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Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, with Brahmaviharidas Swami, head priest of BAPS Hindu Mandir. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A UAE minister has reviewed the progress and plans for the opening ceremony Abu Dhabi’s first traditional Hindu temple.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, received Brahmaviharidas Swami, head priest of BAPS Hindu Mandir, along with other BAPS priests and volunteers at his private Royal Majlis in Abu Dhabi, the temple management said. Dr Ahmed bin Hilal bin Saud Al Busaidi, Ambassador of Oman to the UAE, was also present during the meeting.

The half-hour meeting focused on the ongoing work, the inauguration ceremony, and the worldwide impact of the Mandir, according to BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha), which is building the region’s first pink sandstone temple.

With seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE, the BAPS Hindu Mandir is coming up on a 14-acre piece of land at Abu Mureikhah, close to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.

It is scheduled to open to the public in February 2024.

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On reviewing the progress of the Mandir’s construction, Sheikh Nahyan was highly impressed and acknowledged its profound impact on promoting values, harmony, and cultural enrichment.

“This Mandir will be one of the wonders of the world, like the pyramids and even more,” he said.

Sheikh Nahyan also commended the significant contributions of the priests and volunteers in shaping history, and said: “Many people make promises, but only a few deliver. You have delivered more than you promised, and you are altering how people see the world.”

The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi stands as an embodiment of the enduring values and the cultural heritage it represents. Its construction serves as a testament to the deepening friendship between India and UAE, while also fostering international harmony.

Brahmaviharidas Swami expressed his gratitude for the historic gift of land and emphasised the significance of the Mandir’s establishment.

“The construction of the BAPS Hindu Mandir signifies a profoundly iconic and historic milestone, not only for fostering harmonious relations between India and the UAE, but nations worldwide. It humbly embodies the spirit of international harmony, reminding us of the interconnectedness and shared values that unite humanity,” he stated.

The sandstone temple will not only serve as a place of worship but also as a beacon of cultural heritage, promoting values, harmony, and the rich tapestry of Hindu traditions.