Abu Dhabi: The massive foundation of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi will be completed by the end of April, the temple management said in its latest update on the traditional stone temple’s construction.
The Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), the organisation building the Dh450 million BAPS Hindu Mandir, has released a video showing the massive foundation of the temple taking shape at the 27-acre site in Abu Dhabi’s in Abu Mureikhah area.
Ashok Kondeti, a project engineer, monitoring the project quality and progress, said the construction is now in the final stage of the foundation which is 4.5 metres from the ground level.
“From January, we poured around 4,500 cubic metres of concrete and 3,000 cubic metres of backfilling has been done,” he informed. The concrete has been gaining strength even after three months and backfilling (refilling the excavated hole) is being done layer by layer with sand from the same site.
“In this foundation, we have two tunnels. For those tunnels, stones have been received from India and the placing will start by next week. The total foundation work will be complete by the end of April so we can start the actual stone work in the month of May,” he added.
The temple management confirmed to Gulf News that the two tunnels are meant for guest access to the lift as well as priest access to the shrines. “Once the foundation is done, carved sandstone and marble will be placed on it to begin assembling the temple structure. Carved stones are arriving in the coming weeks in preparation for assembly in May,” it added.
Hand-carved stone pillars
As reported by Gulf News, the first images of the final design of the traditional stone temple and the hand-carved stone pillars that have been taking shape in India were revealed in November 2020.
The columns and pillars in stones are being carved by artisans in Rajasthan and Gujarat in India. The pink stones are from Rajasthan and the marble from Macedonia in Italy.
According to Ashok Kotecha, BAPS Hindu Mandir spokesperson, DPWorld and the Transworld Group have offered logistical support in bringing those carved stones to the UAE for the final masterpiece.
Scenes from Hindu epics, scriptures and ancient stories from India, as well as motifs popular in the Gulf countries, will adorn the majestic stone facade of the seven spires representing the seven emirates.
The intricate carvings of the temple range from figurines only a few inches tall to statues over many metres tall.
Dubbed a spiritual oasis for global harmony, the temple’s final master plan revealed in a video showed a massive amphitheatre overlooking the shrine. A library, a classroom, a majlis and a community centre have also been featured within the compound.
Waterfalls flanking the steps to the entrance of the shrine, and water bodies circling the temple complex could also be seen in the video.
In another video released in January, the temple management showed how artisans were giving shape to the stunning stone pillars back in India.
“Centuries-old craft is being revived and revitalised by this temple’s construction. Hundreds of craftsmen are not just supporting their families in these trying times, but also helping make a manifestation of devotion and harmony,” the management said.