BAPS Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi witnessed a major construction milestone with its first concrete pouring ceremony for its raft foundation which took place today at 6:00 pm at the Mandir site.
Pujya Brahmavihari Swami and Pujya Akshaymunidas Swami held special prayers for the project in the UAE in the presence of His Excellency Pavan Kapoor, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE and His Excellency Shri Vipul, The Consul General of India to Dubai, Dr. Omar Al-Muthanna, CEO of the Community Development Authority and Mohandass Saini, CEO of Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd.
During the ceremony, Pujya Brahmavihari Swami greeted the esteemed guests and gave a detailed presentation outlining the progress of the Mandir’s construction. He enthused the gathering: “Everyone knows about the visible progress of the Temple since 2018 to 2020 wherein we have been generously gifted the land by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and continually encouraged by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Our spiritual head Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the Shilanyas Vidhi on 20th April 2019 – today we are embarking upon the unique Mandir raft which is built using a combination of ancient technology with modern instrumentation. This could not have been possible without the grace of god, the complete support of the community and the love of everyone present here today.”
H.E. Pavan Kapoor, the Indian ambassador to the UAE spoke to the attendees: “All I can say is that I have to give credit to my predecessor who supported this initiative and most of all the UAE government to take this enormous and very generous decision not just to donate the land but to give the first license to the temple.” He added further “that till the Temple is complete, BAPS has my full and complete support”.
Dr. Omar Al-Muthanna, Chief Executive Officer at Community Development Authority addressed the assembly stating: “We want this country to not just be a residency, we want you to feel at home. It is always positive to inject our community with religious individuals irrespective of their religion and this is our commitment to you. We want to make sure we have selected the right partner; today is an excellent example that we have selected the right partner BAPS. The BAPS Hindu Mandir came to us years ago with a dream and day by day this dream is becoming a reality.”
Attendees were ushered to the construction site where the ceremony began with prayers followed by them witnessing the first layer of fly-ash concrete mix being poured. The ceremony marked a single pour of 3,000 cubic meters of the concrete mix, which is made up of 55% fly ash, making the Mandir foundation green compared to most concrete mixtures used across the world. This unique mix contains no steel reinforcement which follows the traditional ancient stone architecture used for religious stone buildings in India. This occasion marked the first and largest of its kind in the UAE. Moreover, the Mandir will be the first and the only such stone structure which will have more than 300 hi-tech sensors embedded at 10 different levels to provide online active data of stress, pressure, temperature and seismic events for the next 50 years. Professor Kishida Tadahiro of Khalifa University was present. He along with Snehal Patel a foundation engineer of BAPS Canada is planning to guide students to perform research upon the data collected by the sensors of the Temple.
Once the raft foundation solidifies, the rest of the foundation features will be completed in different stages. The stone work for the Mandir will be sculpted by highly skilled artisans in India and then shipped to the UAE to be assembled on the site like a complex jigsaw puzzle being put together. Then the first hand-carved stones will begin to arrive and the temple will slowly start to take form layer by layer over the next months and years.
The much awaited Mandir is expected to be completed approximately in 2022.