The UAE today welcomed Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which is the Hindu religious group in charge of laying down the foundation stone of the first traditional Hindu temple in the UAE.
More than 50 priests were flew in from India to conduct the “Shilanyas Vidhi” ceremony today just before 11 am, which contained rituals and Sanskrit chantings and had thousands of attendees with full support from the UAE government.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir is located at Abu Mureikha, E11 Expressway, Exit 366 Abu Dhabi which being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to the Indian community. The UAE government has also gifted them an equal area of land additionally for building parking facilities in the temple premises.
Although an Indian Muslim was earlier branded with the Om symbol in an Indian prison, the UAE maintains it’s stance and welcomes the building of the UAE’s first traditional Hindu temple in the name of religious tolerance.