Post Image

BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – India’s Pride in Desert

BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – India’s Pride in Desert

Built by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on land generously gifted by the UAE
leadership, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is a traditional Hindu place of
worship. The mandir, inspir BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi – India’s pride in Desert

BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple

Built by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on land generously gifted by the UAE
leadership, the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is a traditional Hindu place of
worship. The mandir, inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and built
under the leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, represents a unique
blend of cultural richness and spiritual sanctity in the UAE, serving as a “spiritual
oasis for global harmony”.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is located in the Abu Mreikhah area of Abu Dhabi, along Al Taf Road (E16) and accessible from the Abu Dhabi–Ghuweifat Highway (E11). The Mandir is located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The vision behind the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is rooted in global harmony and cultural exchange. The Mandir has been graciously supported by the UAE leadership, particularly His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In 2018, His Highness, the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, generously gifted land to build a traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The vision was to create a spiritual sanctuary that promotes harmony, peace, and understanding among individuals and communities of diverse backgrounds.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE, the UAE government, and the Indian government have all enthusiastically encouraged the temple project to take shape.

In 2015, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi publicly appreciated the UAE government’s decision to allot land for a Hindu mandir during an assembly in Abu Dhabi. Expressing gratitude, he said, “I am very thankful to the UAE government for their decision to allot land in order to build a mandir in Abu Dhabi.”

In 2018, at the Dubai Opera, Prime Minister Modi officially launched the BAPS temple project and unveiled the first model of the Mandir. He will also be present during the Dedication Assembly on 14 February 2024, to mark the inauguration of the Mandir after the ceremonial consecration by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj earlier that morning.

BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple

Prime Minister Modi’s friendship with the UAE leadership has encouraged the completion of the Mandir, forming a part of a wider vision of the leaders to forge greater harmony in the world.

The construction of the BAPS Hindu Mandir has been a collaborative effort by BAPS devotees and volunteers with enthusiastic participation from the community. Individuals have generously contributed both monetarily and in-kind towards this noble cause. Their financial support and goodwill have played a vital role in advancing the construction process and ensuring the successful completion of various phases. Moreover, the Mandir has witnessed the dedicated service of numerous individuals who have volunteered their time and expertise as seva (selfless service), contributing countless hours towards the construction and development of the Mandir complex. Without this overwhelming aggregate support from the community, the estimated cost of the Mandir would have been approximately AED 350M (₹700 Cr; $95M; £75M).

The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi incorporates several distinctive features, making it a remarkable architectural and spiritual marvel. The Mandir follows the traditional North Indian Nagara style, with seven spires, a large central dome, various smaller domes or pyramidal spires, and intricate carvings narrating stories of values and harmony.

BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple
BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple

In total, the Mandir comprises the following:

 7 shikhars (spires)

 12 samarans (pyramidal spires)

 2 ghummats (domes)

 410 sthambhs (pillars)

 250 sculpted value stories

 30,000 individually carved stone pieces

 Dimensions: 108 feet high by 180 feet wide by 262 feet long

The exterior of the Mandir is made from 15,000 tonnes of pink sandstone quarried from Rajasthan, India. This particular stone was used because of its durability; it can withstand extreme temperatures of up to 55 °C (131 °F), which is typical of the UAE’s scorching summers.

The interior of the Mandir uses 6,000 tonnes of Italian marble. Italian marble is particularly amenable to intricate carvings and is renowned for its purity, durability, and beautiful milky white colour.

The raw stones were meticulously carved by more than 5,000 skilled artisans in India into more than 30,000 pieces – the smallest weighed just 1 kilogram; the largest was over 6 tonnes. Each completed piece was labelled, carefully packed, and then shipped more than 2,000 kilometres to Abu Dhabi, where they were all assembled like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle. The stones are assembled using a lock-and-key method, a traditional technique employed in ancient Hindu mandir construction.

The seven spires of the BAPS Hindu Mandir reflect the seven emirates of the UAE, integrating the symbolism of unity into the Mandir’s architectural design. It pays homage to the generosity of spirit that has made the Mandir possible as well as the harmonious coexistence it seeks to promote. Each spire houses a principal Hindu deity.

BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple

The seven spires of the BAPS Hindu Mandir house various principal Hindu deities.

