Guidelines for visiting Abu Dhabi’s iconic Hindu temple as its doors open to all

News Network
March 1, 2024

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Abu Dhabi: The first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi is opening its doors to all from today, March 1. Here are the rules for visitors – what is not allowed in the temple and when it is closed for visit.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir, the Middle East’s biggest and first traditional stone temple, was officially inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 14.

UAE residents had been urged to visit the temple from March 1 with pre-registration on a dedicated website and app. This was due to specially-themed events that were lined up on the days following the inauguration and a huge number of international visitors who had already registered to visit the temple during that time.

No more registration required

The management of the temple under the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) – a spiritual, volunteer-driven fellowship that has built over 1,100 temples across the world, revealed that no more registration is required for UAE residents to visit the temple.

“The UAE residents do not need to register to visit the mandir,” the management stated. It also revealed the mandir will be open only six days a week for visitors of all faiths.

“The Mandir will be closed on Mondays. The opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday are from 9am to 8pm.”

What is not allowed

The management also spelt out the things that are not allowed inside the temple.

No bags are allowed as there are no cloakrooms available, it said. Visitors are not allowed to carry food or drinks either. Photography inside the main mandir has also been banned to help maintain its spiritual environment, the management stated.

It said tens of thousands of people have already visited the temple.

“We have observed that thousands of people from wide ranging faiths are visiting daily and over 40,000 on the weekend. There are many facilities for visitors to enjoy, like the Orchard restaurant built entirely from recycled material and providing vegetarian meals and refreshments,” it added.

Festival of Harmony

Earlier on Sunday, more than 1,100 people took part in the ‘Palkhi Yatra’ – a grand procession of community members celebrating the cultural diversity at the temple.

Indian expat devotees representing north, south, east, west and central India participated in the procession wearing their traditional Indian attire and performing traditional devotional music and singing. It was the first time that such a pan-Indian procession had taken place.

The colourful procession marked the conclusion of the “Festival of Harmony,” a series of cultural and religious events held to celebrate the opening of the temple.

During the festival, the temple organised various events on different days dedicated to harmony, civilisation, peace and inspiration.

Various religious leaders, intellectuals and a lineup of eminent personalities from several walks of life attended.

Day of Inspiration

The ‘Day of Inspiration’ celebrated the pivotal role of women in uplifting society and their invaluable contributions to humanity. Organised and delivered by the women’s wing of the BAPS Hindu Mandir, more than 2,000 women of all ages attended and benefited from this special assembly.

Alongside the Festival of Harmony, BAPS Hindu Mandir also organised a blood donation drive in partnership with Aster Clinic with the participation of more than 500 visitors.

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News Network
April 13,2024

Mangaluru, Apr 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to campaign for the upcoming and much awaited Lok Sabha election in coastal Karnataka by holding a mega roadshow in Mangaluru. 

Meanwhile, the organisers have announced a slight delay in the commencement of Modi's scheduled roadshow on April 14 in Mangaluru.

Addressing the media BJP principal secretary and Karnataka MLA V Sunil Kumar said: Originally the roadshow was scheduled to begin at 5 pm., but it will start at 7:30 pm."

As planned, the Roadshow will kick off from Narayan Guru Circle, where Prime Minister Modi will pay floral tribute to Sri Narayan Guru idol. From there, the Roadshow will proceed and conclude at Navabharat Circle. 

Mr Kumar urged people traveling to Mangaluru to see Mr Modi's visit by 7 p.m. and stand behind the barricades. The roadshow is estimated to conclude at 8:30 pm.

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News Network
April 11,2024

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The head of the political bureau of Hamas says Israel’s assassination of his children will not make the Palestinian resistance group back down on its goals and demands in the latest round of talks aimed at reaching a truce in the Gaza war.

Ismail Haniyeh made the remarks in a phone interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV network on Wednesday night, after an Israeli airstrike killed three of his sons — Hazem, Amir and Mohammad — and four grandchildren in the al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. 

“Our demands are clear and specific and we will not make concessions on them. The enemy will be delusional if it thinks that targeting my sons, at the climax of the negotiations and before the movement sends its response, will push Hamas to change its position,” he said.

The Israeli military and the regime’s so-called internal security service, Shin Bet, confirmed killing Haniyeh’s sons, who were visiting relatives on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr before their vehicle was struck.

The assassination came at a time when Hamas was preparing a response to Israel’s proposal for a Gaza ceasefire delivered through mediators during the negotiations in Cairo.

Also in his remarks, Haniyeh said killing his sons would only make Hamas “more steadfast in our principles and adherence to our land.”

The resistance group, he added, would “not surrender, and […] not compromise […] no matter how great our sacrifices are.”

The Hamas leader also noted that around 60 members of his family, including nieces and nephews, have been martyred during the Gaza onslaught. 

“All our people and all the families of Gaza have paid a heavy price in blood, and I am one of them,” he said.

Haniyeh further decried Israel’s brutality in Gaza, saying the regime is conducting a war of ethnic cleansing and genocide on the besieged territory.

“There is no doubt that this criminal enemy is driven by the spirit of revenge and the spirit of murder and bloodshed, and it does not observe any standards or laws,” he stressed.

Erdogan extends condolences to Haniyeh

Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has extended his condolences to Haniyeh over the deaths of several of his family members, the Turkish Communications Directorate said.

During the phone call on Wednesday, Erdogan said that Israel will be held accountable before the law for its crimes against humanity.

In addition, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz condemned the attack and conveyed his condolences to Haniyeh.

”The Israeli administration will eventually be held accountable for these inhumane attacks under international law,” Yilmaz said on X.

Israel waged its bloody US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime's intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the occupying regime has killed at least 33,482 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 76,049 others.

Ansarullah’s reaction

Meanwhile, the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance group extended its condolences to Haniyeh.

“These great sacrifices … indeed strengthen the steadfastness of Palestinian people in the face of Israeli arrogance,” Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam stated.
On the threatened invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, Haniyeh said, “We will not submit to the occupying regime’s intimidation, as those who surrender will not be spared.”

Shati is the third-largest refugee camp among the eight in the Gaza Strip, and also one of its most crowded, with thousands of people living in an area of less than half a square kilometer.

Ismail Haniyeh, who now lives in Qatar, is originally from Shati camp.

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News Network
April 14,2024

Qatar and Kuwait have banned any use of their airspace and air bases for attacks against Iran amid heightened tensions between Iran and the Israeli regime following an Israeli attack early this month on an Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria.

Reports on Saturday indicated that both Qatar and Kuwait had issued directives to the United States stressing that the US military will not be allowed to use air bases in the two countries for carrying out any potential airstrikes on Iran.

Qatar and Kuwait have also indicated that their airspace will not be available for any military action against Iran.

The US has military aircraft at the Ali Al Salem Air Base and Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait. The Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is also the largest US air base in the West Asia region.

The directives issued by Iran’s two Arab neighbors come amid reports showing that Iran is preparing to respond to an Israeli airstrike that killed two of its senior military commanders in its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus on April 1.

Washington has urged Iran to deescalate while saying that it will defend Israel in case it is attacked.

Iran, which has no direct relations with the US, has called on regional Arab countries to advise the US not to interfere if Israel is attacked.

Countries have been wary of a major confrontation in the region more than six months into an Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip.

Reports show they have already limited the ability of the US to use their airspace and air bases for attacks on resistance groups that are allied with Iran and have been attacking Israeli and US interests in the region since the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

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