Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday viewed a model of the under-construction Swaminarayan Temple here on Tuesday before taking part in the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue.
The temple at North Riding, north of Johannesburg has been under construction since 2017 and is expected to be completed next year.
Modi viewed the model of the temple while participating in a community event ahead of the BRICS Business Forum Leaders’ Dialogue, the first official event of the 3-day summit of the five-member bloc.
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, the Prime Minister was welcomed at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in 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, Prime Minister Modi met Swami Brahmaviharidas of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on Saturday in New Delhi.
Swami Brahmaviharidas shared the update on the currently ongoing ‘Festival of Inspirations’ at the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, Robbinsville, USA as well as the details of the upcoming ‘Festival of Harmony’ that will celebrate the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi on February 14, 2024, a BAPS statement said after the meeting.
Modi arrived here on Tuesday on a four-day visit to South Africa and Greece. In South Africa, he will attend the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg from August 22-24 at the invitation of the country’s president Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.