PM Modi Inaugurates Temple In UAE


PM Narendra Modi conducted rituals for the temple’s inauguration.

Marking a significant milestone for the Indian community in the Middle East, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple, which is also the largest in the region.

Spread over 27 acres and built at a cost of over Rs 700 crore, the BAPS Hindu temple is also seen as a sign of the deepening relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking after inaugurating the temple PM Modi said in Hindi, “UAE has written a golden chapter in human history today. A grand and holy temple has been inaugurated in Abu Dhabi today. Years of hard work have gone into this temple and a long-cherished dream has come true. Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s blessings are also with this temple.”

Referring to the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22 the PM said, amid cheers, “A centuries-old dream was fulfilled. All of India and every Indian is still cherishing that feeling. My friend Brahmavihari Swamy was saying, ‘Modi ji s the biggest priest’. I don’t know if I have the qualifications of a temple priest but I am proud to be a priest of Maa Bharti (Mother India).”

Stating that every moment of his life and every molecule in his body is dedicated to Ma Bharti, the Prime Minister said, “The joy we felt in Ayodhya has been amplified in Abu Dhabi today. It is my honour that I witnessed the consecration of the temple in Ayodhya last month and this temple in Abu Dhabi today.”

Continuing his praise for his “brother”, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whom he had hailed as a “friend of the Indian community” at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event on Tuesday, the PM said he had played the biggest role in fulfilling the dream of constructing a grand temple in Abu Dhabi.

“He has won the hearts of 140 crore Indians. It is my privilege that I have been a part of this temple from the time it was conceptualised to its inauguration. This is why I know that even ‘thank you’ is too small a phrase for his generosity and contribution. I want the world to see the depth of the India-UAE relationship,” PM Modi said.

Recalling that he had spoken to Sheikh Al Nahyan about the temple when they had met in 2015, the PM said the UAE president had said yes to the proposal on the spot and made land available in a short time.

“When I came to the UAE again in 2018, I met Sheikh Al Nahyan and showed him the two models of the temple that had been prepared – one that was based on Vedic architecture and another that was a simple model without Hindu religious symbols – his thought was clear: he told me the temple in Abu Dhabi should be built with splendour and glory. He wanted the temple to not only be built but also look like a temple,” the Prime Minister said and then asked the audience to give the UAE President a standing ovation.

Construction Began In 2019

Sheikh Al Nahyan donated 13.5 acres of land for the construction of the temple in 2015 and PM Modi had laid the foundation three years later. Construction began in 2019 after an additional 13.5 acres of land was donated earlier that year.

Built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), the temple is located in Abu Mreikhah, near Al Rahba. The consecration ceremony of the idols began at the temple on Wednesday morning. 

PM Modi also participated in a ‘global aarti (prayer)’, which was performed simultaneously at over 1,200 temples built by BAPS. Before inaugurating the temple, he offered water in the virtual Ganga and Yamuna rivers at the temple and met people from different religions who played a role in its construction.

Temple authorities said seven shikhars (spires) have been built at the temple representing the seven emirates that form the UAE.

“The seven spires have idols of deities, including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven emirates of UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations for BAPS, told PTI.

“The seven spires also pay homage to seven important deities, underscoring the interconnectedness of cultures and religions. Normally, our temples are either one spire, three, or five but the seven spires express our gratitude to the unity of the seven emirates. But at the same time, the seven spires enshrine seven important deities… The spirals aim to promote unity and harmony in the multicultural landscape,” he said.

PM Modi’s visit to the UAE is his seventh since 2015 and his third in eight months. Addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said Dubai is becoming the epicentre of the global economy and praised UAE President Al Nahyan, describing him as “a leader with vision and resolve”.

After the inauguration, PM Modi will leave for Doha and hold a bilateral meeting with the Qatari leadership. PM Modi’s visit to the country comes on the heels of Qatar releasing eight navy veterans from prison, which was seen as a huge diplomatic victory for India. 


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