First Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi reports 65,000 visitors on first Sunday after public opening

Batches of 2,000 visitors made their way to the temple one after another in an orderly fashion, the temple management said
Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, reported receiving 65,000 visitors on the first Sunday (March 3) after its public opening on March 1.

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“Visitors came in busloads and carloads with over 40,000 in the morning and 25,000 during the evening. Despite the massive crowds, the faithful grouped in batches of 2,000, and patiently queued, without pushing or shoving. Quietly progressing into the mandir [temple], people felt blessed; a great sense of peace marked the day as the mandir welcomed a staggering 65,000 visitors,” the temple management said in a press release issued late on Sunday.

Visitors were able to partake in darshan [viewing] of the beautiful Mandir and offer their prayers collectively. The enthusiasm to take part in the religious rituals left many people feeling emotional as they experienced peace and tranquillity. Many were also in awe of the mandir’s intricate architecture. The vibrant colours of clothing worn by visitors created a sea of hues, adding to the festive atmosphere.

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New bus route

Moreover, the temple management added, the UAE government’s dedication to accessibility and inclusivity was further highlighted by the introduction of a new bus route (203) from Abu Dhabi to the Mandir, facilitating weekend visits and emphasising the country’s commitment to fostering cultural diversity and inclusivity.

The bus route is between Al Nehyan Bus Station in Abu Dhabi City and the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Mureikha.

Neha and Pankaj, who have lived in Dubai for 40 years, were among the devotees who visited the temple on Sunday. “We have been awaiting this moment, and the Mandir has exceeded all our expectations. It’s a true marvel. We feel blessed as now we have a place to come and offer our prayers and feel the spirituality.”

Piyush, from Portland, USA, said: “The opening of this Mandir is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. It’s a beautiful representation of unity among different communities.”

Luis from Mexico stated: “The architecture and intricate details in the stones are amazing. I really appreciate getting to see the cultural heritage of India.”

Word of gratitude

Reflecting on the historic significance of the opening Sunday for the public, Swami Brahmaviharidas, head priest of BAPS Hindu Mandir, said: “We are deeply grateful to the leaders of the UAE, and the local authorities for the new bus services and their all-round support in making this day a reality. I would also like to thank the pilgrims who were so patient and so understanding during their visit. This Mandir will serve as a beacon of spirituality and a symbol of harmony, bringing together people of all backgrounds and beliefs.”

The management said the temple not only marks a significant milestone in promoting spiritual and cultural unity but also stands as a testament to the UAE’s forward-thinking approach to diversity and inclusion.