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PM Modi to inaugurate UAE's first BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi on February 14

PM Modi received the invitation from Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors of the temple last year. The grand temple is located on a 27-acre piece of land in Abu Mureikhah district.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Abu Dhabi Published on: February 07, 2024 20:56 IST
UAE, PM Modi, BAPS Hindu temple
Image Source : INDIA IN UAE (X) BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) first BAPS Hindu temple on February 14, according to an official press release from BAPS Hindu Mandir. Swami Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, has arrived in the UAE ahead of the grand opening of the temple on a 27-acre piece of land in Abu Mureikhah district.

"Welcome to the UAE. Our nation is blessed with your presence. We are touched by your kindness and we feel your prayers,” Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence said. In response, Swami Maharaj warmly replied, “We are touched by your love and respect. The leaders of the UAE are great, good, and large-hearted.”

The inauguration of the iconic Mandir will be celebrated through the ‘Festival of Harmony’ – a series of uplifting programs and community events focused on strengthening faith, mobilising community service, and inspiring harmony among people of all generations and backgrounds, the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) said in a press release.

This comes nearly a month after the historic inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, where PM Modi performed the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony on January 22. 

PM Modi received the invitation from Swami Ishwarcharandas and Swami Brahmaviharidas, along with the board of directors of the temple. He and Swami Ishwarcharandas met at the former's official residence in December, where accepted the invitation gracefully and expressed his unwavering support for the historic and iconic temple.

The Prime Minister was specially commended for the remarkable renovation and development of pilgrimage sites across India, a feat unparalleled in recent centuries, and expressed prayers for Mahant Swami Maharaj's health. The PM also appreciated the efforts of key individuals, volunteers and supporters, involved in the BAPS Hindu Mandir project in Abu Dhabi.

About the first Hindu temple in UAE

According to the release, Hindus in the UAE have nurtured their faith for decades through weekly satsang assemblies, gatherings dedicated to prayer, spiritual discourses, and community building. These assemblies, further strengthened by regular visits of spiritual leaders from India, provided a sense of belonging and shared purpose. It was within this fertile ground of devotion and community spirit that the dream of a mandir truly blossomed

The temple visit served to foster intercultural understanding, goodwill and respect while providing the guests an opportunity to witness the ongoing progress of the Middle East's inaugural traditional Hindu temple, symbolising the universal principles of tolerance and harmony. A defining moment arrived in February 2018, when Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, generously gifted a plot of land, demonstrating the UAE's unwavering commitment to interfaith dialogue, the release said. 

This gesture, further strengthened by Modi's launch of the project at the Dubai Opera that same month marked a historic chapter in interfaith relations, it added. The visit by PM Modi will further signify the close ties between India and the UAE. 

This will be Modi’s seventh visit to UAE as the prime minister. In December, the Indian Prime Minister attended the COP28 Summit in Dubai, at the invitation of the President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Brahmaviharidas Swami, who has been overseeing the Mandir project under the guidance of Swami Maharaj, explained, “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,” he said.

BAPS Mandirs celebrated Ram temple inauguration

Earlier, a special program was held at over 100 BAPS Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America on January 20, 2024, in honour of the historic inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. This auspicious event marked the culmination of an extraordinary journey spanning over five centuries, a testament to the sacrifices and unwavering faith of numerous swamis, mahants, acharyas, and devoted individuals.

Under the inspiring guidance of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS masterfully organised an array of devotional programs at 1,500 mandirs and 21,000 Satsang assemblies globally, each event pulsating with vibrant enthusiasm. The mandirs were beautifully transformed into stunning displays of devotion, each one adorned with sparkling lights, glowing diyas, and intricate rangolis that depicted Shri Ram and the new mandir, creating a captivating and spiritual ambience.

(with inputs from PTI)

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