PM Modi inaugurates BAPS Hindu temple, says ‘UAE won hearts of 140 crore Indians’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in the United Arab Emirates on a two-day trip on Tuesday, inaugurated the BAPS Mandir today, a stunning architectural marvel which is Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple.
PM Modi inaugurates BAPS Hindu temple, says ‘UAE won hearts of 140 crore Indians’
Anjali Raj / Jaano junction

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the sprawling Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, built by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha or the BAPS society, on Wednesday.

PM Modi also offered prayers at the temple, accompanied by priests.

After the inauguration, PM Modi thanked UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for "fulfilling the aspirations of crores of Indians".

Built on 27 acres of land, this will be the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi which features a unique blend of Indian culture and the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) identity.

Here are 10 points on the BAPS Mandir:

  • PM Modi thanked UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for helping build the grand temple.

"If there is anyone who has the biggest and the most significant role in making this grand temple a reality, then it is none other than my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed," PM Modi said.

"The Government of UAE has not only won the hearts of Indians living in UAE, but also of all 140 crore Indians," he added.

  • PM Modi also said that the UAE, which till now was known for Burj Khalifa, Future Museum, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and other hi-tech buildings, has now added another cultural chapter to its identity.

    "I am confident that a large number of devotees will come here in the coming times. This will also increase the number of people coming to UAE and people-to-people connect will also increase," he said

  • The temple is built on a 27-acre plot of land, donated by the UAE government, in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway. The stone-laying ceremony took place in 2019.

    The sprawling structure has a prayer hall with the capacity to hold 3,000 people; a community centre; an exhibition hall; a library; and a children’s park.

  • The temple’s facade features elegant marble carvings set against a pink sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. The pink sandstone was transported from Rajasthan.

  • The temple features the traditional Nagar style of architecture. It stands tall at 108 feet, being crowned with seven shikhars (spires) each representing one of the seven emirates of the UAE.

  • The BAPS Mandir is surrounded by meticulously crafted ghats and features of the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The temple has two central domes -- 'Dome of Harmony' and ‘Dome of Peace'. The temple's entrance is marked by eight idols, which symbolises the eight values foundational to Sanatana Dharma.

  • The temple space also features stories from ancient civilisations -- Maya, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African -- all captured in stone. Tales of the 'Ramayan' can also be found on the structure.

  • The temple houses seven shrines, each dedicated to different deities hailing from the North, East, West and South parts of India.

  • To reduce carbon footprint, the temple's construction has incorporated fly ash to replace a significant portion of cement in the concrete mix. Around 150 sensors monitor the structure's temperature, pressure, stress and seismic events, ensuring the safety and longevity of the temple.

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PM Modi inaugurates BAPS Hindu temple, says ‘UAE won hearts of 140 crore Indians’
  • The BAPS Mandir has already won several accolades, including the Best Mechanical Project of the Year 2019, at the MEP Middle East Awards, Best Interior Design Concept of the Year 2020, Best Architecture Style and Best Traditional Nagar Style

Source: India Today

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