Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Rising fast, the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, UAE

 Rising fast, the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi are scheduled to open in January and February 2024 respectively. 

Technology has touched all walks of life and therefore it has made the construction of temple easier and faster in 21st century. Otherwise, who would think of making a Stone Temple 32 metres tall using millions of handmade bricks and 30000 pieces of stone with intricate designs at a stretch of a dessert of Abudhabi (off Sheikh Zayed road, Abu Mureikha district) in UAE. It’s coming up very fast. 

The walls of the temple will retell ancient stories of Hindu scriptures. Each stone here speaks. The interior part of the temple is made of Italian marble and the exterior is made of pink sandstone. Marble part will hv centralised AC system as the temperature of the area rise upto 50.7 degree Celsius in summer. There is a trench of water feature planned to have water from river Ganga and Yamuna, connected with a Library, the knowledge, river Saraswati. 

After the base work, the stone temple becomes an assembly of stones carved and transported from India and assembled at the site of the temple. The artisans at the site give finishing touch and fix carved stones as per the design. Each stone carries a gap in which another stone is fixed. No steel is used. It has reduced the need of manpower at the site and economise the logistics. However the assembling is a smart work.  Each stone piece carved in India is stamped with a specific number and the same code is marked on the carvings that will encircle it. Packaging for the pieces is also branded with the code before being sent to the UAE from India. The project manager at the site checks floor plans for numeric codes to match the carvings being installed and accordingly the artisans give finish touch and fix the stones as per the sequencing. A minor mistake of damaging the piece of stone or replacement of x with y can hamper the work in progress. 

The land has been granted by the President Sheikh Mohamed, the temple is designed by a Christian architect, the contractor company of Parsi, Shapurji Palanji; the funders are NRIs and Indians. What to talk about their generosity. One of the biggest company in sea transport (South Indian) made it free transport of stone and materials for making the temple. 

The work of ground floor is complete. The work of the first floor with engravings that depict the lives of Hindu gods, along with friezes decorated with musicians, dancers, peacocks, camels, horses and elephants is in progress. The brackets will have carvings of Hindu deities. How great the work of artisans that brings life to the stones. The life of the temple is planned for 1000 years as stone gives longevity. 300 hi-tech sensors installed throughout the Mandir, which provide valuable live data of pressure, temperature, settlement, deflection and stresses created by seismic movements, among other things. 

What stood out the most, was the Mandir's inclusivity, which features intricate carvings of Hindu Avatars and Rishis, as well as cultural and moral value tales from ancient civilizations. The Mandir's approach to 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' is a true testament to its commitment to fostering unity and harmony among all peoples, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.

There is a Church besides the temple. A mosque is coming up. Slowly the area is going to represent all faiths in the world. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Khalifa, the ruler of Abu Dhabi is the President of UAE and is a progressive leader. When the tallest building of the world, the sky scraper Burj Dubai was built the then Khalifa and ruler of Abu Dhabi bought is by paying much higher than the cost to save the developers from financial problems and renamed the building Burj Khalifa. The venture became more profitable than expected. The cost of living is high in UAE but the Indians settled here are happier as the remittances they send to India are increasing. 


21 March 2023

NB: I hv visited the temple site recently on 6 February 2023.


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