Home Event 1st Hindu stone temple in Middle East inaugurated in Abu Dhabi by PM Narendra Modi

1st Hindu stone temple in Middle East inaugurated in Abu Dhabi by PM Narendra Modi

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The Shapoorji Pallonji Group, one of India’s leading business houses, announces the successful completion of the first Hindu temple in the Middle East. The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated in person on 14th February 2024 by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in a grand ceremony. This significant accomplishment marks a historic milestone in fostering cultural and religious unity, and in strengthening bilateral relations between India and the UAE.

An architectural marvel, the Mandir towers over the sandy landscape of the UAE. It is nestled in 27 acres of desert land, in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi – thanks to the generous donation of land by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

The Mandir is open to all faiths and is an initiative of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (the institution behind several Swaminarayan temples across India and the world). It is a testament to India’s culture, and to its ancient skills in architecture and sculpture. It has been built in strict accordance with age-old Indian texts and derives its inspiration from a lotus motif. It has 7 spires, which represent the 7 Emirates of the UAE.

“Our dream of building a Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi has now become a reality. Shapoorji Pallonji has played a pivotal role in partnering with us to create this lotus in the desert. We extend our gratitude to Shapoorji Pallonji for bringing to life our vision of this spiritual oasis for global harmony,” said Pranav Desai, Director of BAPS.

“We, at Shapoorji Pallonji, are deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to work with BAPS and create this incredible monument that brings together art, harmony and faith. Apart from being a celebration of cultural diversity, this is a testament to our engineering expertise” said Shapoorji P MistryChairman, Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

In this project, Shapoorji Pallonji successfully integrated modern technology such as security, lighting systems and air-conditioning with the traditional requirements of ancient Indian architecture.

The temple complex has 7 ancillary buildings, to cater to 15,000+ visitors daily. It has distinctive water features, which represent three major rivers – Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The main temple is constructed on a raft foundation using UAE’s largest single pour of unreinforced fly-ash concrete. Instead of iron and steel reinforcements, bamboo sticks and glass fibre were used.

The temple façade is built on this foundation, using 40,000 cubic meters of marble from Italy and 1,80,000 cubic meters of pink sandstone from Rajasthan. Thousands of artisans and volunteers intricately carved the stones in Rajasthan, for BAPS. These were then put together in Abu Dhabi like a giant jig-saw puzzle.

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which is 159 years old, has built several landmarks across the world. It has been present in the Middle East for close to 50 years, beginning with the Sultan’s Palace in Muscat, in 1975. Some of its recent marquee projects in India are Bharat Mandapam and Kartavya Path in New Delhi, Port Blair Airport, and Atal Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.

 

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