Abu Dhabi: BAPS Hindu Mandir draws over 65,000 Pilgrims on first public Sunday

World Monday 04/March/2024 05:17 AM
Abu Dhabi: BAPS Hindu Mandir draws over 65,000 Pilgrims on first public Sunday

Abu Dhabi: Over 65,000 pilgrims visited the recently opened BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi as it opened its doors on the first Sunday for public, according to an official statement.

As the temple opened, over 40,000 visitors came in busloads and carloads offered prayers in the morning and over 25,000 arrived in the evening

To offer prayers on the first day, visitors came in busloads and carloads with over 40,000 in the morning and 25,000 during the evening and despite massive crowds, devotees grouped in batches of 2,000, and patiently queued, without pushing or shoving.

At the end of the day, over 65,000 people visited the temple and offered prayers.

Quietly progressing into the mandir, people felt blessed; a great sense of peace marked the day as the mandir welcomed a staggering 65,000 visitors.

Visitors who visited the temple expressed their happiness over the opening of the temple and heaped praise on the BAPS volunteers and mandir staff for the suitable management.

Speaking on the occasion, Sumant Rai from Abu Dhabi said, “Never have I seen such amazing order in the midst of thousands of people. I was worried I would have to wait for hours and not be able to do darshan peacefully, but we had amazing darshan and were extremely satisfied. Hats off to all the BAPS volunteers and mandir staff.”

Another pilgrim from London, Pravina Shah also shared her experience of her visit to the temple and said, “I have a disability and the care given by the staff despite thousands of visitors was remarkable. I could see the crowds of people being ushered peacefully from one zone to the next.”

“I thought I would be lost in the sea of people, but I was so surprised with how well the visit was managed. I was able to peacefully enjoy darshan, can’t wait until my next visit,” Balchandra from Kerala said.

According to the statement, visitors were able to partake in the darshan of the beautiful Mandir and offer their prayers collectively. The enthusiasm to take part in the religious rituals of the abhishek and the arti 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. Eagerly anticipating their visit, people travelled from far and wide, having expectations surpassed by the joy and serenity they experienced," the statement said.

Moreover, Neha and Pankaj who have lived in Dubai for 40 years exclaimed, “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, “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.”

Louis from Mexico stated, “The architecture and intricate details in the stones are amazing. I really appreciate getting to see the cultural heritage of India. People, come join!”

Additionally, Sadhu Bramhaviharidas, reflecting on the historic significance of the opening Sunday for the public, stated, “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 UAE government has also introduced a new bus route (203) from Abu Dhabi to the Mandir for felicitating the weekend visits.

The majestic BAPS temple, which is the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on February 14. Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence for the UAE, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, was also present at the inauguration.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi is the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East, and stands as a testament to the enduring friendship between India and the UAE, embodying the spirit of cultural inclusivity, interfaith harmony, and community collaboration.