No steel reinforcements will be used in the construction of the BAPS Abu Dhabi Hindu Temple, Khaleej Times has learnt. The BAPS Hindu Mandir had its first concrete pouring ceremony for its raft foundation which took place on Thursday, February 13 at 6 pm at the temple site in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony marked a single pour of 3,000 cubic meters of the concrete mix, which is made up of 55 per cent fly ash, making the mandir foundation green compared to most concrete mixtures used across the world.
"This unique mix contains no steel reinforcement which follows the traditional ancient stone architecture used for religious stone buildings in India," said mandir officials.
A large group from the Indian diaspora in the UAE, led by senior Indian diplomats and temple priests were present at the event.
Brahmavihari Swami and Akshaymunidas Swami from BAPS held special prayers for the project in the presence of Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE and Vipul, Consul General of India to Dubai and Dr Omar Al-Muthanna, CEO of the Community Development Authority.
Brahmavihari Swami said, "Our spiritual head Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the Shilanyas Vidhi on 20th April 2019 - today we are embarking upon the unique Mandir raft which is built using a combination of ancient technology with modern instrumentation."
Pavan Kapoor, the Indian ambassador to the UAE said. "All I can say is that I have to give credit to my predecessor who supported this initiative and most of all the UAE government to take this enormous and very generous decision not just to donate the land but to give the first license to the temple."
Dr Omar Al-Muthanna, Chief Executive Officer at Community Development Authority addressed the assembly stating, "It is always positive to inject our community with religious individuals irrespective of their religion and this is our commitment to you. The BAPS Hindu Mandir came to us years ago with a dream and day by day, this dream is becoming a reality.
The Mandir will be the first and the only such stone structure which will have more than 300 hi-tech sensors embedded at 10 different levels to provide online active data of stress, pressure, temperature and seismic events for the next 50 years.
Once the raft foundation solidifies, the rest of the foundation features will be completed in separate stages. The stonework for the Mandir will be sculpted by skilled artisans in India and then shipped to the UAE to be assembled on the site like a complex jigsaw puzzle being put together. Then the first hand-carved stones will begin to arrive and the temple will slowly start to take form layer by layer over the next months and years.
The Mandir is expected to be completed approximately in 2022.