‘Dream come true’: 30 days left for Abu Dhabi Hindu temple grand opening

The hand-carved pink sandstone temple on 27 acres of land is expected to last more than 1,000 years

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 9:19 AM

Last updated: Mon 15 Jan 2024, 11:29 PM

The much-anticipated inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, the region’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, is now just a month away.

In August 2015, the UAE government allotted land to build a temple in Abu Dhabi. UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan gifted the land during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first official visit to the UAE. The construction of the iconic temple began in December 2019 and will be opened through a grand ceremony on February 14. Modi has accepted an invitation from BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha to inaugurate the temple.

Pujya Swami Brahmaviharidas, the head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, recollected that the ambitious project was envisioned by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s late spiritual leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj during his visit to the UAE in 1997.

“This project is almost like a dream. I still remember the day that Pramukh Swami was in Sharjah, and the sun was setting. And that’s when Pramukh Swami said: ‘May there be a temple in Abu Dhabi, and may that temple bring countries, cultures, and religions closer together’. The dream has come true,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, said while standing on the plinth of the temple.

He underlined that the temple is a great example of “a spiritual oasis for global harmony”.

“The efforts of the volunteers and artisans, the effort in bringing almost 700 containers with thousands of pieces of stones, and assembling them; the effort and challenges across the Coronavirus pandemic and the wars that have happened; but the effort [to build the temple] has continued because of sheer spiritual power and prowess.”

The hand-carved pink sandstone temple on 27 acres of land is expected to last more than 1,000 years.

“There have been hundreds and hundreds of volunteers, 1,500 workers who have worked to complete the entire complex, hundreds of donors, and countless leaders of communities have come forward.”

Swami Brahmaviharidas expressed joy to witness the completion of the temple, which is the result of the generosity of the UAE rulers.

“This is a project, which is bigger than a dream. It’s almost like a script that has been written in heaven, and now screen played on Earth. It’s beyond all of our imaginations,” Swami Brahmaviharidas added.

The opening of the temple, an invitation-only event, will be through a Vedic ceremony led by Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj. It will be made open to the general public on February 18.

Further details can be found by downloading the app ‘Festival of Harmony’ or visiting https://festivalofharmony.ae.

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