Mahant Swami Maharaj arrives in Abu Dhabi for historic mandir inauguration

Wednesday 07th February 2024 05:41 EST

Abu Dhabi: Global Hindu spiritual leader, Mahant Swami Maharaj, arrived in Abu Dhabi on February 5, as a state guest for the historic inauguration of the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, the BAPS Hindu Mandir. Located in the Abu Mureikhah district, this magnificent structure symbolises the enduring friendship between India and the UAE, showcasing cultural harmony and collaboration.

The project has been made possible through the generosity of the UAE government and its rulers. In 2015, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, donated 13.5 acres of land for the construction of the Mandir. Subsequently, during the UAE Government's Year of Tolerance in January 2019, an additional 13.5 acres of land was allocated, bringing the total gifted land for the Mandir to 27 acres.

Upon arrival at the airport, His Holiness was warmly greeted by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance for the UAE. His Excellency said to His Holiness, “Welcome to the UAE. Our nation is blessed with your presence. We are touched by your kindness and we feel your prayers.” In response, Mahant Swami Maharaj warmly replied, “We are touched by your love and respect. The leaders of the UAE are great, good, and large-hearted.”

As a state guest, Mahant Swami Maharaj was welcomed with honourific Arabic traditions, including a performance of the Al-Ayyala, a traditional cultural dance typically reserved for national holidays and welcoming dignitaries. His Holiness is the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), an international Hindu fellowship associated with the United Nations, inspiring millions worldwide with his virtues of devotion, humility, and service.

The inauguration of the iconic Mandir will be celebrated through the 'Festival of Harmony' – a series of programmes and community events aimed at strengthening faith, promoting community service, and fostering harmony among people of all ages and backgrounds. The festival will feature the grand inauguration ceremony of the Mandir on Wednesday, February 14, with esteemed dignitaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in attendance.
For the event webcast, visit or Puja Darshan timings are at 2:15 am (GMT) on the following dates: February 8, 9, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, and 25, 2024. Evening Sabha timings are at 5 pm (GMT) on February 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 21, 2024. On February 14, 2024, the consecration ceremony will commence at 3:45 am (GMT), followed by the dedication assembly starting at 12:30 pm (GMT).

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