UAE’s First Hindu Temple: The sun-drenched sands of the Arabian Peninsula are set to witness a historic moment. Nestled amidst the futuristic skyline of Abu Dhabi, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, soon to be the largest Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, is preparing to open its doors, symbolizing a remarkable confluence of culture, faith, and tolerance.
A Beacon of Tolerance: Unveiling the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi
More than just a place of worship, this architectural marvel promises to be a vibrant community hub, fostering understanding and harmony within the UAE and beyond.
A Dream Realized:
The journey of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi began in 1997 when Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the then spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, envisioned a temple in the UAE. Years of unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts between BAPS and the visionary leadership of the UAE saw this dream materialize in 2015 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, generously gifted land for the project. In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone, marking a significant milestone.
Beyond Bricks and Mortar:
Inspired by the Akshardham temple in New Delhi, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is a majestic blend of traditional Hindu architecture and modern sensibilities. Intricately carved sandstone from Rajasthan and pristine marble from Macedonia adorn its facade, showcasing the artistry of skilled artisans.
Five ornate domes, and seven spires representing the seven emirates of the UAE, crown the structure, signifying respect and integration into the local landscape. Will be dedicated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 Feb, 2024.
|Abu Mureikhah, along the Dubai–Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway
|$92 million Approx
|100 in foundations, 350 around the structure, for
earthquake, temperature and pressure changes
|Marble Used (cft)
|Sandstone Used (cft)
|Man hours (till date)
|Life of Temple
But the BAPS Hindu Mandir goes beyond stunning aesthetics. It’s a multi-faceted complex encompassing:
- Seven shrines: Dedicated to revered Hindu deities, each shrine promises a serene and uplifting experience.
- Exhibition hall: Unveiling the rich tapestry of Hindu heritage and philosophy through interactive exhibits.
- Community center: Fostering cultural exchange and dialogue through educational programs, workshops, and events.
- Library and bookshop: Offering a wealth of knowledge and resources for spiritual growth and intellectual exploration.
- Sports center: Promoting physical well-being and a healthy lifestyle for all ages.
- Food court: Serving delicious vegetarian cuisine, fostering social interaction and community spirit.
BAPS Hindu Mandir: A Marvel of Construction
Cost and Design:
- Budget: Rs 700 crore (approximately $92 million)
- Standout feature: Seven spires representing each Emirate, symbolizing respect and integration.
Location and Sustainability:
- Sprawling across 27 acres, donated by the UAE President.
- Strategically located near major highways for easy access.
- Environmentally conscious: using fly ash in concrete and choosing heat-resistant materials like pink sandstone.
- First traditional Hindu temple to undergo extensive digital modeling and seismic analysis, ensuring longevity and resilience.
- Largest temple in West Asia, showcasing impressive dimensions and intricate details.
Architecture and Symbolism:
- Two ghumats (domes) and seven shikars (spires): Reflecting grandeur and cultural significance.
- 12 samrans and 402 pillars: Adding to the architectural complexity and strength.
Beyond just a place of worship:
The BAPS Hindu Mandir aims to be a community hub, fostering tolerance and understanding across cultures.
“The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi serves as a spiritual oasis for global harmony that celebrates the past and recalibrates the future. It is a timeless testament to the spirituality of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the generosity, sincerity and friendship of the leaderships of the UAE, India and BAPS.”Brahmaviharidas Swami
A Symbol of Hope:
The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi stands as a powerful symbol of tolerance, understanding, and the unifying power of faith. It embodies the spirit of collaboration and respect that underpins the UAE’s vibrant multicultural society. This architectural marvel is not just a testament to Hindu heritage, but also a beacon of hope for a future where different faiths and cultures flourish together in harmony.
So, when the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi opens its doors, step inside and witness the confluence of faith, community, and architectural wonder. It’s an experience that will leave you enriched, inspired, and with a renewed appreciation for the beauty of diversity.
- Official website: https://www.baps.org/Global-Network/MiddleEast/AbuDhabi.aspx
- Social media: @BAPS.Swaminarayan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Dress code: Modest attire covering shoulders and knees.
- Respectful behavior: Maintain silence and refrain from photography in prayer areas.