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The six gates are Gaja Dwar, Ashwa Dwar, Garuda Dwar, Makar Dwar, Shardula Dwar and Hamsa Dwar. Each door features a sculpture of the creature it is named after.
The Gaja Dwar is named after the elephant, which represents intellect, memory, wealth and wisdom. This gate is on the north side of the building. The north, according to vaastu shashtra, is associated with Mercury, believed to be a source of intellect.
Elephant motifs are common on gates. According to vaastu shastra, they are said to bring prosperity and happiness.
Ashwa Dwar is named after the horse. A horse symbolises power, strength and courage — qualities desirable in governance.
The third gate is named after Garuda – the king of birds. Garuda is believed to be the mount of Lord Vishnu. Its association with Lord Vishnu — the preserver in the Hindu trinity — makes Garuda a symbol of power and dharma (duty). This also explains why it is used on insignia of several countries. The Garuda gate is the eastern entrance of the new Parliament building.
Makara Dwar is named after the legendary sea creature that is a combination of different animals. A common motif for entrances, Makara sculptures are seen in Hindu and Buddhist monuments spread across South and Southeast Asia. On one hand, Makara as the combination of different creature represents India’s unity in diversity. And on the other, Makara sculptures at doorways are seen as protectors. The Makara Dwar faces the entrance to the old Parliament building.
The fifth gate is named after another mythological creature – Shardula, which has the body of a lion, but the head of a horse, elephant or parrot. The government note says the presence of Shardula on the new parliament building’s gate symbolises the power of the people of the country.
The sixth gate of Parliament is Hamsa Dwar is named after the swan. Hamsa is the mount of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge. Hamsa’s flight symbolises moksha, or meaning the liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. The Hamsa sculpture on the Parliament’s gate is a symbol of self-realisation and wisdom.
Music Courtesy: Historical Igor Fedyk
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