Pratham Shila Sthaapan Saptah ceremony 2(1)-1636457773080
A week-long ceremony has begun to mark stones being placed upon the plinth of the foundation of BAPS Hindu Mandir Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: BAPS Hindu Mandir, the first Hindu temple coming up in Abu Dhabi, has reached another construction milestone with the first carved sacred stones being placed upon the foundation’s five-metre-high plinth.

The stonework for the Mandir is being sculpted by more than 2,000 skilled artisans in India and then shipped to the UAE to be assembled on the site like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

A team of 17 stone artisans has arrived to work on this one-of-its-kind historic temple in the region.

Sacred stone for plinth of foundation of BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi
Sacred stone for plinth of foundation of BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Special ceremony

The weeklong ceremony called ‘Pratham Shila Sthaapan Saptah’ started on Tuesday and will go on till November 16 at the BAPS Hindu Mandir site in Abu Dhabi, the temple management said in a press release.

“This ceremony was held in the presence of Pujya Brahmavihari Das Swami, sadhus [holy men] and more than 300 dignitaries, along with devotees, volunteers and well-wishers from all around the world, who participated [online] to witness it,” it added.

Swami Brahmavihari Das, who heads the BAPS Hindu Mandir, said: “Most of us have been following the visible progress of this temple since 2018 with several historic and memorable ceremonies. This is yet another, but very important construction milestone as we will now get the first glimpse of the blueprints of this marvellous temple come to life.”

He added: “Over the next few days, visitors will be able to appreciate the intricate art and universal value stories carved on each stone. These stories etched on the stones, will forever celebrate the values of human harmony. We all are extremely grateful to one and all for their prayers, love and support to help fulfil this spiritual dream day by day and brick by brick.”

The priest thanked the hundreds of volunteers and well-wishers who have been spending their valuable time to ensure that this dream becomes a reality.

Hi-tech sensors

The Mandir will be the first and the only such stone structure that will have more than 300 hi-tech sensors embedded at 10 different levels to provide online active data of stress, pressure, temperature and seismic events for the next 50 years, the management stated.

The building will have no steel reinforcements reflecting Vedic architecture of ancient religious shrines in India.

The latest ceremony coincides with the Expo 2020 Dubai, where a replica of the BAPS Hindu Mandir is exhibited through the ‘Three Rivers Story’ displayed in the India Pavilion.