These are:

 Bhagwan Shri Swaminarayan and Shri Gunatitanand Swami

 Bhagwan Shri Krishna and Shri Radhaji

 Bhagwan Shri Rama, Shri Sitaji, Shri Lakshmanji and Shri Hanumanji

 Bhagwan Shri Shankar, Shri Parvatiji, Shri Kartikeyaji and Shri Ganeshji

 Bhagwan Shri Jagannath, Shri Balbhadraji and Shri Subhadraji

 Bhagwan Shri Shrinivas and Shri Padmavatiji

 Swami Shri Ayyappaji

The foundation work conducted in 2019–20 was a monumental endeavour. Its significance lies in the sheer scale and meticulous planning of the operation to ensure the stability and longevity of the Mandir. For example, the 3,000-cubic metre concrete mix poured continuously over 20 hours was the largest single pour for an unreinforced raft foundation in the UAE.

The smooth accomplishment of this enormous task underlines the commitment and dedication of the construction team. The foundation, being the literal and metaphorical base of the Mandir, is a testament to the enduring legacy and profound impact the Mandir aims to have on the spiritual and cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi and beyond.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir has been thoughtfully designed and constructed to support the environment. The foundation pour of 3,000 cubic metres of concrete mix consisted of more than 55% fly ash, which drastically decreased the Mandir’s carbon footprint.

BAPS Abu Dhabi Temple

Moreover, the wooden pallets that transported the stones and other materials have been repurposed into features contained within the Mandir to minimize the waste.

Facilities are included in the Hindu Mandir complex?

 Welcome Centre: A space to greet visitors and provide public utilities.

 Immersive Experience: An immersive audio-visual show telling the story of the Mandir’s creation and impact.

 Prayer Halls: Dedicated spaces for the fellowship to participate in and benefit from weekly assemblies as well as other religious festivals, seminars and events.

 Multipurpose Hall: A versatile space for spiritual practices and dialogues, fostering a deeper understanding of life’s values and spirituality.

 Classrooms: Providing cultural and spiritual education for people of all ages.

 Community Centre: A facility aimed at mediating harmony within families and the community.

 Thematic Gardens: Landscaped areas reflecting ideas that enhance spirituality and culture.

 Amphitheatre: Overlooking the central shrines, serving as a venue for spiritual reflection and the location for evening arti outside.

 Food Court: Provides vegetarian food options for all visitors.

 Gift Shop: Offering resources related to spirituality, culture, and values.

Facilities remain to be added to the Mandir complex?

 Exhibition: Called “Beautiful Borderless World”, with the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the World is One Family), to help explain the importance of and path to global harmony.

 Library: A repository of articles, books, and publications promoting universal values of peace, spirituality, and global inclusivity.

 Sports Centre: Offering ample facilities for children and youth to balance physical and spiritual well-being.

The main prayer hall is designed to accommodate up to 3,000 people, depending on the seating configuration.

How will this Mandir stand against the elements of nature?

 Seismic Resilience: The Mandir is engineered to withstand earthquakes of serious intensity, ensuring structural stability in the face of natural forces.

 Sensor Integration: A network of 300 sensors, placed at 10 different levels, provides real-time data on stress, pressure, and temperature for the Mandir’s safety and durability.

Whilst the Mandir is built on Hindu values, the complex and facilities are open to people of all faiths and backgrounds to visit. Everyone is welcome at the BAPS Hindu Mandir to learn, find peace, and contribute to global harmony.

How does the Mandir promote inclusivity?

 Symbolic Representation: The Mandir stands as a testament to unity, with its seven spires representing each of the seven emirates of the UAE, symbolizing integration with the local culture.

 Cultural Exchange: The Mandir incorporates carvings reflecting stories and values from various global civilizations – African, Arabian, Egyptian, Indian, Mayan, Mesopotamian, Native American, and others – fostering global cultural inclusivity.

 Educational Engagement: Through its intricate carvings and facilities, the Mandir becomes a space for education, enabling visitors to learn about Hinduism, universal values, and diverse cultural narratives.

How does the presence of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi contribute to and benefit the UAE community?

The BAPS Hindu Mandir plays a pivotal role in enriching the lives of the local communities in the UAE. Beyond its religious significance, the Mandir conducts a range of educational and cultural activities for the benefit of society.

The Mandir engages in youth development through college preparatory classes, leadership training, and workshops on workplace skills.

