A Lotus in the Dessert : Unveiling BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi

A Lotus in the Dessert Unveiling BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi

The new BAPS Hindu mandir Abu Dhabi is the new bridge to the almighty, water in the desert, a sanctum for the believers, and so much more. A delightful mirage in the middle of the Arabian sands, the upcoming Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi stands as a testament to the beauty of spiritual devotion. Another proof of religion’s transcendental power, UAE’s upcoming adoration showcases the best of human ingenuity and cultural diversity across geographical boundaries. Much more than a natural marvel, the temple is a beacon of human craftsmanship and artistry that will soon draw visitors from around the globe to its sacred walls. 

Nurturing the growing Hindu community across the UAE, the temple is being constructed by the renowned organisation BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, which has pitched more than 1,100 Hindu temples across the globe in the past. Let us explore the extraordinary story behind this architectural marvel, where spirituality meets architectural brilliance in the heart of the desert.

Abu Dhabi’s Upcoming Hindu Temple

Abu Dhabi’s Upcoming Hindu Temple

Launched by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to the UAE in 2018, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi, is the first Hindu place of worship across Abu Dhabi to receive an official license. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, gifted the land to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the temple’s construction and an additional 55,000 sq. m. plot of land near the temple for parking facilities. 

Not the first Hindu temple in the city, however, the stone temple is still the first officially licensed temple to soon reflect the sands across the city, much to the joy of the many Hindus across the country. Expected to consist of a beautiful marble-and-sandstone shrine amidst a community centre complex, the temple will bring more to the multicultural Dubai public.

BAPS Hindu Mandir

BAPS Hindu Mandir

A building project by the dedicated BAPS organisation, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, will be a new place of worship across the city. The temple is expected to have exquisite craftsmanship and carvings on marble and sandstone, a temple library and community centres, and various other utilities like a food court, sports centre, themed gardens and an amphitheatre. When completed, the Abu Dhabi mandir will be the Middle East’s first traditional Hindu stone mandir. The project details were discussed and launched by the BAPS representatives, who met with Sheikh Mohammed and the Indian Prime Minister on his visit to Dubai in the Presidential Palace. The temple is expected to be completed by February 14, 2024, showcasing the diligent, hard work of numerous selfless volunteers. 

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj shared his thoughts on the development and considers that it has been the will of God. He believed the values placed in the mandir to blend with the people and the world, claiming it as a unique reflection of humanity and the bright future as a ‘Lotus in the desert’. The mandir is expected to sprawl across an expansive area of 55,000 square meters as a ‘spiritual oasis of global harmony’. It will contain seven shrines as a symbol of reverence for the seven Emirates of the UAE. Idols of various deities will be included in the temple, including Radha-Krishna, Ram-Sita and Hanuman, Shiv-Parvati, Kartikeya and Ganesh, Akshar & Purushottam. 

  • Who is BAPS? 

BAPS is a renowned religious group named the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. Centred on the doctrine of Akshar-Purushottam Upasana, the group was first established in 1905 by Shastri Maharaj, Yagnapurushdas. As a Hindu denomination within the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, the followers under the sect workshop Swaminarayan as God or Purushottam. BAPS devotees fall back on many ancient texts and documented words by the Swaminarayan attesting to their understanding of the Upasana. They believe Swaminarayan to be ever present on earth and highlight steps and paths one must follow to be free from the continuous cycle of rebirth.

BAPS has grown considerably with the passing years, and the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi has yet to be completed. They have pitched over 1,100 Hindu shrines across the globe, including Gujarat, Auckland, Nairobi, Robinsville, Sydney, Toronto and Abu Dhabi. 

  • BAPS Hindi Mandir Construction Details

Swami Brahmaviharidas will lead the temple. The magnificent traditional temple is expected to be an architectural wonder to behold. Swami Akshaymunidas is overseeing the construction of the temple. A one-of-its-kind conventional temple, the project’s architecture and design will be constructed as per the ancient Hindu scriptures. The detailed carvings across the project will include stories from the texts showcasing five grand domes. The seven spires of the temple will represent each of the emirates.

The Swaminarayan Temple, Abu Dhabi, has been under construction since May 2022, when the Maha Peeth Ceremony marked the laying of the first stone for the temple. To be constructed using Rajasthani Pink sandstone, the BAPS Hindu Temple will be highly durable and handle temperatures as high as 50°C. Indian craftsmen will work on the sandstones and intricately carve the stones to depict stories from the sculptures and designs. The inscriptions on marble and more will then be shipped to UAE to be assembled as interiors for the temple. 

The construction of the ground floor’s foundation consists of multiple layers of stone and stands completed now. The temple’s inner sanctum, i.e. the Garbhgrahua, will soon begin construction along with the first floor. In addition to being a place of worship, the temple will contain various other amenities and is expected to be over 32 meters in height. The community centre will feature an amphitheatre, an exhibition hall, a library and bookshop, classrooms, a sports centre, a food court, a majlis, thematic gardens, and two halls totalling 5,000 people. 

