Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, February 11 officially launched the project for the first Hindu temple to be built in Abu Dhabi which is believed to be home to over three million people of Indian origin. In a live video stream from the Dubai Opera House where the Prime Minister was interacting with the Indian community, he launched the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Temple project.
Modi said, “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.” After an hour long puja, the site was inaugurated in the Al Rahba area which marked a religious sanction for construction to begin on the 55,000 square metre plot of land.
Plans and information about the temple were presented to Mr Modi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, by members of the temple committee before delegations began talks. Currently, there are two Hindu temples in Dubai, one Sikh gurdwara and several Christian churches in the Emirates. The Abu Dhabi Hindu monument will be the capital’s first temple.
“We are at the centre of all the excitement. We are targeting 2020 and let’s hope that all goes according to plan. This is a noble gift from the Royals of the UAE to the Indian community. It is a dream come true,” said a volunteer with knowledge of the project to PTI. The temple will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex. It will replicate the BAPS temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey.