Abu Dhabi: A minister and top officials of the UAE recently joined a ceremony to place the first marble pillar of the upcoming Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, marking a milestone in the construction of the stone temple.
The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday shared on social media the images of the ceremony in which the Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir was also present.
According to the mission, the ambassador, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi; Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, chairman of the Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi, and Dr Tayeb A Kamali, director general for Education and Training Development at the Ministry of Interior, also interacted with the team building the majestic temple.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir has also shared images of the first marble pillar of the temple being placed in the presence of the three Emirati officials. The images also showed the officials carrying bricks for the mandir’s construction.
“More than 1,000 community members attended to thank the UAE leadership and the Indian government for its on-going support and guidance. The ministerial delegation also took a memorable picture with the craftsmen creating this unique spiritual oasis of global harmony,” the Mandir management stated while sharing the photos from the event.
In a statement to Gulf News, BAPS Hindu Mandir’s head priest Swami Brahmaviharidas said: “The event was truly special as it celebrated the harmony of art, hearts and minds and further personified the love and affection between the UAE and India.”
Earlier, special prayers were offered for the first marble pillar of the temple. Ishwarcharan Swami, a senior priest and international convenor of BAPS, flew in from India to perform the puja (prayer). “This marks the start of the next phase of the mandir and is an important milestone in the mandir’s progress,” the temple management said.
“Swamiji also blessed the next level of mandir façade and the start of the masterplan construction on the auspicious day,” it added.
Stone works appear on façade
The images and a recent video released by the management showed the Mandir is now rising from the deserts of Abu Dhabi. With the foundations of the superstructure complete, the intricately carved stones are now taking their place in the formation of the traditional stone Mandir as per the ancient Hindu techniques of construction. The images showed the façade of the traditional stone temple rising with intricate carvings that depict stories from Hindu epics and fables.
Scheduled to open in February 2024, the place of worship with seven spires representing each of the UAE’s seven emirates is expected to be 32 metres tall.