13 Interesting Telugu Wedding Rituals You Must Know!
As soon as the telugu pre-wedding rituals complete, wedding rituals start. Telugu wedding rituals are quite different from the rest of the South-Indian weddings which takes place in the morning. Telugu weddings take place at night probably close to midnight.
1. Mangala Snanam
It is the bath given to the bride and groom separately at their houses by their relatives. It can be understood as “Sacred Bath” which takes place on the day of the wedding and is a must performed ritual in Telugu weddings. It is believed that the bath purifies the bride & groom and only after it, they are eligible for participating in the sacred wedding rites. It is believed that the bath purifies & cleans the bride & groom.
2. Aarthi or Harathi
First of all, oil is applied to the bride and groom at their respective houses separately. After this, all the relatives gather around to perform the ‘Aarati’. Here the family prays to the ‘god’ for the well-being & wisdom of the bride and groom for walking on the track of ‘happily married forever’.
3. Ganesha Pooja & Gauri Pooja
The groom reached the mandapam on the wedding day and just before the wedding ceremony starts he participated in the Ganesh and Gauri pooja conducted, as well as, guided by the priest. On the other hand, the bride participates in the Gauri pooja organized at her house separately along with all her relatives & close ones before reaching the mandapam.
After this pooja, another ritual named as Pravara is also performed in which the bride’s ‘Gotram’ or clam is changed from her paternal ‘Gotram’ to the ‘Gotram’ of the groom she is getting married to. This ritual is performed in the presence of all the elderly people of both the sides (Bride’s & Groom’s) so that they witness the ‘Gotram’ change of the bride.
It is a common ritual which can also be seen at the weddings of most of the places, especially in North-India. In this ceremony, the bride’s family officially hands over her responsibility to the Groom. During this ritual, one can be awestruck or stay amazed while the maternal uncle of the bride carries her sitting in a bamboo basket to the mandapam.
Till the ritual of Kanyadanam is completed the bride & groom are not allowed to see each other and are sitting facing each other but separated by a curtain between them as a partition.
After this, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom as a gesture of respect since it is believed in the Telugu ritual that on the wedding day the couple is considered as “Lord Vishnu Svarupam”. Lord Vishnu Swarupam means assuming the groom as the “Lord Vishnu” who has come to marry “Devi Laxami” that is their daughter or the bride. In this ritual, the groom is advised to talk a mantra three times “Dharmeca Artheca Kamecha Moksheca Nati Carami” which means that he will take care of the bride and accompany her always be it ‘joy or Sorrow’. In this ritual, the groom assures the father of the girl that he will stay with his daughter forever.
In this ritual the groom holds the hands of the bride holding a coconut while the priest starts chanting the mantras. The mantras spoken by the priest means that “The Devas have offered you (bride) to me (groom) allowing me to live the life of a householder or ‘Gruhasta’ together and we shall not separate from each other”.
6. Jilakarra Bellam & Madhuparkam
In Jilakarra Bellam ritual the bride & groom are given a paste made up of Jaggery and Cumin seed placed on betel leaves. While the priest chants mantras/slokas from Vedas they are asked to place the paste on each other’s head.
This ritual expresses that the relationship of the couple is very strong and closely knitted entangled with love & tradition. In the Telugu wedding, this ceremony is supposed to be completed exactly at the muhurtham time of the marriage.
After this once again the ritual of Pravara (change of gotram of the bride from parents to groom’s) is done in front of all the grooms family, friends and guests present at the wedding ceremony. This signifies that the bride has become an official member of the groom’s family and no longer belongs to his father’s gothram.
In the Madhuparkam ritual, the bride and the groom change their clothes. The bride wears a white saree with a red border and the groom wears a white dhoti with a red border. Here, the white color symbolizes purity whereas the red color signifies strength between the two.
Sumangali means happily married women & in this ritual ten married women accompany the bride since she is transforming from a girl into a respectable woman through marriage. Six married women among the ten hold plates which contains sacred rice (a mixture of rice & turmeric). Other married women hold small lamps in their plates. Rice symbolizes prosperity and abundance whereas lit lamps represent light or brightness in life.
8. Mangalastra Dharana
Mangalsutra or mangalsutra is the holy thread with a golden disc (mostly seen in south-Indian marriages) which holds great significance in a married woman’s life. In ‘Mangalastra Dharana’ the groom ties the mangalasutram with three knots around the neck of the bride when the partition between them (bride & groom) is removed. Managalsutram represents the spiritual, mental and physical union of the bride & groom.
9. Akshitalu or Talambralu
Akshitalu or Talambralu ceremony is a very pleasing ceremony and fun to watch because here the bride & groom exchange garlands means sprinkling flowers, petals, special rice coated in turmeric powder etc. on each other. All the married people & guests witness this ritual and come forward to bless the couple by sprinkling flower petals & rice coated in turmeric powder on them.
Saptapadi ritual can be understood by its name which means seven steps. In this ritual, the bride & groom walk seven steps around the sacred fired taking their nuptial vows of taking care of each other, loving, guiding, protecting & understanding each other for the rest of their lives.
It is only the Telugu Brahmin marriage where the edge of the saree of the bride (pallu) is tied to the end of the groom’s scarf or Kanduva while taking the seven steps.
In this ritual, the groom puts a silver toe ring in the feet of the bride. Here the man bends in front of the bride claiming her as his from now on and expressing he respects her. To keep evil eyes away the groom ties a string of black beads around the bride’s neck. The black bead string and toe ring symbolize that the girl is married now.
After this, another ritual takes place in which a silver vessel or terracotta vessel filled with water is placed in front of the couple and a ring is dipped into the water. The couple is supposed to find the ring following the rules which is the groom will use his right hand and the bride will use her left hand. It is like the similar ritual one might have witnessed in a North-Indian wedding which occur post-marriage after the bride reaches the groom's house.
This ritual is repeated for three times and it is believed that the winner will be the dominant one in the marriage. This is a fun activity in the Telugu wedding where few relatives shout to support the bride and a few support the groom, water splashing everywhere.
After this, the bride made to prepare a meal for namesake on the sacred flame of agnihotram. This ritual signifies that the bride is now capable of taking care of her husband & new family all by herself.
12. Arundhati Nakshatram
Arundhati Nakshatram is a ritual in which the bride and groom come in an open area to watch the starts representing Arundhati & Vashishtha. 'Arundhati' was the wife of sage 'Vashishtha' in Indian mythology and is considered as the greatest symbol of love and happiness between the couple. This is the main reason behind this ritual in which the newlywed is shown the nakshatram to pray for the same kind of love & happiness between them too.
Mizar & Alcor are these two stars that are shown to the newlywed as they can be seen from the naked eye as well. Mizar is considered as Sage Vashishtha & Alcor is symbolizes as Arundhati.
This is the last ritual of Telugu wedding; here the bride is officially handed off to the groom & his family. With this ritual, the wedding ceremony ends
Tradition Telugu wedding has various wedding rituals which are explained above & for more such interesting posts stay updated with DilKeRishte. Please do share our post if you like it. If you have witnessed any such interesting rituals then do share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org