Look: First carved stones laid for Abu Dhabi Hindu temple

The pink sandstones were shipped from India after being hand-carved in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 9 Nov 2021, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Nov 2021, 3:21 PM

The UAE’s first traditional Hindu temple has marked another milestone as the ceremony to lay the first sacred stones over the foundation started on Tuesday.

The ceremony called ‘Pratham Shila Sthaapan Saptah’ will continue till November 16 at the BAPS Hindu Mandir site in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this year, the pink sandstones were shipped from India after being hand-carved in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat by more than 2,000 sculptors. A team of 17 stone artisans have arrived to work on this historic project.

The ceremony was held in the presence of Pujya Brahmvihari Swami, seers and more than 300 dignitaries along with devotees, volunteers and well-wishers, who witnessed the first carved stones being placed upon the foundation’s five-meter-high plinth.

“Most of us have been following the visible progress of this temple since 2018 with several historic and memorable ceremonies. This is yet another but very important construction milestone as we will now get the first glimpse of the blueprints of this marvelous temple come to life,” said Brahmvihari Swami.


The temple will be built according to the ancient Hindu ‘shilpa shastras’ – Sanskrit scriptures of architecture. Each hand-carved sculpture of different sizes showcases the rich culture and history of India and includes Arabic symbols too.

“Over the next few days, visitors will be able to appreciate the intricate art and universal value stories carved on each stone. These stories etched on the stones, will forever celebrate the values of human harmony. We all are extremely grateful to one and all for their prayers, love and support to help fulfil this spiritual dream day by day and brick by brick.”

According to the final design, the temple will have seven spires and five domes. The complex will have a visitor’s centre, prayer halls, library, classroom, community centre, majilis, amphitheatre, play areas, gardens, books and gift shops, food court and more facilities.

The temple will be the first and the only such stone structure which will have more than 300 hi-tech sensors embedded at 10 different levels to provide online active data of stress, pressure, temperature and seismic events for the next 50 years.

The building will have no steel reinforcements reflecting Vedic architecture of ancient religious shrines in India.

The temple is expected to be completed in 2023 and will last a minimum of 1,000 years.

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