Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 7 April 2020

Ceremony will mark 'first footprint' in march towards UAE's landmark Hindu temple

Concrete foundations will be laid on Thursday as construction of the Abu Dhabi shrine gathers pace

Prayers will be held on Thursday at a ceremony marking the 'first footprint' in the construction of the UAE's landmark Hindu temple.

About 3,000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured into the foundation of the sprawling site in the Abu Mureikha area of Abu Dhabi.

Work on the hand-crafted marble and sandstone shrine is due to be completed by 2022.

The place of worship is being built in keeping traditional stone temples, using cement and marble in the construction material.

“There is no steel reinforcement in this foundation which also makes it unique and follows the tradition of ancient stone architecture that is being used for religious stone buildings in India,” said Swami Brahmavihari, the priest handling international relations at Baps Swaminarayan Sanstha, the organisation building the first Hindu temple in the country.

“Before Expo 2020, we hope to ship the first layers of the hand carved stones from India, which will showcase the beauty and divinity of the majestic mandir (temple) for all to see.”

The stone work for the temple is being sculpted by artisans in India. The pieces will be numbered and shipped to the UAE to be assembled on site.

The foundation stone laying ceremony took place in April last year, approvals of the design were completed and the site has been levelled for construction.

Community halls and exhibition centres that will be part of the temple complex will first be built as part of the outer perimeter.

The temple is being built on 11 acres of land gifted to the community by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Special prayers for the country and the project will be recited before construction work begins on Thursday in the presence of Hindu priests from BAPs and Indian officials in the UAE.

“It will be the first footprint of the ultimate manifestation of what the temple will look like,” the priest said.

“We have built temples in many countries across the world, but the love, support and affection we have received in the UAE is incredible.”

The temple organisers have said they hope the shrine will be a meeting point for people from different faith and cultures.

Updated: February 12, 2020 06:06 PM

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