Thursday, June 13, 2024

Narendra Modi

International dignitaries unite in Abu Dhabi to witness progress of BAPS Hindu Mandir

January 31, 2024 10:05 AM IST

BAPS Hindu Mandir | Vinod Kumar | temple | International dignitaries | Hindu Mandir | UAE | Dubai | hindu | Abu Dhabi | Indian Embassy

By Vinod Kumar (Dubai)

Representatives from 42 nations gathered at the sprawling 27-acre construction site of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, responding to an invitation from the Indian Embassy in the UAE. The purpose of the visit was to promote intercultural understanding, goodwill, and respect, offering distinguished guests a firsthand look at the ongoing construction of the Middle East’s inaugural traditional Hindu temple, symbolizing universal principles of tolerance and harmony.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate Abu Dhabi’s landmark Hindu temple on February 14th. The UAE’s first traditional hand-carved Hindu temple, located in Abu Dhabi’s Abu Mureika area, off the main motorway between Dubai and the capital, will open to the public on February 18.

Ambassadors and senior diplomats from Argentina to Zambia, totaling 42 countries, visited the Mandir site. Over 60 dignitaries were welcomed with garlands and participated in the traditional tying of a sacred thread, signifying the importance of their presence.

The initiative was orchestrated by the Indian Embassy at the UAE. In a brief address, Ambassador Sunjay Sudhir expressed gratitude for the guests’ attendance and shared his excitement at the imminent completion of the Mandir, emphasizing the transformation of a once-impossible dream into reality.

Swami Brahmaviharidas, the head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir project, delivered a keynote address providing insights into the Mandir’s historical significance, construction process, and global impact. He acknowledged the support from both the UAE and Indian leadership, highlighting the Mandir’s role as a potent force for interfaith and intercultural harmony.

Radha Krishna Panday, Ambassador of Canada, shared, “Dedication to quality, the artistry, the thought that went into the choice of images to celebrate the diversity and harmony of human nature is all very striking and most appealing.” 

Jonathan Knight, Deputy Ambassador of the United Kingdom, said, “It’s wonderful to see a place that’s been contributed by so many different faiths coming together to build something that will last for generations. My hope is this building provides a home away from home.”

Alexander Schoenfelder, Ambassador of Germany, shared, “We have the Grand Mosque in the UAE, we have the Abrahamic Family Houses in Abu Dhabi, and now we have this wonderful place. I think it is very clear that we live in a country where religious tolerance is really lived.”

To commemorate the visit, each guest received a beautifully hand-painted stone featuring an image of the Mandir created by children. The ambassadors’ visit marked a significant step in promoting peace, fostering cultural interaction, and strengthening diplomatic ties between the participating countries and the United Arab Emirates.

As the construction of the religious campus nears completion, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are slated to inaugurate the temple on February 14, 2024.

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Last updated on: 13th June 2024