In a show of solidarity and mutual respect, ambassadors from more than 30 countries gathered at the 27-acre BAPS Hindu Mandir construction site in Abu Dhabi. The visit helped foster cross-cultural understanding and enabled the dignitaries to witness the advancement of the region’s first traditional Hindu temple, a manifestation of the universal values of tolerance and harmony.
From Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Sri Lanka Ambassadors to Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Ukraine and other countries visited.
More than 85 distinguished guests were warmly welcomed by the dedicated directors and volunteers who oversaw the construction of the temple. Dignitaries wear garlands and are greeted with traditional sacred thread ties.
Through engaging video presentations and personal experiences, the ambassadors gained a comprehensive understanding of the temple’s historical significance, construction process and expected impact.
His Excellency Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE, highlighted the longstanding friendship between India and the UAE rooted in history, culture and trade. He praised the tolerance and generosity of the UAE leadership, adding: “This temple represents the collective faith aspirations of the vast Indian community residing in the UAE, especially the saints and volunteers of BAPS who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to build this temple. Indian temple service. Tolerance and harmony.”
Through a video message, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar shared his hopes for what Mandir will mean for the UAE and the world, and his deep respect for the vision and direction of the UAE leadership. He emphasized that one of the most moving and fulfilling moments of his life was announcing and now seeing the arrival of BAPS Hindu Mandir. He added that “real change is when different cultures respect each other and respect equality and fairness”.
In his speech, Swami Brahmaviharidas warmly welcomed the Ambassador and his family, “Celebrating the past, dealing with the present and recalibrating the future, BAPS Hindu Mandir combines ancient art and architecture, modern science and technology, universal values and spirituality. Your presence conveys harmony message of hope, a testament to the belief that dialogue, communication and engagement can bring us all closer together and make this world a happier place.”
He also thanked the leaders of the UAE and India, “We equally thank His Excellency Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Excellency His Holiness Narendra Modi. They are visionary leaders, Encourage diversity and harmony. We hope that through this temple, we will be able to serve the UAE and the world for millennia to come, becoming a spiritual oasis of global harmony.”
After an initial introduction, guests began a guided tour, sprinkled with flowers on the bricks used to build the Mandir. Guests were amazed to see the beautifully intricate carvings and exquisite designs that exemplify the timeless values of India and ancient civilizations. Guests were amazed to learn that stories from Arabian, Mayan, Greek and other cultures that encourage peace, tolerance and harmony were also inscribed on the stone on the temple’s facade. To ensure the longevity of the mandir, skilled artisans from India crafted the artwork without any steel bars and pieced them together like giant stone puzzles.
New Zealand Ambassador HE Dr. Richard Kay expressed his deep delight in light of the visit, saying: “The mandir is a cultural asset that will grace the UAE’s skyline.”
Likewise, His Excellency Akio Isomata, Ambassador of Japan, was also very moved, saying, “I am overwhelmed by Indian craftsmanship. I see the philosophy of tolerance in the carvings.”
HE Aminath Shabeena, Ambassador to the Maldives, said: “One must really visit and witness the fine carvings and heartfelt emotions of the volunteers.” She was moved by the designs, saying, “The most striking carvings represent the flora and fauna of India and the UAE group.”
“This monument, built in a country built on tolerance, will certainly contribute to harmony in the region and the world,” said Israeli ambassador HE Amir Hayek. He also tweeted immediately after his visit, “I have no doubt that the temple will attract tourists from all over the world”.
To commemorate their visit, the ambassadors received beautifully crafted miniature models of the shrine. The visit of the ambassadors is an important step in promoting peace, fostering cultural interaction and strengthening diplomatic relations between the participating countries and the United Arab Emirates.