Special initiatives for women empowerment, parenting seminars, and family bonding events are also part of the Mandir’s initiatives.

Moreover, the Mandir serves as a hub for humanitarian activities, hosting events that contribute to the welfare of the broader community. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the BAPS community in the UAE donated medicines, medical equipment, and food provisions for more than 70,000 meals, as well as 810 oxygen concentrators, 2,000 oxygen cylinders and 132 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen in international aid.

Is there a dress code for visitors to the Mandir?

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is a place of worship. All visitors and worshippers are kindly requested to be respectful in their choice of clothing, adhering to the following guidelines:

 The body should be covered between the neck, the elbows, and the ankles.

 Avoid caps, t-shirts and other clothing articles with offensive designs.

 Avoid translucent or tight-fitting clothing.

What activities and services will the Mandir offer?

The Mandir will be a vibrant hub of cultural, spiritual, and educational activities. These will include regular prayers, discourses, cultural programmes, educational classes, and community outreach initiatives.

The Mandir is envisioned as a centre that not only promotes individual spiritual growth, but also contributes positively to the community and world at large.

How accessible is the Mandir for all individuals?

The Mandir is designed to be accessible to everyone, including differently-abled individuals. Facilities such as ramps and elevators are incorporated to ensure a comfortable and inclusive experience for all visitors.

How can individuals stay informed about upcoming activities at the Mandir?

Individuals can stay informed by regularly checking the Mandir’s official website ( and following its social media accounts (@abudhabimandir). Additionally, visitors can seek information at the Help Desk located in the Welcome Centre at the Mandir.

What is BAPS?

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is an international community-based Hindu fellowship committed to caring for individuals, families and societies through its more than one million members, 80,000 volunteers, and 5,025 centres.

Under the religious leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS strives to build a morally upright, peaceful and harmonious community that is spiritually elevated, inclusive, and free of addictions and violence.

All of the work of BAPS worldwide is grounded in the timeless teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (1781–1830) and inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921–2016), who embodied and taught the universal wisdom: “In the joy of others lies our own.”

In the UAE, BAPS is respected as one of the largest and most active Hindu organisations in the country.

Who originally envisioned the BAPS Hindu Mandir?

The BAPS Hindu Mandir was first envisioned by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921–2016) on 5 April 1997 when visiting the desert in Sharjah. He prayed: “May peace prevail here and everywhere. May religions grow greater love for one another. May countries be free of prejudice, and progress in their unique ways. May a mandir be built in Abu Dhabi.”

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was loved and respected as one of the world’s great spiritual teachers. He lived by and preached the message: “In the joy of others lies our own.”

Pramukh Swami Maharaj travelled throughout the world, dedicating his life to the well-being of others, visiting more than 250,000 homes in 17,000 villages and cities  in more than 50 countries, and personally counselling and comforting more than 810,000 people. He created over 1,200 Hindu mandirs internationally and ordained more than 1,000 youths into the monastic order to serve society and strive spiritually.

Driven by his quiet, undisturbed love for God, and with his genuine care and compassion for humanity, he inspired many international projects of public service and spiritual uplift, and is remembered as a “people’s guru”, reaching out to all, irrespective of race, rank or religion.

His innate humility, universal wisdom and striking simplicity transformed the lives of millions and touched numerous religious and national leaders. But most important of all was his quiet, undisturbed love for God, endowing him as an ambassador of love, peace and harmony throughout the world.

Who is the current spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha?

The current spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj (b. 1933). He provides guidance and inspiration to millions worldwide.

For over six decades, he served under the guidance of his gurus Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, tirelessly visiting villages, towns and cities throughout India and the world.

His striking humility, serene spirituality, and profoundly insightful discourses continue to strengthen faith and inspire higher living in countless people of all ages around the world.

Even at the advanced age of 90, he continues to travel internationally, as a global ambassador of love, peace and harmony.

Who has spearheaded the construction of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi?

Brahmaviharidas Swami has overseen the construction of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi under the guidance and wisdom of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. He was ordained into the Hindu monastic order of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) in 1981 by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

Guided and inspired by his guru Mahant Swami Maharaj and other senior swamis of BAPS, Brahmaviharidas Swami also leads international relations for BAPS, connecting with religious, business, and national leaders worldwide. He is an internationally renowned thinker, author and speaker.

Source – Press Release by BAPS

Post By Religion World