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Rajasthan Artisans Craft at UAE’s First Hindu Temple

  • 05 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read

Why in News?

The artisans from villages in Rajasthan’s Makrana are beaming with pride as their craft has found a place in Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple, set to be inaugurated.

Key Points

  • The temple is being built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway.
  • The temple’s facade features exquisite marble carvings set against a sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat.
    • A substantial number of pink sandstone were transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.
  • Architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), seven shikhars (spires) that symbolise the seven UAE’s seven emirates, 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars.
  • Within each shikhar, intricate carvings depict stories from the Ramayana, Shiv Purana, Bhagavatam and Mahabharata, as well as narratives of Lord Jagannath, Lord Swaminarayan, Lord Venkateshwara and Lord Ayyappa.
  • The ‘Dome of Harmony’ serves as a unique portrayal of harmony of the five natural elements- earth, water, fire, air and space.
  • The camel - a symbol of persistence, commitment and endurance, has also been etched into the carvings while drawing inspiration from the landscape of the UAE.

Pink Sandstone

  • Sandstone is a sedimentary rock largely made up of sand grains in size ranging from 2 mm to 120 mm of varying compositions. The sand may consist of grains of quartz, felspar and other detrital minerals with interstitial cementing material.
    • The pink color of sandstone is primarily due to the presence of iron oxide minerals.
  • Like other sandstones, pink sandstone is mainly composed of sand grains, which can be quartz, feldspar, and other minerals.
    • The cementing material that binds these grains together can be calcite, silica, or iron oxide.
  • Pink sandstone is prominently found in India, primarily in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
    • Notable locations include Dholpur in Rajasthan, known for its Dholpur Pink Sandstone; Jodhpur, Rajasthan, producing Jodhpur Pink Sandstone; Bhuj in Gujarat, renowned for Bhuj Pink Sandstone; and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh, which yields Shivpuri Pink Sandstone.

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha

  • It is a Hindu denomination within the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.
  • It was formed in 1905 by Yagnapurushdas following his conviction that Swaminarayan remained present on earth through a lineage of gurus starting with Gunatitanand Swami.

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