April 13, 2024


NEW DELHI: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated on Wednesday the primary Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.


Developed within the desert on 27 acres, the BAPS Hindu Mandir stands off the principle freeway linking Abu Dhabi to Dubai. It has been constructed from greater than 25,000 items of pink sandstone from Rajasthan, and white Italian marble carved by artisans in India and assembled within the UAE.


Modi arrived on the website on Wednesday afternoon to carry out consecration rituals with the temple’s monks.


Bollywood stars, together with actor Akshay Kumar and singer Shankar Mahadevan, and members of the Indian diaspora within the UAE gathered on the BAPS Hindu Mandir to witness the ceremony.


The temple was constructed by BAPS, or Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha — a Hindu group headquartered in Modi’s house state of Gujarat.


Navdeep Suri, who served as India’s ambassador to the UAE from 2016 to 2019, informed Arab Information that the inauguration of the temple marked a “key milestone” in India’s ties with the UAE below Modi’s management.


“It was in August 2015 that he made his first go to to the Gulf nation — the primary by an Indian prime minister since Indira Gandhi in 1981. The bilateral agenda was wide-ranging and set the inspiration for a very outstanding transformation in India’s ties with the UAE,” he stated.


“Modi additionally used the chance to place in a request for the allocation of land for a Hindu temple that might meet the long-standing spiritual and religious wants of a giant part of the three.5 million-strong Indian group within the UAE.”


The land was donated by the UAE authorities and the temple’s groundbreaking passed off in 2019 — the 12 months which the UAE noticed because the Yr of Tolerance.


House to the most important inhabitants of Indian residents exterior India, the UAE opened its first Hindu temple in Dubai within the Nineteen Fifties. A number of extra have been constructed since then, however this one in Abu Dhabi is the primary constructed utilizing conventional strategies.


Additionally it is the most important and may host as much as 10,000 individuals.


The temple’s building displays a “success of India’s cultural diplomacy” and the UAE’s “respect for all religions,” in accordance with Anil Trigunayat, former diplomat and a distinguished fellow on the Vivekananda Worldwide Basis suppose tank in New Delhi.


“The temple is important because it meets the aspirations of three.5 million Indians working in UAE,” he stated.


“Temples and locations of worship additionally act as anchors of the self and attributable to that it is extremely vital.”


For Muddassir Quamar, affiliate professor on the Heart for West Asian Research at Jawaharlal Nehru College in Delhi, the temple additionally exhibits India’s rising cultural relations with the Gulf area.


“By way of cultural diplomacy, India has labored in direction of gaining larger worldwide recognition and standing,” he stated.


“The inauguration of the BAPS temple underlines steady efforts in direction of promotion of India’s comfortable energy.”


The inauguration of the temple marks Modi’s seventh official go to to the Gulf state, throughout which he witnessed the signing of a number of memoranda within the areas of digital infrastructure, funding, electrical energy interconnection and commerce.


The prime minister was welcomed in Abu Dhabi by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on Tuesday, and on Wednesday was obtained by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum as visitor of honor on the World Governments Summit 2024 in Dubai.


The go to highlights the strong improvement of UAE-Indian relations previously few years below Modi’s management.


In 2020, the nations signed a free-trade deal geared toward doubling their bilateral commerce to $100 billion.