BAPS hindu mandir Abu Dhabi

“India will rise as a Vishwaguru,” stated Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal after his visit to the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi. Sharing his experience on X, Aggarwal’s tweet attracted attention, highlighting the temple’s spirituality and India’s potential for inclusive development.

On February 14, 2024, a historic moment unfolded as the BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi was consecrated by Mahant Swami Maharaj. This traditional Hindu temple, built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, stands as a remarkable achievement, being the first of its kind in Abu Dhabi, inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Abu Dhabi stands as a testament to the evolving diplomatic strategies of India. Nestled amidst the towering skyscrapers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this architectural marvel serves not only as a spiritual haven but also as a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage. Its significance extends beyond religious boundaries, playing a pivotal role in shaping India-UAE relations and showcasing India’s commitment to fostering interfaith harmony. Notably, this mandir is also the first Hindu traditional temple to undergo complete digital modelling and seismic simulation, underlining its importance on a global scale.

Let’s understand this historic moment in detail.

What is BAPS?

  • BAPS stands for Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a global Hindu organization run by volunteers.
  • It’s mission is to spread spirituality, cultural values and help people worldwide.
  • BAPS is known for its various activities like helping people in need and organizing cultural events.
  • One of its significant contributions is building temples all over the world, including a famous one in the capital city of India, Delhi.
  • These temples play a vital role in preserving Hindu culture and providing a place for spiritual growth and community gathering.

BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi – A Symbol of Unity

Since it started, the BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi has shown the great vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. When he visited the UAE in 1997, he inspired the idea of making a place of worship that brings people together, no matter their differences and helps them respect each other. Inspired by his vision of cultural harmony, the UAE government’s contribution played a pivotal role in turning this vision into reality. With Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s benevolent gesture of gifting 27 acres of land for the mandir, the foundation was laid for a symbol of cultural exchange and understanding in the heart of Abu Dhabi. This monumental act of generosity laid the groundwork for the construction of a sanctuary that would serve as a symbol of unity for generations to come.

At the heart of the BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi’s creation are over 200 dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Their tireless commitment, totalling over 6,90,000 hours, has been crucial in shaping this impressive architectural feat. Fashioned from pink sandstone sourced from Rajasthan and marble imported from Italy, the mandir beautifully blends ancient traditions with modern craftsmanship. The meticulous planning and execution, including digital modelling and seismic simulation, highlight the collaborative effort that brought this vision to fruition. With volunteers from around the world lending their expertise and labour, the mandir stands not only as a physical structure but as a symbol of collective dedication and shared purpose.

BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi Inauguration – Historical Moments

The inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi was a jubilant celebration of unity and cultural diversity. The Festival of Harmony, which commenced the festivities, showcased the vibrant tapestry of traditions that define both the UAE and India. The esteemed presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi underscored the event’s significance. As the mandir opened its doors to the public, it became a beacon of hope and unity, resonating not only within its walls but also serving as a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and its enduring commitment to fostering international goodwill.

The guest list for the inauguration ceremony included a blend of Indian government officials, Bollywood stars, businessmen and senior Abu Dhabi officials, further elevating the event’s stature and importance. Among the notable attendees were Indian film stars Akshay Kumar, Vivek Oberoi, Shankar Mahadevan, and others, who added a touch of glamour and significance to the auspicious occasion. Additionally, former Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, highlighted the symbolic importance of the day for the Indian community, emphasizing its long-standing spiritual and religious significance. He recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed in 2015 for land to build the temple, underscoring the historical context of the event. This diverse mix of guests underscored the cultural and diplomatic significance of the temple’s inauguration, marking a momentous milestone in the relationship between India and the UAE. Starting from March 1st, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi eagerly awaits visits from UAE residents, coinciding with the influx of pre-registered overseas visitors expected over the following fortnight.

Diplomacy and More

The temple extends a warm invitation to individuals of all faiths and beliefs to explore its serene surroundings. Admission to the temple is completely free. However, visitors are kindly asked to register in advance on the official website or via the Festival of Harmony app.

The spacious BAPS Hindu Mandir can comfortably accommodate around 10,000 visitors at a time. Visitors are welcome to explore the temple’s splendour from 9 am to 8 pm daily.

At its core, the BAPS temple serves as a powerful tool for cultural diplomacy, amplifying India’s soft power on the global stage. Let’s hope for a new era ushered by Abu Dhabi, where people come together with unity and acceptance. With the temple open to everyone, it inspires us to move towards a future where we value our differences and understand each other better. Let’s see this moment not as an end but as a fresh start—a world where love knows no limits, and everyone is united.

By thewonk