By 2020 Abu Dhabi will have its first Hindu temple for which Indian Prime Minister did the ground breaking during his recent visit to Middle East. The temple will come up on 55,000 square metres of land near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway.
It will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East. Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) has been entrusted with the design, construction and management of the temple. BAPS manage 1,200 temples in India, UK, the US, Australia, Canada and Africa. BAPS want it to be unique and outstanding in its architectural marvel and to achieve this objective the temple will be hand-carved by Indian temple artisans and assembled in the UAE.
The temple complex will include a visitors’ centre, prayer halls, exhibitions, learning areas, sports area for children and youths, thematic gardens, water features, a food court, a books and gift shop and other facilities. It will replicate the BAPS temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey. The temple will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex.
BAPS has built several temples around the globe and the one built in Delhi in 2005 is the most acclaimed one for its architectural design. The temple, known as Akshardham Mtempandir, is made without the use of ferrous metal in construction and consists of 234 intricately carved pillars, 9 ornate domes, 20 quadrangled spires and 20,000 statues of India’s Hinduism’s spiritual personalities. The mandir reaches 141.3 feet into the sky, spans 316 feet in width, and is 356 feet long.