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Abu Dhabi Hindu Mandir to open for UAE residents on March 1 – News


Ambassadors and diplomats from 42 countries visit BAPS Hindu Mandir, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, January 29, 2024. Photo: PTI

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 2:08 p.m.

The first stone Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, which opened earlier this month, will open to the public from March 1. From February 15 to 29, foreign devotees who had registered in advance or VIP guests were allowed to visit the temple.

“The temple will be open to the public from March 1 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The temple will remain closed to visitors every Monday,” a temple spokesperson said.

There has been a huge demand from visitors, including people from abroad, to visit the historic BAPS Hindu Mandir. Community members wishing to visit the temple starting March 1 have been asked to register through a dedicated website or the Festival of Harmony app. The UAE has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf.

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The land for the temple was donated by the government of the United Arab Emirates. The temple has been built by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site at Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba along the Sheikh Zayed Dubai-Abu Dhabi Highway, at a cost of around 700 million of rupees.

The grand temple was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Modi on February 14 during a dedication ceremony attended by more than 5,000 guests.

Built with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic meters of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan, the temple has been made in the Nagara architectural style.

According to temple authorities, the grand temple has been built according to an ancient style of construction and creation mentioned in Shilpa and Sthapathya Shastras, Hindu scriptures that describe the art of mandir design and construction.

Seven spiers representing the seven Emirates of the United Arab Emirates, carvings of camels and the falcon, the national bird, form part of the architecture of the stone temple, to provide equal representation to the host country.

“The seven spiers have idols of deities including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven Emirates of the UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations, BAPS, told PTI.

To give equal representation to the host country, along with animals such as elephants, camels and lions that occupy an important place in Indian mythology, the national bird of the United Arab Emirates, the falcon, has also been included in the design of the temple.

In addition to 15 Indian tales, including the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, stories from the Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arab, European, Chinese and African civilizations have also been depicted in the temple.

While the outer walls of the temple are made of Indian sandstone, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately carved and carved columns and walls.

Other architectural elements worth mentioning include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (domed structures) and 402 pillars. The two ghumats are the “Dome of Peace” and the “Dome of Harmony.”

On both sides of the temple flows holy water from the Ganges and Yamuna, brought from India in huge containers.

The temple’s façade features exquisite marble carvings on a sandstone background, crafted from over 25,000 pieces of stone by expert craftsmen from Rajasthan and Gujarat. A substantial amount of pink sandstone was transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.


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