PM Modi to inaugurate Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple : All you need to know
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday lay the foundation stone for a new temple for the Hindu community living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The temple will be first to be built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE which is home to a huge Indian diaspora. The PM will be laying the foundation stone for the temple from the Dubai Opera House via video conferencing. This will be Modi’s second visit to the UAE after August 2015.
At present, the UAE has only one Hindu temple and that is in Dubai. During the PM’s previous trip in 2015, the UAE government had announced the allocation of 20,000 square metres of land in Abu Dhabi to build a temple.
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) will manage the temple. The Trust had on Friday expressing gratitude to the rulers of the UAE for gifting a piece of land to build the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
“At Dubai Opera House, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with the Indian community. Representatives of all major organisations and a number of Indian professionals have been invited. The occasion is going to be historic for a different reason because it will also see the commencement of the first Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. We are very pleased that we have received 55,000 square metres of land near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway.”
“On Sunday, you will see a groundbreaking ceremony, which is going to be live-streamed into Dubai Opera House. It’s going to be tradition meeting technology, ” he added.
The Indian Prime Minister will flag off laying of the temple’s foundation stone during the community event.
The temple’s construction will be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds.
It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, said a spokesperson from the BAPS Swaminarayanan Sanstha that is entrusted with the design, construction and management of the temple.
Unique and outstanding in its architectural marvel, the temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE, he said.
The UAE has two Hindu temples in Dubai. Devotees from Abu Dhabi and other emirates have to drive to Dubai for prayers and offerings.
Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, said the generous gift of land for a Hindu temple by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is a strong and sound message to the world that cultural and spiritual inclusiveness is the way forward for global harmony.
“Especially in the 21st century, when the world is fragmenting for frivolous reasons, this timely noble gesture creates hope for unity in diversity. It reinforces the guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of the founding fathers of the UAE. We are sincerely grateful and indebted.”
The temple will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex.
It will replicate the BAPS temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey, a trust member told Khaleej Times.
BAPS manages 1,200 temples in India, UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Africa.
Expected to be completed by 2020, it shall also include a visitors’ centre, prayer halls, exhibitions, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, a books and gift shop and other facilities.
“Moreover, as a landmark addition to the UAE skyline, the temple will become a beacon of beauty, an oasis of peace, an ocean of spirituality and a home of harmony – a global symbol of faith and friendship,” he added.