Soon to be completed, the grand opening ceremony shall be conducted on February 14, 2024. Swami Maharaj’s presence will attend this public dedication assembly. A historic event indeed, the ceremony can be attended by the country’s Indian community after prior registration. Members of the country’s Indian community will participate in the celebrations through a public dedication assembly graced by Swami Maharaj’s presence. However, prior registration is required to attend this historic ceremony.

BAPS Hindu Mandir Location and Construction Status 

The project is expected to open on February 14, 2024, in the Abu Mureikheh Area, along the Al Taf Road. The temple will be a 30-minute drive from the main island and easily accessible via the Abu Dhabi – Ghweifat Highway. 

  • Festival Of Harmony: The Grand Inauguration Ceremony

The Grand Inauguration Ceremony

As a great symbol of respect and religious tolerance across the country, the grand opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi temple will include a series of inaugural events. Being called the ‘Festival of Harmony’, this series of events will start before the opening day.

According to the temple management, the ceremony will be unlike any the people have ever seen and continue for over two hours. People can attend the historic meet with prior registration through the temple app, and more details will soon be launched. Many dignitaries from across the country are confirmed to attend, including Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj, the president of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, to initiate the ceremony. 

Cultural Significance

Built to traditional standards, the temple will not use iron or steep reinforcements during construction. Taking sustainability measures, the temple has a green foundation with eco-friendly construction. With green construction, in hindsight, solar power for construction, earthen bricks and stones for the structure and other energy conservation methods have been used. The Rajasthani pink sandstones from which the temple will be built are expected to last over a thousand years. The temple will feature engravings of Hindu Gods decorating the walls and interiors, along with their various teachings and stories carved into the walls and stones. Lessons from as far back as the Mayan civilisations will be depicted in stories.  

Even though the temple is still under construction, the temple premises have already seen colourful celebrations of multiple Hindu holidays such as Deepawali, Janmashtami, etc., with thousands of worshippers going to the mandir.

Locality Near The Temple

The temple grounds will have parking and a community centre for residents to foster communal relationships. The features will include prayer halls, classrooms, recreational areas, sports courts, and a food court. With many facilities to let individuals of other faiths learn more about Hinduism. Exhibitions, gift shops, and bookstores will surround the temple complex.


Another nod to art and spirituality, the Abu Dhabi temple is a first in many more gestures to follow. A vision to behold as the sun sets over the Arabian horizon; the warm glow over the glistening sands only adds to the significance and beauty of the lotus. A Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi reflects the beauty that can emerge when two cultures converge, when craftsmanship meets devotion, and when a sacred space is created for all to share. Blessed with the lessons of unity, beauty and reverence, this lotus shines in the vast desert as a beacon for devotees and admirers alike. With its lotus-inspired design, BAPS Hindu Mandir will soon become an architectural gem and symbol of unity and inclusivity. It is a place where people from all walks of life, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds, can unite to find solace, inspiration, and a deeper connection to the spiritual world.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the name of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi?

BAPS Hindu Mandir is the name of the Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The full form of the organisation is Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. Centred on the doctrine of Akshar-Purushottam Upasana, the group was first established in 1905 by Shastri Maharaj, Yagnapurushdas.

How many mandirs are there in the UAE?

There have been many Hindu temples formed earlier in the region. There are currently two temples in Dubai and one temple in Abu Dhabi. However, The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the first time the establishment will be officially sanctioned. The land for the mandir was gifted to the Indian PM by the crown prince on his visit to UAE. The Hindu Temple in Dubai is locally called ‘Shiva and Krishna Mandir’.

Do we have a Hindu temple in Dubai?

As Dubai has an extensively established Hindu community, the Dubai Hindu Temple caters to a large community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

When will the new Abu Dhabi Hindu temple open to the general public?

The new temple will be launched to the general public after a series of inaugural events on February 15, 2024.

What will be the BAPS Hindu mandir in Abu Dhabi height?

The BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi is expected to stand 108 feet tall.

Where do I register for the grand opening ceremony?

An app has been created for the 'Festival of Harmony’ which will be the many events leading to the inauguration ceremony. Devotees can download the app or visit https://festivalofharmony.ae.

Sarvagya Munde
Sarvagya Munde A writer incapable of brevity, whom you are more probable to find watching movies and holding discussions on their brilliance, or listening to music while whisper shouting the lyrics aloud; Sarvagya is a cinephile and prefers to use movies to expand her imagination and exist in multiple worlds at once. Her personality, ideas and thoughts are all an amalgamation of the latest series she’s watched or whichever song lyric hit a vein just right.
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