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'UAE has written a golden chapter, years of hard work went...': PM Modi on BAPS Temple inauguration

In a historic moment, PM Modi, dessed in a light pink silk dhoti and kurta paired with a sleeveless jacket and stole, inaugurated Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple and the Middle East's largest. He said the temple will become a symbol for communal harmony and unity for the world.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Updated on: February 14, 2024 21:39 IST
PM Modi, BAPS temple, Abu Dhabi, inauguration
Image Source : PTI PM Modi at the inaugural event of BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: Marking a significant milestone for India's relations with the Middle East as well as the Indian community in the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated trhe 108-feet-tall BAPS Hindu Temple, the first in Abu Dhabi and the largest in the Middle East. Dressed in a light pink silk dhoti and kurta paired with a sleeveless jacket and stole, the PM participated in rituals of a ceremony to dedicate the temple to the people.

Addressing the inaugural event after the inauguration, PM Modi said, "Today, the United Arab Emirates has written a golden chapter in human history. A beautiful and divine temple is being inaugurated here. Many years of hard work have been involved behind this moment. The blessings of Lord Swaminarayan are attached (to this occasion)".

He also underscored that the temple will be a symbol of communal harmony and unity in the world. He also lauded the role of the UAE government and requested everyone to give a standing ovation to President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. "No praise would be sufficient to laud the role of the UAE government in the construction of this temple," he added.

The PM further said that the UAE, which was known for iconic buildings like Burj Khalifa, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Future Museum, has added another cultural chapter to its identity, and exuded confidence that the BAPS Hindu Temple will be visited by a large number of devotees.

UAE won the hearts of 140 crore Indians: PM Modi

The PM asserted that the temple is not only a place of worship, it is a symbol of the common heritage of humanity. "This will also increase the number of people coming to UAE and people-to-people connections will also increase. On behalf of the entire India and millions of Indians living around the world, I express my heartfelt gratitude to President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE Government," he said.

PM Modi also spoke about having a father-son relationship with the late Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the former spiritual guru of BAPS. "For a very long time, as a paternal influence, I received his support and blessings. Even when I was a CM and then PM, he used to provide me with his guidance in clear words," he said.

"Today is the holy festival of Basant Panchami. This is the festival of Maa Saraswati, which means goddess of wisdom, prudence and consciousness. I hope that this temple will welcome Basant for humanity and better future," he further said, adding that the UAE government has won the hearts of 140 crore Indians. The PM also said that the UAE Vice President Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has announced the allocation of land to build a hospital for Indian workers in Dubai.

Before his address, the PM was lauded by UAE's Tolerance Minister Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. "Honorable PM Modi, it is indeed an honour to have to visit our country and work together and strengthen our great relations. We are proud to welcome you as a great friend and as a representative of a great and friendly country India. Your visit to UAE is a clear indication of the depth of the friendship, trust and cooperation that has long existed between the UAE and India and strengthened by you," he said.

The inauguration of BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi

Upon arrival at the grand temple complex, the Prime Minister was greeted by the members of the Indian community. Several Indian celebrities including actors Akshay Kumar, Dilip Joshi, Vivek Oberoi among others also attended the opening ceremony of the temple. The prime minister also offered water in the virtual Ganga and Yamuna rivers at the temple before the inauguration.

PM Modi greeted volunteers and key contributors involved in the creation of Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple and participated in the 'Global Aarti', where all 1,200 BAPS temples across the world offered prayers simultaneously on the historic occasion. He also offered flower petals at the feet of Lord Swaminarayan and was garlanded by BAPS President Mahant Swami Maharaj. He was seen inscribing the words "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (The World is One Family) on a stone using a hammer and a chisel.

He also met the artisans, including 2,000 from Gujarat and Rajasthan involved in the construction of breathtaking statues, pillars and columns of the architectural marvel. According to a video released by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, the organisation overseeing the construction of the temple in Abu Dhabi, the artisans were engaged in this artistic journey for the past four years.

About the historic Mandir

The BAPS temple, spread over a large area with stone architecture, is the largest of all in the Gulf region. It is the first stone Hindu mandir in Abu Dhabi which has been built using ancient architectural methods clubbed with scientific techniques. It has been built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks, seven lakh man hours and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan — Abu Dhabi's first Hindu temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the recently inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Like Ayodhya's Ram Mandir, in the BAPS temple also, no metal has been used in the construction and instead fly ash has been used to fill up the foundation.

Standing tall at 108 feet, the BAPS Hindu Mandir is not only a symbol of spiritual devotion but also a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. The foundation stone, a cornerstone of cultural unity, was laid by Prime Minister Modi in 2017, reflecting the collaborative effort to bring this vision to life.

(with inputs from agencies)



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