Abu Dhabi is about to witness a historic moment with the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, the region’s first traditional Hindu stone temple. This temple, a symbol of unity and diversity, is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to tolerance. Scheduled to be inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 14, 2024, the temple is expected to attract visitors from various backgrounds, marking a significant milestone in interfaith relations.
The idea for the temple was conceived in 1997 by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, aiming to foster unity among nations. In 2015, the UAE government allocated land for the temple, demonstrating a gesture of goodwill. The foundation stone-laying ceremony took place in 2019, attended by dignitaries from India and the UAE.
Design and Features:
Designed by RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, the temple draws inspiration from Hindu scriptures. It boasts seven towers symbolizing the UAE’s seven emirates and features intricate designs depicting Hindu epics. The ‘Dome of Harmony’ represents the balance of natural elements. The temple complex includes various facilities such as prayer halls, exhibitions, and thematic gardens.
Constructed with pink sandstone from Rajasthan and white marble from Italy, the temple showcases the work of over 1,500 skilled artisans. The construction was funded by donations from devotees and well-wishers.
Beyond a place of worship, the temple promotes values of peace and tolerance. It serves as a center for cultural exchange and community engagement, hosting various activities.
Inauguration and Future:
The temple will be inaugurated on February 14, 2024, with a grand ceremony attended by dignitaries. It will open to the public on February 18, 2024, with special events planned. UAE residents can pre-register to visit from March 1, 2024.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi symbolizes unity and diversity. With its architectural beauty and cultural significance, it strengthens the bonds between India and the UAE, fostering understanding and appreciation of different cultures.