BAPS Hindu Mandir: Abu Dhabi To Open 1st Hindu Temple, PM Modi To Inaugurate
Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu Temple, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, is a special symbol of unity and cultural harmony.
Set to open on February 14, 2024, by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it’s the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, reflecting the UAE’s commitment to diversity.
The idea for the temple came from Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1997. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, gifted the land, for the Hindu Temple in 2015.
In 2018, Prime Minister Modi and UAE officials signed an agreement to build it. The foundation was laid on April 20, 2019.
Design and Features of the BAPS Hindu Mandir
Designed by RSP Architects and Capital Engineering Consultants, the temple is huge, able to hold 10,000 people. It’s 108 feet high, 262 feet long, and 180 feet wide.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir features 7 towers, which represent the 7 emirates in the United Arab Emirates. Its elaborate design incorporates seven sanctuaries, each of which recounts a narrative from the Shiva Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharata, or Bhagavad Gita.
Depictions of deities including Venkateshwara, Swaminarayan, Jagannath, and Ayyappa adorn the Shikharas (7 towers).
The temple also has detailed carvings and a ‘Dome of Harmony’ that symbolizes the five natural elements ‘earth, water, fire, air, and space’ as per the ancient science of Sanatan Hindu Dharma. The complex also has unique horse and camel carvings representing the UAE.
The temple is unique because it uses advanced sensor technology. There are over 350 sensors all over the building, with 100 in the base. These sensors collect important information about things like earthquakes, temperature changes, and pressure changes.
Facilities and Eco-Friendly Aspects
The temple has so many facilities for devotees and visitors. It includes a visitor center, prayer halls, exhibitions, a kids’ sports area, gardens, water features, a food court, and a shop.
It’s eco-friendly too, with benches made from recycled wood and a waterfall representing three holy rivers of India – Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati.
Built with pink sandstone and white marble from Rajasthan and Italy, over 1,500 artisans hand-carved the stones, which were then shipped to Abu Dhabi. The temple cost Dh400 million, totally funded by donations from devotees and well-wishers.
More than a worship place, the BAPS Hindu Mandir is a learning and community center. It will host festivals, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, yoga, medical camps, and environmental activities.
It’s expected to draw millions of visitors, enhancing India-UAE relations and cultural appreciation.
Inauguration And Special Events
The grand opening on February 14, 2024, will see PM Modi and other dignitaries attend. The celebration will consist of rituals, prayers, chants, and music, as well as cultural performances and talks.
The opening ceremony will be inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister Modi. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed, Mahant Swami Maharaj, and other dignitaries from India and the UAE will also attend the ceremony.
The public can visit from February 18, 2024, but UAE residents are advised to come from March 1, 2024, due to the special events planned.
Significance of BAPS Hindu Mandir
The temple is a place where people can learn about and practice the teachings of Hinduism, which include being kind to others and treating all living things with respect.
It will be open to people of all religions and backgrounds and is expected to be visited by many people who want to experience the beauty and different aspects of Hindu culture and spirituality.
The temple will also help improve the relationship between India and the UAE, and help people from both countries understand each other’s cultures and values.