The foundation stone of the first Hindu temple was laid in the United Arab Emirates' Abu Dhabi last Saturday and the event was greeted by enormous rejoicing Indians residing in the gulf nation.
Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which is constructing the temple, held the four-hour long ceremony after which the sanctified bricks are put at the main pooja sthal(place of worship), reported PTI.
“On behalf of 130 crore Indians, it is my privilege to convey our greetings to my dear friend and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Suri quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying, in a congratulatory statement.
“When complete, this temple will symbolize the universal human values and spiritual ethos that form a shared heritage of both India and the UAE,” he said.
He said that the temple possesses the ancient Vedic values of Vasudev Kutumbakam, the whole world is one family.“I am sure this temple will be a source of inspiration for the 33 lakh Indians residing in the UAE as well as of people from all other cultures,” Suri quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying.
The idea to construct the temple in Abu Dhabi was given permission by the Abu Dhabi government during Modi's first visit to the country in the year 2015.The temple will also be a cultural complex along with art gallery, halls, library, and gym.
It will consist of seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE and come upon a 14-acre piece of land at Abu Mureikhah, adjacent to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway. The stones for the temple will be sculptured by temple artisans in India and assembled in the UAE.
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