The First Of Its Kind Hindu Temple In Abu Dhabi Is Nothing Less Than A Gem

In a significant milestone for the Hindu community in Abu Dhabi, the inauguration of the first-ever Hindu temple in the capital city has brought forth joy and celebration. This architectural marvel is not just a place of worship but a symbol of cultural richness, embodying the spirit of unity and diversity that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stands for.

The temple’s striking architecture bears a remarkable resemblance to the renowned Akshardham temple in Delhi, showcasing the craftsmanship of Indian artisans. Adorned with pink stones from Rajasthan and marble imported from Macedonia, the temple is a testament to the dedication and artistic skills of those who contributed to its creation.

The journey toward the establishment of this sacred place began in 1997 when Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the president of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, expressed his desire for a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi during a visit to the desert in Sharjah. Over the years, numerous attempts were made to secure land permission, culminating in the generous donation of 13.5 acres of land by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 2015.

The foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Abu Dhabi in 2018, marking a historic moment for the Hindu community in the UAE. The temple’s design, rooted in ancient Shilpashastras or Sanskrit scriptures of architecture, includes seven spires representing the seven emirates of the UAE and five ornate domes.

What sets this temple apart is its commitment to traditional construction methods. Unlike modern structures, the temple is being built without the use of steel or iron, adhering to the principles of traditional Indian temple architecture. The foundation, made with fly ash concrete, witnessed the UAE’s largest single pouring of fly ash concrete, totaling 3,000 cubic meters.

The grandeur of the temple extends beyond its religious significance. The complex features beautiful gardens, gift stores, a library, and a dedicated area for children to play. With 6-7 prayer rooms, an exhibition hall, and vegetarian food courts, the temple is designed to cater to the diverse needs of its visitors.

The inauguration ceremony, held on April 20, 2019, saw a massive turnout from the Indian diaspora, with India’s UAE Ambassador Pavan Kapoor and Dubai Consul General Vipul among the dignitaries present. Special prayers were offered for the temple and the UAE during the ceremony, emphasizing the temple’s role as a symbol of unity transcending borders.

Brahmavihari Das, the seniormost priest of the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple Sanstha, led the ceremony, expressing the temple’s significance as a place beyond limits, fostering a sense of unity and belonging among the diverse community in the UAE.

As the first-of-its-kind Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, this architectural masterpiece not only provides a sacred space for worship but also serves as a bridge between cultures, fostering harmony and understanding in the heart of the UAE. The temple stands as a testament to the country’s commitment to inclusivity and respect for diverse faiths, making it a true gem in the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi.

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