Ahead of BRICS business meet, Modi views Swaminarayan Temple model in South Africa
Built on 14.5 acres, the temple houses a 34,000 square-metre cultural centre, a 3,000 seater auditorium, a 2,000 seater banqueting hall and a research institute, among others.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi sees a model of Swaminarayan Temple in Johannesburg in South Africa on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. (Picture: Screengrab/@ANI)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (22) viewed a model of the under-construction Swaminarayan Temple in Johannesburg where he reached the same day to take part in the 2023 BRICS summit.
Modi witnessed the temple’s model before attending the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue, the first official event of the 3-day summit of the five-member grouping. The temple at North Riding, north of Johannesburg has been under construction since 2017 and is expected to be completed next year.
It will be similar to one in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, which is built entirely of stone and will also include classrooms and a clinic.
Earlier, Modi was welcomed at the Waterkloof Airforce Base on the outskirts of Pretoria by members of the Pretoria Hindu Seva Samaj and the local chapter of the BAPS Swaminarayan organisation.
Built on 14.5 acres, the Swaminarayan Temple houses a 34,000 square-metre cultural centre, a 3,000 seater auditorium, a 2,000 seater banqueting hall, a research institute, classrooms, exhibition and recreational centres.
Ahead of this visit to South Africa, the Indian prime minister met Swami Brahmaviharidas of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on Saturday in New Delhi. The latter shared the update on the currently ongoing ‘Festival of Inspirations’ at the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, Robbinsville, US, as well as the details of the upcoming ‘Festival of Harmony’ that will celebrate the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on February 14, 2024, a BAPS statement said after the meeting.
Modi will visit Greece after wrapping up the South Africa trip. This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
(With PTI inputs)