Thousands of devotees take part in ‘Palkhi Yatra’ at BAPS UAE temple

Dubai: Thousands of devotees took part in a grand procession of the Hindu community members at the newly-inaugurated BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi which is set to open its doors to the general public from March 1.

Dressed in traditional Indian attire, singing and dancing to devotional songs, more than 1,100 people participated in the “Palkhi Yatra”, which usually precedes or follows the opening of a new temple, Khaleej Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Idols from the seven main shrines of the temple were placed on decorated palanquins and taken around the temple during the Sunday’s procession, held as part of the ‘Festival of Harmony’ — an event that marked the majestic temple’s opening on February 14.

This was followed by an address to the community by Brahmviharidas Swami, the project head of the BAPS Hindu Mandir.

“I’ve never seen so much devotional joy and colour as we danced around the Mandir. We thank the BAPS Mandir for opening their hearts to all of us and making everyone feel welcome. We truly feel it is our Mandir. And all that is thanks to the guru, Mahant Swami Maharaj,” Lina Barot, a community member, told Khaleej Times.

The temple authorities announced on Tuesday that the Mandir will open its door to the public from March 1 from 9 am to 8 pm and it will remain closed to visitors every Monday.

The temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Gulf nation and was attended by over 5,000 invitees.

Built at a cost of approximately Rs 700 crore, the temple is spread over a 27-acre plot in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba, and is constructed using more than 1.8 million cubic meters of sandstone sourced from Rajasthan.


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