Bollywood star Akshay Kumar visits the Hindu temple under construction in Abu Dhabi in May, 2023.


Abu Dhabi’s Hindu temple that is all hand-carved

A Hindu temple is being constructed in Abu Dhabi and is set to become one of the landmarks and an architectural marvel in the emirate. It will be the UAE’s first traditional hand-carved Hindu temple.

Earlier in May, the construction site in Abu Mureikha area received a celebrity visit from no other than Bollywood star Akshay Kumar.

The Hindu temple is due to open in February 2024. It will feature a temple complex with a community centre, exhibition hall, visitor centre, food court, parks, amphitheater, water features, parking for cars and buses, and two helipads. The temple complex can accommodate up to 2,000 worshippers.

The temple sits on 5.4 hectares of land that was donated to the Indian community in the UAE by President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan when he was Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi in 2015.

The temple in Abu Dhabi is considered an architectural marvel because it is being constructed without steel reinforcements. Using traditional Indian architecture that is 10,000 years all, the temple and its components are all carved and hand-pieced together without using any steel.

Its exterior walls will be made of pink sandstone, while its interior will have marble walls. The temple will house Hindu deities.

The temple will feature hand-carved marble sculptures depicting 14 stories from ancient civilisations, considered the first of its kind in a Hindu temple. The sculptures will also feature camels and horses as homage to the UAE. The two-storey structure will be topped by seven spires above the stone murals. They represent the seven emirates.

The temple will have canals, and a waterway that is illuminated. The water in these canals will come from the Indian rivers of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati, said Pranav Desai, director of the temple project. ICA/Expat Media

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