The Middle East first traditional Hindu stone temple has been inaugurated in Abu Dhabi.

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the present spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opened the BAPS Hindu Mandir with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the Vedic ceremony.

On arrival at the iconic temple standing on 27 acres of land, Modi was received by Pujya Brahmaviharidas Swami, the project head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, and Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami. Modi visited a 3D centre, which offers a 12-minute immersive experience about the temple's vision and journey.

The grand ceremony was attended by thousands of devotees and dignitaries, making it a momentous occasion for the UAE and India.

Watch the video of the simultaneous aartis (rituals) that took place in BAPS temples across the globe:

The temple has been inaugurated today coinciding with Basant Panchami, the Hindu festival marking the onset of the spring season in India. The festival is dedicated to the worship of Saraswati, the deity of knowledge, wisdom, music, and arts. It is considered an auspicious time for new beginnings, especially for initiating children into learning and education. February 14 is also the birth anniversary of the late Shastriji Maharaj, the founder of BAPS Sanstha.

The Mandir is the epitome of cultural diversity and depicts values shared between different religions. The iconic hand-carved traditional stone temple, assembled on site like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle, is a celebration of architectural excellence and highlights the richness of ancient civilisations. People started flocking in from morning hours to catch glimpses of this masterpiece.


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