The highly anticipated inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, set to be graced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marks a significant milestone in cultural and religious diplomacy. Scheduled for February 14, unveiling this iconic temple, the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, symbolizes the deep-rooted ties between India and the UAE.
With Mahant Swami Maharaj leading the inauguration ceremony, let’s delve into ten critical highlights of this monumental event and the temple itself.
1. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Cost and Materials:
The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, located in the Abu Mureikhah area, was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore. The temple’s intricate architecture features a combination of pink Rajasthan sandstone and white Italian marble, meticulously carved in India and assembled in the UAE.
2. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi- Land Donation:
Spanning 13.5 acres, the temple stands on land generously donated by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This significant donation was made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country in 2015, underscoring the strong bilateral ties between India and the UAE.
3. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – BAPS Sect Involvement:
Spearheading the construction of the temple is the BAPS (Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha), a prominent Hindu sect renowned for its devotion to Swaminarayan as an avatar of Lord Krishna. The sect’s dedication and reverence have been pivotal in bringing the temple to fruition.
4. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Vedic Design:
Drawing inspiration from Vedic architecture and sculptures, the temple’s design is a testament to traditional Hindu craftsmanship. Each of its seven spires symbolizes an Emirate of the UAE, reflecting the cultural integration and unity cherished by the Indian diaspora in the region.
5. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Foundation Stone and Expansion:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the temple’s foundation stone in 2017, marking the commencement of this monumental project. Subsequently, the UAE government allocated 13.5 acres in January 2019 to facilitate the temple’s expansion and development.
6. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Architectural Features:
Within the temple premises, visitors will find prayer halls, a visitor center, thematic gardens, and various other spaces designed for spiritual contemplation and cultural enrichment.
7. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Structural Integrity:
The temple has approximately 100 sensors in its foundation and other areas and prioritizes safety and structural stability. These sensors monitor seismic activity and ensure the temple’s resilience against potential natural phenomena.
8. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Traditional Construction:
In line with the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi refrains from using iron and steel in its construction, adhering to traditional building practices and materials.
9. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Inauguration Preparations:
A dedicated registration portal has been established to streamline the inauguration event, facilitating logistics and transportation arrangements from all emirates. The event is a collaborative effort involving 150 Indian community organizations in the UAE.
10. BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – Facilities for All:
Beyond its religious significance, the temple will provide educational facilities through classrooms, exhibition centers, and play areas for children, fostering cultural and intellectual growth within the community.