His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, met Pujya Brahmavihari Swami, head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi and delegation of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, at Gudaibiya Palace in Manama.

During the meeting, they discussed the construction of a BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu temple. Bahrain has become the second country in the Middle East where BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha will construct a traditional temple. It will come up on the land gifted by the leadership of Bahrain.

Brahmavihari Swami thanked the leadership after receiving the grant of land formally from the Crown Prince. He also delivered a message from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcoming the historic moment.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain and to the Prime Minister of India for this historic gift of land, which represents the enriching of warm relations and an exchange of ideas between Bahrain and India which spans millennia. For BAPS, it is the culmination of a precious moment in 1997 when the late Emir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa received His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj at the Royal Palace in Bahrain. In their conversation, Sheikh Isa lovingly and instantaneously told Pramukh Swami Maharaj: ‘Make Bahrain your home’.”

Swami, who is also the international coordinator and head of BAPS Middle East, led the delegation, including Swami Aksharatitdas, Dr Praful Vaidya, Ramesh Patidar and Mahesh Devji. Indian Ambassador to Bahrain Piyush Srivastava was present on the occasion.

Swami said that the temple will welcome people of all faiths who may wish to know and understand Indian traditions and have the space for various cultural and spiritual activities.

“It was a sentiment that was echoed by HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister in 2017 when he visited our Diwali gathering. Upon seeing the picture of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the late Emir Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, he told me: ‘Our love extends to three generations. We will honour the words and sentiments of our grandfather’. The building of this BAPS Swaminarayan Temple marks a seminal and historic moment for Hinduism, for relations between India and Bahrain, and for international harmony as a whole,” Swami added.

Meanwhile, the construction of the UAE’s first traditional Hindu stone temple is progressing in Abu Dhabi. Recently a ceremony was held to place the first sandstone on the first floor of the temple, which will be made open to the public in February 2024.

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