Abu Dhabi, February 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday unveiled a model of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) temple- the first Hindu temple to be built in Abu Dhabi. Narendra Modi, while attending the stone laying ceremony via video conferencing in Dubai, thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for gracious donation of the land. Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE had earlier informed that the stone-laying ceremony at the temple site in Abu Dhabi will be live-streamed at the Dubai event-- where Narendra Modi will interact with the Indian community at an event at the Opera House.

PM Modi said that the temple is a testimony to UAE's commitment to tolerance & harmony. As per details by Gulf News, the first-ever Hindu temple planned for Abu Dhabi will come up in a 14-acre land by 2020 with seven towers representing the seven emirates in the UAE, officials have disclosed.

While speaking on the occasion of foundation stone-laying ceremony, Modi said, “A temple is an agent of peace and harmony. I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to people across the world”. "Even after all the development, poverty & malnutrition have still not been eliminated. On the other side we're investing large portion of money, time & resources on missiles & bombs. We will have to be alert & use technology as a means to development & not destruction”, Modi added.

This is how the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi would look like once completed!

  1. The Abu Dhabi temple is expected to have a magnificent architectural structure like the other Akshardham temples. Reports state that it will have seven towers representing seven emirates.

First Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi (Image: Twitter, @MEAIndia)

2. The first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will incorporate all aspects and features of a traditional Hindu temple as part of a fully functional, social, cultural and spiritual complex.

First Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi (Image: Twitter, @MEAIndia)

3. The temple is believed to have a visitors’ centre, prayer halls, exhibitions, learning areas, sports area for children and youths.

First Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi (Image: Twitter, @MEAIndia)

4. The Abu Dhabi government has allotted about 14 acres (55,000 sqm) for the temple construction in Abu Mureikhah of Al Rahba area.

First Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi (Image: Twitter, @MEAIndia)

5. According to Sadhu Brahmaviharidas, the chief spokesperson of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha that will build and manage the temple, the massive temple will have thematic gardens, water features, a food court, a books and gift shop and other facilities.

6. The government had approved the plan to build the temple during the first UAE visit of Modi in 2015.

7. BAPS (Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha) is internationally known for Akshardham temples in Ahmedabad and Delhi, and prominent temples in London, Sydney and Houston etc.

8. The stones for the temple will be carved by temple artisans in India and assembled in the UAE. The temple itself is expected to cover about five acres of land.

To recall, this is Narendra Modi’s second visit to UAE since he became the Prime Minister. On the first led of his trip, Modi earlier in the day travelled to Ramallah, becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine. Modi also visited the Wahat Al Karama war memorial in Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to martyrs on Sunday. After laying the wreath, Modi took a tour of the memorial and put his thoughts on the visitors’ book.

The Prime Minister arrived from Jordon and is on his second leg of his three-nation tour. On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the two sides signed five agreements including a historic pact awarding a consortium of Indian oil companies a 10% stake in offshore oil concession.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 11, 2018 05:34 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).