Bahrain is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. Saudi Arabia lies to the west. Bahrain is a country that mixes modern infrastructure with the identity of the Gulf. This country is known to be a Muslim country but is considered as one of the more liberal ones after it allowed its citizens the freedom to choose their religion.
There are multiple non-Muslim religious places of worship present in the country including a 60-year-old Hindu temple, five churches and six Gurudwaras. Bahrain’s capital city Manama has two temples – an ISKCON temple on Kuwait Avenue and a Guruvayurappan temple in Adliya. Both temples were built by migrants in recent years
The Kingdom of Bahrain basks in the warm, clear and calm waters of the Persian Gulf and is an incredibly prosperous and multi cultural country becoming increasingly popular with professional expatriates seeking well paying employment in a low taxation country where the standard of living in Bahrain is incredibly high and the local people are liberal and tolerant towards other cultures.
The number of Hindus in other Arab countries of Levant and North Africa is thought to be negligible, though Libya has an Indian community of about 10,000 individuals. Historically, links between Arabia and the western coast of India have been strong and persistent.
Bahrain was known as the pearl of Persian Gulf due to its flourishing pearling industry. Today, it is a thriving business hub in the MENA region and offers a high quality of life to its people.
Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands. Historically, the region thrived on culture and trade of pearls that also invited the Portuguese invaders to conquer it in 16th century. With the discovery of oil off the coast of Bahrain, the economic topology of the country changed. The country also saw a transition in its sociocultural background to become a freethinking state among the Gulf countries, thus promoting education and cosmopolitan culture.
During the 3rd or 4th century, Bahrain adopted Christianity, followed by Islam in the 7th century. Although Islam is the official religion of Bahrain, a small percentage of indigenous Christians still exist in the country along with other non-Muslims.
The Bahraini authorities have shown a flexible and liberal attitude towards the expatriate community in contrast to others regionally. This is reflected in the fact that the Indian community has 30 registered and 15 unregistered socio-cultural organizations in addition to 5 schools. There are 5 churches, a number of Hindu religious centres including a 60-year-old Hindu temple. In addition there are 6 Gurudwaras.
There are many Hindus in Arab states, many due to the migration of Indians to the oil-rich states around the Persian Gulf but the only active Hindu temples today are
Muthi Shwar temple located in Al-Hawshin Muscat.
Shiva temple located in Muttrah
Krishna temple located in Darsait.
Hindu crematorium is located in Sohar, northwest of Muscat.
The most prominent immigrant Hindus (Kutchi), are :
The Barbar temple in Bahrain is located in the Barbar village was once three Barbar temples in Bahrain. A Danish archaeological team found the remains of the third Barbar temple in 1954.The oldest among these three temples date back to around 3000 B.C.
The second Barbar temple in Bahrain was built around 2500 B.C. The third one, which the Danish team excavated, according to the archaeologists was built between 2100 B.C and 2000 B.C. All the three temples were made of limestones. The people living at that time, according to the scientists, used to worship god Enki and his wife Nankhur Sak.
The country of Bahrain has become one of the most sought after destinations for tourists looking for an exotic escape away.Located in Persian Gulf, the small country of Bahrain is an archipelago that’s located near Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Known for its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Bahrain is often a stop-over for those looking to visit the Middle East.
The capital of Bahrain is Manama, which houses close to a quarter of the country’s population. Manama is home to the Al-Fateh Mosque – one of the world’s largest mosques. It is a vibrant city, which is also chock-full of Arab history; with cultural activities that includes concerts, the ballet and exhibitions.
Though Bahrain is the smallest of the Gulf States, the country has established itself as a popular tourist destination. There is usually warm weather all year round, though it can become unbearably hot between April and October. It is also important to remember that the summer can bring sandstorms; therefore, be prepared should you visit during this time of year.
The history of Indians in Bahrain dates back to the time of the Dilmun civilisation in 3000 BCE when the civilisation served as a trade link between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilisation.Proper immigration of Indians to Bahrain first started in the late quarter of the 19th century, with Banyan merchants arriving from the British Raj. Today, Indians number at an estimated 4,00,000 people out of the country’s total population of 1.3 million, making them the largest expatriate group in the country.
Bahrain’s capital city Manama has two temples – an ISKCON temple on Kuwait Avenue and a Guruvayurappan temple in Adliya. Both temples were built by migrants in recent years.