temple has been built using ancient architectural methods clubbed with scientific techniques. Other noteworthy architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars. 

A golden chapter in UAE’s history: PM Modi

During the inauguration in February, PM Modi said the UAE has written a golden chapter in human history with the temple. Dressed in a light pink silk dhoti and kurta paired with a sleeveless jacket and stole, the PM participated in rituals of a ceremony to dedicate the temple to the people. “No praise would be sufficient to laud the role of the UAE government in the construction of this temple,” he added.

The PM further said that the UAE, which was known for iconic buildings like Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Future Museum, has added another cultural chapter to its identity, and exuded confidence that the BAPS Hindu Temple will be visited by a large number of devotees.

“This will also increase the number of people coming to UAE and people-to-people connections will also increase. On behalf of the entire India and millions of Indians living around the world, I express my heartfelt gratitude to President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE Government,” he said.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi records staggering 65,000 visitors on first Sunday of public opening | WATCH



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