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Monday, October 22, 2007

Dubai temple and churches

The official religion of United Arab Emirates is Islam .
but it allows non-Muslims to practice their religion, but they may not proselytize publicly or distribute religious literature.
Muscat city has two Hindu temples — a Shiva temple and a Krishna temple, and Saints Peter & Paul Church in the city's Ruwi locality.
Al ain too has churches .
Dubai had its own temple near the creek side at Burr Dubai and churches.
On a saturday morning I took a traditional dhow fitted with a motor at Abra to cross over to Burr Dubai .This was the old part of the city and looked very much like our Mumbai .
The creek crossing wasnt very exiting for a Cochinite like me ,but the dappling waves was green and clean .The banks on Deira side was filled with tall buildings and was a real sight in the rising sun .
Soon I reached the other side and walked through a canopied market area with variety items for sale .
The temple was a 10 minute walk along the creek and was more like a building in North Indian style .the entry to the temple was full of shops selling flowers and prasad items and looked and smelt India .Neatly dresed malayalee matrons in spotless white walked solemnly inside in no way different from thier Keral routine ,tall turbaned Sardars climbwed upto the Gurdwara in the same building .
I too climbed up to the Gurudwara with a kerchief covering my head .
The Sangeet was melancholic and the place was peaceful and pleasant .
the temple was a bit crowded and as it was a weekend had a sprinkling of Indians of all states .
Prasad was given and I walked out .
Here religion is sacrosant and personal ,
none can exploit it and abuse it like in India .


Paresh Palicha said...

The last line is a Gem.

nishi said...

Hi Dr,

Frwdg this to my bro at Dubai, lets c what he has got to say!!


harimohan said...

tks paresh .i always feel left alone we indians can and do accomodate and adapt to diverse cultures and beliefs but our politicians never leave us alone sad.

harimohan said...

tks nishi
iam sure your brohter would have visited the temple

Raman Nambiar said...

I guess the temples in Dubai are much more cleaner than a few of them here (specially in North India). Even our temple authorities need to learn a few lessons from this.

Dr.Gursharan said...

Excellent Hari,
I hope the Kingdom of SA also allow the diverse culture to prevaile,so that the people can understand and love other religion and have a world peace!!!!!!!!!!!!

harimohan said...

tks gursharan and raman
I really admire the leaders of this country as they are broadminded progressive and with lot of vision and goodwill to thier country ,i wish our leaders learn from them

Nanditha Prabhu said...

loved the last line

Maddy said...

i thought that while these
'permitted activities' were quite few, money ruled in dubai? but it is good that the emirs are temperate. years back when the arabs were trading in calicut, the samoothiri had no problems (i am not 100% sure, so i believe) with allowing them worship in mosques!!

raj said...

seems that dr.hari visited the gurdwara only; one sri krishna temple and one shiv temple also there in the same set of buildings!

Ravidas said...

Compared to the temple worshipping community living in the UAE, the number of temples existing in the country (1 or 2) is awfully inadequate. Being expatriates and realizing that our method of worship is not acceptable to the rule of the land, we have no reason to criticize. The comment regarding cleanliness of temples of India as compared to the only one or two temples in Dubai is too immatured. The number, size and beauty of our temples can never be compared. Worship by majority of the Indian pravasis is limited within the walls of their residences. Some people do get together within in the privacy of their residences for satsangs & bhajans. I am a member of such a Malayali family group in Sharjah conducting bhajanas regularly and poojas on special occasions. Interested persons may contact me on my ID:

Swapna said...

Dear Dr. Hari,

I liked the last line.

You should find time to visit the Krishna temple in the same building as Shiva temple but unlike Shiva temple which is kept open for longer hours this temple is open only for few hours both morning and evening.

It is a place of solace for most pravasis !

However, i agree with Dr. ravidas that the two temples in UAE is not sufficient when compared to the expat hindu community in UAE and the Arab Authorities should see how much of freedom India provides to people from all walks of life ....

There was an Ayappan temple in Qusais which was closed last year in January and also a Shirdi Sai temple.

However, thankful to the earlier ruler who supported in having a temple in Burdubai !!

anil said...

I am Anil Kumar from Jabalpur,India.I was there in Duabi for around 8 month in 2008.I visited temple.But very shocked to see the system/cleanliness adopted by the authorities.Its very dirty.We Hindus should object this.They are professionals only and no meaning to visit this temple.We can not pray properly in fact I felt I found no peace of soul in this temple as in our INDIa.Even in India a small temple in a narrow street is far better than this temple.If we consider the entrance its look like Muslim area.No proper place to eat PRASAD.No arrangement of drinking water for pilgrims.I hope all visitor will agree with my thinking.



Anonymous said...

thansk for all the info...
what are the mandir timings?

vicky_s31 said...

dear Mr.Hari
My Self Deo Sharma.I was in Dubai from 2003- to 2007 .u know that i was spend my free time mostprobbly in temple.We are 17 guys was sevadari n that temple. now i m at kokata (India) bt still i mis That temple n temple sewa so much.u know its very much hard to maintain cleaness in temple due to huge crowd.

vicky_s31 said...

If u visit the Shiv temple again then pls ask to Mr.Prakash DADA abt my self (Deo) n gv mine regards to them pls

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