BAPS Hindu Mandir_Abu Dhabi_web
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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 Abu Dhabi. The BAPS Hindu Mandir will be inaugurated today by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, in a grand ceremony. This significant accomplishment marks a historic milestone in cultural and religious diversity, fostering unity and strengthening the bilateral relations between India and the UAE.

An architectural marvel, the mandir towers over the UAE desert sands. 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 Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The mandir (open to all faiths) is an initiative of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (the institution behind several Swaminarayan temples across India and the world) and is the first traditional stone Hindu temple in the entire Middle East.

The mandir 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,” says Pranav Desai, Director, BAPS.

Shapoorji P Mistry, Chairman, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, says, “I speak for everyone at Shapoorji Pallonji in saying that we are humbled and honoured by this opportunity to create this incredible monument that brings together art, harmony and faith. This is indeed a legacy built for a global world. The construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi is not just a testament to our engineering capabilities but also a celebration of cultural diversity and religious harmony.”

Shapoorji Pallonji successfully overcame several technological challenges in this project, including the integration of 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 Indian rivers — Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The main temple is constructed on a raft foundation using unreinforced fly-ash concrete (the UAE’s largest single pour of unreinforced 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 180,000 cubic metres 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 jigsaw puzzle.

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