Worshipers offer prayers at Jebel Ali Hindu Mandir in Dubai. KT Photo: Neeraj Murali.
The Jebel Ali temple welcomed 40,000 devotees on the first day of the New Year, reflecting a growing community commitment to spiritual observances.
Mohan Narasimhamurthy, general manager of Hindu Temple Dubai in Jebel Ali, revealed a notable increase, with more than 12,000 more devotees attending compared to the previous year.
Khaleej Times He visited the new Jebel Ali temple a day after the Shiva temple in Bur Dubai moved there, exploring how this transition symbolizes hope for worshipers as they greet 2024.
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“Last year we received approximately between 28,000 and 29,000 people. This year, there was a noticeable increase in the footfall of devotees and the temple received an additional 10,000 to 12,000 people. It was a successful day as we managed to ensure the satisfaction of all the devotees.”
He explained that every effort was made to handle different queues, such as the singles queue, family queues and a larger family queue that accommodates people aged 80 and over, people with disabilities (POD), pregnant women and mothers with you drink.
Devotees on January 1
“Throughout the day, there was a constant flow of 1,800 to 2,000 people per hour from morning to night. On important occasions, we have surpassed the attendance of 25,000 devotees more than 29 or 30 times in a single day.”
“We have a large number of volunteers who help on those days. The family queues have waiting areas within the facilities so that people can be comfortable there while they wait before being able to enter the main prayer room. Security is the maximum priority,” he added. .
He also noted that no special archanas or abhisheks (rituals) are performed on those days and only darshan (view of the inner sanctum) is a priority on those days.
Narasimhamurthy said, “Throughout the year, we see four to five important days, one of which is January 1. The UAE National Day, a public holiday, attracts a considerable number of devotees. Normally, between Monday and Friday, the temple receives an average of 3,000 to 4,000 worshipers. However, on weekends, this number increases, reaching approximately 6,000 on Saturdays, 8,000 on Sundays, and a maximum of 12,000 attendees on average.”
First time visitors
Even as the relocation of the Bur Dubai temple to Jebel Ali stirred emotions within the community, many devotees at the new temple site praised the move, stating that parking and crowd management posed a major challenge at the old temple’s location. .
Gokul Raman visited to seek blessings for the New Year and celebrate his daughter’s birthday. “Today is my daughter’s birthday and visiting the temple on such special occasions is a tradition that we have always maintained. It is such a beautiful temple. We couldn’t come here on January 1, but at least we managed to get here today,” said the Silicon Oasis resident.
He added: “Before its (Bur Dubai temple) closure, for the last time, I wanted to visit the ancient temple once, but I couldn’t. However, we have now moved our visits to this new temple. It’s really beautiful here, the immaculate white walls. Upon entering, there is a distinct vibe that fosters a strong sense of connection.”
Seema Bhatia, who traveled from Sharjah, brought her daughter. KT Photo: Nandini Sircar
Seema Bhatia, who traveled from Sharjah, brought her daughter, who is currently visiting her from London. “This temple is charming. The government has given us this huge place and it is truly beautiful and magnificent. We come here regularly for all functions and festivals,” she said.
“The ancient temple was full of people, but it also had its own charm. But this is spacious and quite ornate,” added the resident who has been in the UAE for the past 17 years.
Driver Gurpreet Singh, who was visiting the Gurudwara next door, decided to bring his friend here who was longing to see the new temple.
“My friend Sudeepto had not seen this temple although it was inaugurated in October 2022. He really wanted to see it. But he doesn’t have a vehicle. Since I have a vehicle and still drive, I decided to bring him here on his day off.”
Ankur Singh, a newcomer, said, “I am seeing this place for the first time. I decided to come here because the New Year has just started. “It is spacious, elegant and has an amazing aura.”
Ammust see destination
Meanwhile, Narasimhamurthy also highlighted that the temple at Jebel Ali is not only gaining popularity among devotees but is also emerging as a prominent attraction for tour operators in the UAE.
Tour companies are increasingly including temple visits in their guided tours, attracting people of various nationalities and religions.
He said: “On average, we receive seven to eight tourist buses a day. Many tour operators have selected the temple as a must-visit destination. More than 40 to 50 different nationalities have visited the temple. The doors are open to everyone.”
He explains that sometimes during the high season these figures can even be exceeded.
“Also out of season we see one or two tourist buses arrive here daily. I receive calls from all over the world. Tour bus companies in the US and India contact me about upcoming tour groups, ask if advance reservations are required, and I always respond with ‘No.’”
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