The visit of the ambassadors marked an important milestone in advancing peace, encouraging cultural exchanges, and reinforcing diplomatic relations between the participating countries and the UAE
In a remarkable display of intercultural solidarity, the Indian Embassy in the UAE hosted a special gathering on January 29, 2024, at the 27-acre construction site of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi.
The event, attended by representatives from 42 nations, aimed to deepen mutual understanding and respect among various cultures, highlighting the temple’s role in promoting global tolerance and harmony, a press release from BAPS Hindu Mandir Abu Dhabi said.
Senior diplomats and ambassadors from a diverse array of countries, including Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chad, Chile, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, the European Union, Fiji, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, the UAE, the UK, the US, Zimbabwe, and Zambia, were present at the visit to the Mandir site.
They esteemed visitors were received with traditional Indian hospitality, including garlands and the tying of sacred threads, symbolising the importance of their visit.
His Excellency (H.E.) Sunjay Sudhir, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, extended a warm welcome to the guests, expressing his delight at the nearing completion of the Mandir, which he described as a dream turned reality.
During his keynote speech, Swami Brahmaviharidas, the leader of the BAPS Hindu Mandir project, concisely outlined the temple’s historical importance, the intricacies of its construction, and its far-reaching global influence. He extended his thanks to the leadership of both the UAE and India, highlighting the temple’s significant role in fostering interfaith and intercultural harmony.
The event featured heartfelt accolades from various ambassadors. H.E. Tej Bahadur Chhetri of Nepal praised the Mandir as a “tirthbhumi” and a legacy of love, harmony, and tolerance.
H.E. Radha Krishna Panday of Canada remarked on the Mandir’s dedication to quality and diversity, while H.E. Sorayut Chasombat of Thailand admired it as a lasting symbol of harmony that will stand the test of time for thousands of years into the future.
Jonathan Knight, Deputy Ambassador of the UK, envisioned the temple as a unifying space for different faiths, and H.E. Alexander Schoenfelder of Germany acknowledged the UAE’s commitment to religious tolerance, echoed by H.E. Kamal R Vaswani of Singapore who lauded the Mandir as a marvel of leadership and a symbol of peaceful coexistence.
Each visiting dignitary received a unique, hand-painted stone from children, depicting the Mandir, as a memento of their visit.
The visit of the ambassadors marked an important milestone in advancing peace, encouraging cultural exchanges, and reinforcing diplomatic relations between the participating countries and the UAE.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir, once completed, is set to be inaugurated on February 14, 2024, by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, symbolising a new era of cultural and spiritual connectivity in the region.