Foundation to be laid for Swaminarayan Temple in UAE
Abu Dhabi: Thousands of worshippers from across the Middle East and beyond will turn out in celebration as the foundation is laid for UAE’s first traditional Hindu stone temple.
The foundation stone ceremony for the shrine in Abu Dhabi will take place on April 20. The ceremony will be held at the site in Abu Mureikha, near Al Rahba, by Baps Swaminarayan Sanstha, the religious and social organisation building the shrine. “The shilanyas ceremony is a sacred Hindu ritual where the first foundation stones are sanctified and fixed in the ground as the base of the mandir [temple],” said Swami Brahmavihari, a senior Hindu priest responsible for international relations at the Baps Swaminarayan Sanstha.
The organisation thanked the UAE government for recently granting additional land to the temple for parking space. “The love and kindness shown by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the UAE government, cannot be expressed in words. Time and time again they have encouraged us and gone out of their way to aid us on this project,” Swami Brahmavihari said. “To ensure the temple premises can serve the Hindu and wider community effectively, they have graciously given an additional 13.5 acres of land for parking purposes.” This is in addition to the 13.7-acre plot granted in 2017. The temple space will boast a visitors’ centre, exhibition and prayer halls, sports and play areas for children, gardens, a food court, books and gift shop.