The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, UAE will be built without using any steel or ferrous materials. The temple will be built adopting the traditional temple architecture in India, temple committee officials have said, reports PTI.
Two years after the groundbreaking ceremony, fly ash concrete pouring for the raft foundation of the Swaminarayan temple of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) took place on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for BAPS temple in the capital of the UAE, home to over three million people of Indian origin, in 2018 via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House.
A large number of expatriates from the Indian diaspora gathered at the site of the temple to witness the major construction milestone.
Describing the ceremony, Ashok Kotecha, spokesperson of the temple committee informed that usually building foundations have a mix of concrete and steel. However, as per traditional temple architecture in India, no steel or iron reinforcements will be used.
“Fly ash will be used to reinforce the concrete in the foundation. Throughout the whole structure of the temple, the architecture is like several pieces of jigsaw put together without any steel or ferrous materials,” he added.
Reportedly, more than 3,000 craftsmen have involved back at home in India, carving icons and statues with 5000 tons of Italian Carrara Marble. The exteriors will be made of 12,250 tons of pink sandstone.
India’s ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor and Indian Consul General in Dubai Vipul were also present at the site along with several prominent members of the Indian business community and members of the Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Addressing the audience, Kapoor thanked the UAE government, said, it was a great privilege and honour to visit the temple site for the first time.
The ceremony was conducted by Brahmavihari Das, the senior-most saint of the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple group. Addressing the gathering, the priest said, “This temple transcends the borders that divide us. It’s destined to be a place beyond the limits that split us. (It’s) something we have experienced within the depth of our souls in the UAE.”
The inauguration of the first Hindu Temple is a widely anticipated event for the Indians living in UAE. There are as many as 2.6 million Indians living in the UAE. Indians make up 30% of the total population of the UAE. Majority of the Indian diaspora is Hindu.
The current temple which is being built by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha spreads across 20,000 square metres and is located in Al Wathba, in Abu Dhabi.
In 2015, PM Modi became the first Indian PM to visit UAE in 34 years. It was during his visit that the UAE Government had announced land allocation for the Hindu Temple in its capital city. The Gulf nation previously had only one Hindu temple, located in Dubai.