At the recently constructed BAPS Hindu Mandir, the 12-day "Festival of Harmony" began with a ceremonial inauguration ceremony presided over by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha's spiritual head.
Since Mahant Swami Maharaj's arrival on February 5th, the atmosphere has been packed with excitement at this location, which is close the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Sheikh Zayed expressway in Abu Mureikha.
During his visit, Mahant Swami Maharaj engaged in various spiritual activities, including the 'Guruhari Darshan' on Tuesday and Wednesday, where prayers were conducted alongside sadhus, and devotees had the opportunity to meet him. This visit, spanning three weeks, culminates in the eagerly anticipated inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir and encompasses various Vedic ceremonies and programs until February 21st.
The 'Festival of Harmony' commenced with the 'Bhakti Tula' ceremony on Saturday, uniting devotees and well-wishers to express their devotion to Lord Swaminarayan. Subsequently, on Sunday, a grand 'Yagna for Harmony' will take place outside the temple premises, involving the chanting of mantras and participation of spiritual individuals and couples.
Wednesday morning will witness the 'Murti Pratishtha,' the consecration ceremony of the deities by Mahant Swami Maharaj, followed by the official opening of the Middle East's first traditional Hindu stone temple by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the evening.
Following the inauguration, the festival will continue with various themed events until February 21st, focusing on harmony, civilization, peace, gratitude, values, and inspiration.
The BAPS management has announced that the temple will be open to the general public from March onwards, with entry facilitated through prior registrations via the official website or the 'Festival of Harmony' app.