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In the Hindu devotional tradition, the month from Ashadh vad 2 to Shravan vad 2 of the Indian calendar is celebrated as the Hindola Utsav, or ‘Festival of Swings’. Decorated swings of various shapes and forms are created in which an image of God is lovingly rocked by the devotees.
Placing God on the swing is symbolic of instilling him in one’s heart, while the gentle pulling of the swing symbolises the aspirant’s efforts of drawing closer to him through love and obedience.
This year, the Festival of Swings ran from 5 July to 3 August 2012.
Like every year at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London – and as at all Swaminarayan mandirs worldwide – volunteers devoutly created swings based on a variety of themes. Below is a selection of this year’s swings.