Read up before you show up…

The BAPS Hindu temple is finally open in Abu Dhabi, following its grand inauguration on February 14. The marvellous piece of architecture opens its doors to worshippers following four years of meticulous work by artisans in India and the UAE, and is the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone temple.

While you were required to pre-register on their dedicated website and app due to a horde of eager residents and international visitors wanting to visit, you won’t need to register anymore and can now visit the temple all week long, except on Mondays.

The dos and don’ts

Bags (anything larger than a purse), food and drink are not permissible on your visit, so make sure to leave your belongings at home or in your car. And as beautiful as the pink sandstone and stunning white marble structure is, photography and filming on site are permitted only for personal, non-commercial use, but make sure to turn off your ringer while you’re inside. For those pro shots, you’ll need to get prior permission from the local authorities.

If you’re wondering who gets to join you, make sure to accompany your little ones at all times, on your visit. Your furry (or non-furry) friends, on the other hand, get to enjoy the comfort of your home.

When you arrive, you’ll need to clear entry points equipped with x-ray scanners and metal detectors, so make sure to leave lighters, pointed objects, smoking accessories, vapes, and such at home. Speaking of which, smoking and vaping are prohibited on the premises and in the parking areas.

Did we mention this grand piece of architecture took four years to complete? Over 690,000 hours of dedicated effort went into designing the temple, including its delicate stone carvings, ornamentation, paintings, and the protective casings on the temple facade and interior. So make sure you leave the artwork, and cleanliness, be.

Oh, and make sure you leave your shoes in their shoe-storage section before you enter the temple. The tiles are temperature controlled, so you’ll be comfortable while you walk around admiring the beautiful architecture.

When’s a good time to visit?

You can visit the temple from Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 8pm and also enjoy numerous facilities on site, including the Orchard restaurant built entirely from recycled material. Development plans included two parks, a community hall, a visitors’ centre, a classroom,  play areas, gardens, gift stores, huge parking spaces and more, and the site is also wheelchair accessible.

BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Mureikha off E11 Hwy., Abu Dhabi, Tues to Sun 9am to 8pm., @abudhabimandir

Media: Instagram, What’s On archive