Tourists visiting Abu Dhabi will now have one more place to sojourn. Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple is under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The temple will be constructed on a 14-acre land at Abu Mureikhah near the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. The temple artisans from India have been given the onus of carving the stones required to build the architecture. The plan to build a Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi came into existence in 2015 when PM Narendra Modi had visited Abu Dhabi and it was approved by the Abu Dhabi government. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay
The foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the temple was conducted on April 20, 2019 and was attended by thousands of devotees from the Indian community. The ceremony was conducted under the guidance of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). BAPS is a religious and social institution who are responsible for this project. Many Indian officials and officials from UAE showed up at the ceremony.
Considered as the first Hindu temple of Abu Dhabi, the temple complex will be a combined structure containing a spiritual and cultural complex. It will house art galleries, prayer halls, library and a gym within its boundaries. The temple complex is also expected to have sports areas, water features, thematic gardens, a food court, gift shop and a bookstore as well. The temple will also feature seven pillars, one for each of the seven emirates of UAE.
The temple site has been generously gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This act of generosity has sparked feelings of global harmony among the communities.
Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha was quoted saying, “Especially in the 21st century, when the world is fragmenting for frivolous reasons, this timely noble gesture creates hope for unity in diversity. It reinforces the guiding vision of tolerance and harmony of the founding fathers of the UAE. We are sincerely grateful and indebted.”
UAE initially has two temples, both situated in Dubai. People residing in Abu Dhabi had to travel to Dubai to offer their prayers and offerings. The new temple will be open for people of all religious backgrounds. The development of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi is seen as a global symbol of faith and friendship.