First Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi to be built by BAPS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, February 11, 2018 inaugurated the BAPS Hindu Mandir model, and thus officially launched the construction of the first BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi to be built on 55,000 square meters of land. The temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE. It is expected to be completed by 2020, and open to people of all religious backgrounds. The temple, inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and blessed by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, will be a significant symbol of global peace and harmony.

The foundation stone-laying ceremony for the first Hindu temple in the capital of the UAE, home to over three million people of Indian origin was live-streamed to the Dubai Opera House where the prime minister was interacting with Indian and Emirati dignitaries from all walks of life.

Modi thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his generous gift. "I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendor, but will also give a message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' to people across the world," he said.

Several thousand devotees from all over the world, well-wishers and guests participated in the Shila Pujan ceremony marking the first step in the construction of the traditional stone temple. Representatives of all Indian religious denominations and communities, as well as, representatives of the Jain, Sikh, Muslim, Christian and other faith communities also attended the auspicious ceremony. In particular, Pujya Shri Rakeshbhai, founder of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission in Dharampur, India, participated in the Vedic rituals.

Speaking on the occasion, Pujya Brahmaviharidas swami, the spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha said, “The generous gift of land for a Hindu Temple by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is a strong and sound message to the world that cultural and spiritual inclusiveness is the way forward for global harmony. 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 to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, as well as the people of both nations for their commitment towards peace and harmony."

Open to people of all beliefs and backgrounds, races and religions, this traditional temple will be a part of the UAE's mission of happiness and harmony by helping to foster love, tolerance, understanding and peaceful coexistence.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities.

For more details, visit www.baps.org.