Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in the United Arab Emirates as a part of his three-nation tour to the Gulf and West Asia, witnessed the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple in capital Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is a home to over three million people of Indian origin
Here's all you need to know about the upcoming temple:
- Modi witnessed the event through a video conference. It was live-streamed to the Dubai Opera House.
- The temple, which will be built in stone, will come up off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway over 55,000 square meters of land.
- Temple artisans from India will be hand-carving the stones and assembling them in the UAE. The structure will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple, reported NDTV.
- The temple will be completed by 2020. Interestingly, the temple will be open to people of all religious backgrounds and beliefs.
- The religious structure will be a replica of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple in New Delhi and the one under construction in New Jersey. The BAPS is worldwide religious and civic organization that manages more than 1,100 temple compounds around the world.
This is how the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi would look like once completed! PM @narendramodi unveiled the model of the temple and thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for gracious donation of the land. The temple will be a testimony to UAE's commitment to tolerance & harmony pic.twitter.com/YvJFmzv6VZ— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 11, 2018
- Reports claim that the temple will have idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Maheshwara, Lord Ayyappa and a few other Hindu Gods.
- The complex of the temple will have a visitors' center, prayer halls, an exhibition center, learning areas, thematic gardens and water features. It will also have a sports area for children and youths. The temple compound will also have a food court.
Modi thanked the crown prince of Abu Dhabi for allotting the land for the temple and said that the temple would send the message of unity to all.
While a few poeple on social media has commeded Modi for laying the foundation stone of the temple, he has also learned some criticism for it.
Abu Dhabi to have its first temple today to be inaugurated by PM Modi. Great for expatriate community, huge spiritual vacuum filled. Fine example of secularism. Wish our fringe of all communities learn from Abu D .— raj (@raj2jas) February 11, 2018
Glad that Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi Ji laid foundation stone for Swaminarayan Temple at AbuDhabi. I hope he also fulfills the dreams of Hindus by making a way to build Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.— Girish Bharadwaja (@Girishvhp) February 11, 2018
Real Secular Politician/Statesman/Leader is @narendramodi because,Arabs offered a Temple in Abu Dhabi only on Modi's affection,leadership,Western Countries too offer new temples due to Modi.Our fake ,Sickulars wear janeu,tilak,topi,cross when they face election.— prasad_perla (@prasad_perla) February 11, 2018
Here are a few netizens who criticised him:
3. A small note: Modi will inaugurate construction of a Hindu temple in Muslim country in his 3 days visit.— nilay doshi (@nsd4569) February 11, 2018
What credibility Modi has achieved in the entire world including staunch Muslim nations.