Team Blitz India
Awave of religious fervour and festive atmosphere has set in as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates West Asia’s largest Hindu temple complex in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 14.
Coming weeks after PM Modi presided over the consecration of the historic Ram temple in Ayodhya, the opening ceremony of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi signifies his commitment to reestablish India’s ancient glory and spread its divine message across the world.
Tellingly, Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha that runs over other 1m100 Hindu temples across the world, was invited for the event as a State Guest of the United Arab Emirates..
The land for the temple was gifted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 2015 during PM Modi’s first visit to the country in 2015.
On February 10, 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed by India and the UAE in the presence of the entire royal family and over 250 local leaders. A day after the MoU was signed, the first stone consecration prayer for the mandir took place.
Design & architecture
As part of its tolerance programme, the UAE Government later granted another 14 acres of land for the temple. The foundation stone for the temple was laid the same year at an event that was attended by thousands of Indians in the UAE. The Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple is spread across over 27 acres and is built using pink limestone and white marble. No steel or concrete has been used in the construction of this temple.
The temple’s design draws inspiration from Vedic architecture and sculptures and the complex incorporates intricately designed pink sandstone and marble façade with seven spires that represent each of the emirate of the country.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha was also behind the largest Hindu temples (an Akshardham Temple) in Robbinsville city, New Jersey, USA in October last year.
Ambassadors from 42 countries were recently treated to a preview of the grand temple in Abu Dhabi by Sunjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to the UAE, as its construction was reaching the final phase.
“The temple is recognised as a powerful agent of interfaith and intercultural harmony, receiving gratitude from both the UAE and Indian leadership,” Ambassador Sudhir said. As part of his diplomatic initiatives, PM Modi has always projected India’s traditional world view. For him, it is an ideal spiritual space, not merely rooted in beliefs and traditions, but a confluence of diverse cultures and civilisations.
Abu Dhabi temple symbolises PM Modi’s vision for India’s spiritual leadership on the global stage. It is a status, the country enjoyed in ancient times. It is a goal PM Modi is aiming to achieve in the times to come.