Starting March 1…

Abu Dhabi’s highly-anticipated BAPS Hindu temple is finally open, with a grand inauguration on February 14. The sprawling piece of architecture, is the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple and was first announced in 2019.

Starting March 1, 2024, the temple will be open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 8pm. It will remain closed on Mondays.

Four years of meticulous work by artisans in India and the UAE have come to fruition in Abu Dhabi’s Abu Mureikha area. The temple is being built out of pink sandstone and stunning white marble, atop 27 acres of land, and features seven stunning spires, each symbolising an emirate to adorn the mighty structure.

Inaugurated as part of the ‘Festival of Harmony’, the public opening was followed by a week of inauguration-centered programming. People of all faiths are welcome to visit the temple, the construction of which was overseen by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an organisation that has supervised the construction of close to 1,200 temples around the world.

Ripe in detail and religious relevance, the structure has been intricately carved by 2,000 artisans out of 5,500 tonnes of white marble and 14,500 tonnes of pink sandstone. With the main prayer hall already built on the ground level, the second level will feature seven towering spires, one representing each emirate, as a tribute to the UAE. The finished 32-metre-high structure will be decorated with more than 200 ornate pillars.

An ode to ancient construction techniques, the temple has been built without steel, iron or reinforced concrete. It instead adopts a layered compression technique, with granite at the foundation, pink sandstone as the next layer and finally, marble that adds structural fortitude.

The temple is located off Sheikh Zayed Road and is spread over 5.4 hectares of land given to the Indian community in 2015, by H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. In addition to two domes, the development also includes two parks, a community hall, a visitors’ centre, a classroom,  play areas, gardens, gift stores, huge parking spaces and more., @abudhabimandir

Images: Instagram