Abu Dhabi, UAE
Excitement fills the air as top representatives from the BAPS Hindu Mandir announce the imminent opening of the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple to the public in February. Eagerly anticipated, the grand temple is set to become a spiritual oasis for global harmony, bringing India’s rich art, values, and culture to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Scheduled for inauguration on February 14, 2024, the monumental structure stands on an expansive 27-acre plot in Abu Mureikhah. The auspicious Vedic ceremony, led by the esteemed His Holiness Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj, will mark the beginning of the temple’s journey as a beacon of deep spirituality and unwavering faith. Notably, this inaugural celebration will be an invitation-only event, as specified by the temple in an official statement.
Addressing the significance of the upcoming festivities, a spokesperson for the BAPS Hindu Mandir remarked, “This festival will be a celebration that will bring India’s art, values, and culture to the UAE, fostering global harmony and understanding.”
On February 15, members of the Indian community residing in the country will have the opportunity to participate in a public dedication assembly, graced by the presence of Swami Maharaj. To join this momentous occasion, prior registration will be required, ensuring a smooth and organized experience for all attendees.
Under the guidance of temple head Brahmaviharidas Swami, the BAPS Hindu Mandir will officially open its doors to the general public on February 18, 2024. However, it’s important to note that all events and religious ceremonies leading up to this public opening will be reserved exclusively for the registered and invited guests, as reiterated by the temple in their statement.
Reflecting on the journey that led to this momentous occasion, it was in August 2015 that the UAE government generously allocated land in Abu Dhabi for the construction of the temple. The gracious gesture came during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan personally gifting the land. The foundation stone laying ceremony took place in February 2018, symbolizing the commencement of a historic project that carries the promise of lasting for more than a millennium.
For those seeking further details about the opening ceremony and registration process, worshippers can conveniently access information through the “Festival of Harmony” app or visit the website: https://festivalofharmony.ae.
As the days inch closer to the momentous occasion, anticipation mounts, and hearts fill with hope for a future where the BAPS Hindu Mandir will not only stand as a magnificent architectural marvel but also as a symbol of unity and harmony for people from all walks of life.