Prayer ceremonies will be held in January and throughout the summer to bless the Hindu temple under construction in the Jebel Ali district of Dubai.
The prayers are aimed at purifying the shrine and preparing it before the official opening in September next year.
New kalashas – brass fittings that will cover the domes – are being shipped from the town of Ujjain in central India this month.
The biggest kalash (top of the arrow) is 1.8 meters tall and weighs approximately 120 kilograms.
The metal structure will dominate eight surrounding spiers, each about 1.2m high and weighing around 90kg.
Temple officials have said prayers at the end of January, and in July and August, will be essential in preparing the sanctuary before the installation of the temple. kalash and the 16 deities to be housed inside.
“Visibly, you can now see the shape of the temple appearing,” said Raju Shroff, administrator of the Sindhi Guru Darbar temple who is overseeing the construction work. The National.
“Between now and the next three months you will see some major changes.
“The kalash is the most important part because the ornament placed at the top of the temple after the structure is 100 percent ready.
“The first thing that will increase after the month of January puja will be the kalash.
“It shows that the temple structure is ready.”
Modern design for Dubai
The pristine white domes can be spotted from a distance and frame a modern design chosen to reflect the spirit of the emirate.
“We wanted a temple that looks like Dubai,” Mr. Shroff said.
“We wanted a contemporary look because you have the historic districts of Bastakiya and Shindagha, but this new temple is in the new Dubai.”
The trust also operates a Hindu shrine in a small building in Bur Dubai that was recently given permission to restore opening hours to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels.
Places of worship were closed in March 2020 when Covid-19 security measures were introduced across the country.
On the Jebel Ali site, construction work has been completed at a sustained pace in a space that will be able to accommodate 1,500 worshipers.
Large skylights were placed on the skylight, white tiles fixed on the walls and marble laid on the staircase leading to a large prayer hall on the upper level.
A small group of community members will participate in the January ceremony, which will last a few days.
“The kalash the prayers will take a few days as this brings energy to the temple, ”he said.
” It is a small puja but the kalash has great significance because even when people look at him from afar, they can pray to him. “
Delivery of statues
The next step will be the arrival, from April, of 16 hand-carved white and black marble statues of deities from the cities of Jaipur, Kanyakumari and Madhurai in northern and southern India.
“Prayers will be made for each of the murtis because there are different rituals to follow, ”he said.
“We will have different communities to be part of pujas in summer.”
Vast arches dominate a 464 square meter hall where Hindu deities, including Shiva, Hanuman, Ganesh and Durga will later be placed.
The space will also feature a section for the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib.
The hall is surrounded by an open terrace for traditional rituals where the faithful can pray around a fire.
The lower floor is divided into sections including a kitchen that can accommodate 1000 meals, a banquet hall for 500 people and rooms where volunteers can teach meditation or dance.
Families can reserve rooms for weddings, birth ceremonies or condolence gatherings in a space reserved for community interaction.
“A lot of young people don’t want to get married in a hotel, they want a temple,” Mr. Shroff said.
“We didn’t want people who pray to be disturbed by a wedding party blocking the prayer room.
“So we planned that the community area downstairs would be used for functions and people could go upstairs to pray. “
Serene religious area
The shrine is the most recent construction in a neighborhood on the outer edge of town filled with several churches and a Sikh gurdwara.
Earth-toned moucharabieh screens inspired by Arab architecture and infused with Hindu geometric patterns will house parts of the terrace and facade.
“We wanted the design to have elements that emphasize harmony to embody two cultures,” said Mr. Shroff.
“It’s like the peace you feel in this area with six churches, a gurdwara and now a temple.”
Estimated at an estimated cost of 65 million Dh (17.69 million dollars), the sanctuary is built on land granted by the government of Dubai.
Dubai Municipality approvals were processed swiftly despite the closure of offices during last year’s pandemic.
“It’s amazing that this is all happening during the Covid era,” Mr. Shroff said. “We were fortunate enough to complete the work through the online approval process.
“Government officials would work from home, we would upload designs and they would approve them online. “
The dream becomes reality
Another traditional Hindu stone temple is under construction in Abu Dhabi and will be completed by 2023.
The buildings are symbols of the UAE’s tradition of inclusion of all religions and cultures.
Dubai planners are confident the temple will be ready before the Dussehra festival in October next year.
They will spend time planning to deal with the crowds that will flock to the site once the temple is ready.
Bur Dubai Sanctuary typically attracts between 3,000 and 5,000 people per day and around 15,000 worshipers on weekends.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Mr. Shroff said.
“In our lives, how many times have we actually seen a monument like a temple under construction. It is a feeling of real joy to be a part of the planning, designing and building. We are excited to build this for the community.
Update: December 11, 2021 9:05 am