Dubai: Thousands of Indians on Saturday rejoiced and participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple in UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which is constructing the temple, presided over the four-hour ceremony following which sanctifi ed bricks were placed at the main pooja sthal (place of worship).
Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Suri read out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the occasion, congratulating the Gulf nation for this initiative. “On behalf of 130 crore Indians, it is my privilege to convey our greetings to my dear friend and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Suri quoted PM Modi as saying.
“When complete, this temple will symbolise the universal human values and spiritual ethos that form a shared heritage of both India and the UAE,” he said. Suri said that the temple embodies the timeless Vedic values of Vasudev Kutumbakam, the whole world is one famil y. “I am sure this temple will be a source of inspiration for the 33 lakh Indians residing in the UAE as well as of people from all other cultures,” Suri quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying. The plan to build the temple in Abu Dhabi was approved by the Abu Dhabi government during Modi’s first visit to the country in 2015.