Historic Inauguration of BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UAE: The iconic new BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on 14 February by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj in the presence of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, and the eminent Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence for the UAE Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan.

The new Mandir, constructed on land generously gifted by the UAE president and ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was guided and inspired by Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a global Hindu fellowship.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, and stands as a testament to the enduring friendship between India and the UAE, embodying the spirit of cultural inclusivity, interfaith harmony, and community collaboration.

After arriving at the Mandir, Prime Minister Modi was warmly welcomed by community members from across India and the UAE as well as religious leaders from diverse faith communities. During an extensive interactive tour of the temple campus, Modi learned about some of the inspiring features of the Mandir that promote universal compassion, respect, charity, and learning.

Inside the Mandir, upon seeing Mahant Swami Maharaj, the Prime Minister bowed respectfully to the global Hindu leader, before participating in a short Vedic ceremony paying homage to the seven Hindu deities enshrined under the seven spires of the Mandir, themselves reflecting the unity of the seven emirates of the UAE.

His Holiness and Modi then conducted the first grand arti (ceremony of light) of the deities – which was simultaneously performed by thousands at BAPS temples and homes across the world, with millions more watching online through the live webcast.

After meeting volunteers, children, artisans, and others from all over the world who have supported the construction of this magnificent temple, Prime Minister Modi carved ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ into a piece of stone. The message of ‘the world is one family’ has been the foundational principle of the Mandir, guided by the life and work of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.

Prime Minister Modi then arrived at the assembly where thousands had gathered to celebrate the opening of the Mandir. In his keynote address, Prime Minister Modi said: “Today, the UAE has written a golden chapter in the history of humanity through this Mandir.”

In his blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj emphasized the importance of the new Mandir as “an abode of love, peace and harmony.” He added, “Harmony is the power of God, and humility is the way of God. With this understanding,
we can serve humanity.”

Sharing his sentiments on this momentous occasion, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan first thanked Prime Minister Modi for visiting the UAE. “We are proud to welcome a great friend from a great and friendly country.”
The Tolerance and Coexistence Minister also thanked His Holiness for building the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, saying “Today marks the beginning of something special. The new Mandir will be a place of worship and also a community centre. I share in your optimism. I share in your pride.”