Tanjore is a beautiful place, renowned for its splendid culture and traditions. The place features many temples and cultural consigns, which could blow you off your feet! Similarly, Tanjore weddings are extremely special. The weddings have many rituals and special ceremonies that have being preserved and followed over the past few decades. These customs have very unique, divine meanings. In this article, you will get a comprehensive insight through these treasured ceremonies.
Pre-Wedding Ceremonies in Tanjore
The day before the wedding is known as “Dev Dekh” or “Deversamardhana”. During Dev Dekh, the family visits the Temple and worships their “Kuladeva”. Also, there is a special Nandi ceremony. In the Naandi Ceremony the family’s ancestors and forefathers are asked to invite the to-be married couple. The same day, two interesting events would happen in the evening. The very first event is known as “Mool Phana”. Mool translates to “Girl” and Phana translates to “Seeing”. As suggested by the name, here the bridegroom’s parents visit the girl’s house and see the bride. The bride is honored and presented with many gifts and flowers. Usually, she will be given 16 shringaar samaan like cosmetics, sarees and jewelry. The second function is where the groom is honored by the bride’s family. This ceremony is known as “Jhanvaas”. Just like the girl, the groom is presented with gifts and sweets like laadus. Moving on, a formal function where the two families get introduced would be carried out with Bhukka Powder. Once this ceremony gets completed, a splendid dinner called Jhanvaasacha Jevana is carried out!
Wedding Rituals in Tanjore
The exquisite wedding ceremonies begin with a Haldi Kunku function. This is where married women are give Haldi (turmeric) and Kum Kum. Most of the time, Haldi and Kum Kum is offered with two betel leaves also known as vidaach Pann supari and a sweet fruit. Similarly, before each and every function, an arathi has to be taken by two married ladies. The ceremony is known as “Savashnis”. This is a very important ceremony that begins and ends with a song.
In a Tanjore wedding, the bridegroom is called a and the bride is called a Navri . The engagement is locally known as the Vaaknishchaya. Before the main ceremony, five married women are asked to ground, pound and powder tumeric together. Locally the ceremony is known as Halkund Thenchna. The traditional phrase translates directly into “Pounding of Tumeric Rhizome”. Now, the bride would be asked to wear green bangles. These bangles should not be removed for 30-days after the day of marriage. This is a customary process that shows the bride’s lively life and beautiful tomorrow.
Ceremonies in Tanjore Wedding
The actual wedding day is very busy and interesting. The day begins with a special ritual called the “Abhyanga”. This is a function performed by both the bride and the groom’s family. In this function the duo are asked to apply oil, arathi is taken, followed by an energizing oil bath! Then, the bride is asked to wear a yellow saree. Meanwhile, the groom has to wear a yellow dhothi. The dhothi and saree would be soaked in turmeric water. Following on, the bride would be adorned with lots of flowers and a special kind of kunku would be placed on the forehead. Once the bride is fully dressed, she will be a part of “Gauri Pooja”. The pooja has to be performed in silence. This is where the bride doesnt utter a word! On the other hand, the groom is adorned with Kaajal. He has to wear earnings that are made of haldi and atta. Then he has to wear slippers take a stick and go on Kashi Yatra. The ceremony signifies that the groom doesn’t want to marry! Before his Kashi Yatra the bride’s family (father) has to reach out to the groom and ask him to marry his daughter. Meanwhile, the bride’s brother has to hold an umbrella over the groom’s head. The groom is ought to agree, change clothes and rush towards the marriage hall!
A very important function during Tanjore weddings is the “Antharpat”. This is done during the muhurtham time. During Antharpat, a turmeric dipped cloth is raised in front of the groom, as the bride is brought into the hall by her mama and mami! Then, the bride stands on one side of the cloth, while the groom stands on the other side! The duo are not allowed to see each other till Antharpat comes to an end. This is when the ladies and priest sing songs, seek blessing and start the wedding ceremony called “Saava Dhaan”. Finally, the cloth is cut open and the duo get to see each other’s face!
Conversely, akshatha is sprinkled on the heads of both the bride and the groom. Moving on, a ceremony called “Kanyadaan” is carried out. Here the bride is given as a dhaana with coconut, betel leaves, dakshina and supari to the groom. The very next ceremony is known as “Kankana”. In this ceremony, close relatives of the duo are called onto the stage and asked to form a circle. A ball is twine is soaked in haldi & milk is passed around till a tight binding of strings is formed. This is then tied on the bride’s left hand by the groom and the bride ties it on the groom’s right hand!
The Fun Filled Feast in Wedding
The next ceremony is the tying of the Mangala Sutra. The two are showered with yellowed rice grains. The very next ceremony involves the putting of toe rings on the bride’s toes by the groom. Saptapadi is the next important ceremony, where the duo should go around the sacrificial fire 7 times. Each spin represents a promise and bond between the couple. Once this phase comes to an end, the couple will be shown Arundhati or the Pole Star. The pole star states that the wife should follow her husband throughout her life! Then the bride’s brother pops grain into the fire. This is known as “Laja Homa”. Following on, there is a splendid Jevana for everyone. During Jevana 5 banana leaves are kept together and decorated with candles & rangoli.
Post-Wedding Function in Tanjore
Now its time for the bride to step into the groom’s dwelling. This is known as Grihapravesh. Here the bride dresses in a beautiful 9 yard saree and enters her partner’s house. During this ceremony a silver cup is filled with rice and kept in the home’s entrance. As the bride moves into the house, Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma is sung and the couple should use her right foot and topple the rice cup. As the rice grains splatter, it symbolizes the rush of fame and wealth into the groom’s house. Then, the bride has to give Soop Vana to five married women. This is an emotional ceremony that states that the bride belongs to another house and family now. Once this ceremony comes to an end, Nishaak Muhurth is carried out to conclude the event.
The final function would be Vyaahyancha Gharcha Jevana. This is when a meal is hosted by the groom’s family in their house.