Rajasthan is a land of palaces. People from all over the world come to get married in Rajasthan. Like Priyanka Chopra who married Nick Jonas in a lavish wedding at Jodhpur. Rajasthani weddings themselves remain a spectacle of love, tradition and heritage.
Indian royalty has been one of the most cultured, rich and mysterious ones in the world. Even today, people are curious about their lives and traditions. That’s why most palaces and homes in Rajasthan have been turned into 5-star hotels and resorts. Guests can experience being a royal and treated like one at these beautiful properties. Rajasthan retains a culture of dignity, grace and heritage which speak of an era gone by. Locals belong to the Marwari/Marwadi ethnicity or come from a line of Rajputs. You will find a very old, cultured manner of speaking and living in families and people there. Rajasthani fabrics also are very popular because of their traditional use of textiles and weaving. All these elements come together in Rajasthani weddings and make it one of the best weddings you have ever seen. The state may well be a desert but it provides an ideal backdrop for the explosion of color and celebration during a wedding.
Marwaris comprise of a business community. They are staunch believers of caste and religion. Their devotion to culture and community translates into their respect for traditions. Marwaris have extravagant displays of wealth during weddings but it mainly remains a traditional event. Rajputs belong to a race of warriors and soldiers. Their lineage still respects its ancestors by putting valor, strength and courage above other values. Most elements in Rajasthani weddings are common between both communities. There are few customs which are particular to Rajput community and some to the Marwari community. For example, the first ceremony of a Rajput wedding is a ‘Tilak’ function. The marriage is considered to be officially announced at the Tilak. The male relatives of the bride visit the groom’s house bearing gifts. The gifts are true to their community- a sword, colorful clothes and traditional jewelry. A puja paying respects to Lord Ganesha is the next event in the wedding celebrations. This is done to receive blessings and request Lord Ganesha to remove any obstacles.
Rajputs are a patriarchal community and all the events follow a strict code that even young Indians follow. The women are expected to cover their head in front of other men and required to take ‘Ghoonghat’ which is a veil. They wear heavy, ornate and expensive jewelry. The designs on the jewelry often involve intricate work and carvings. A recent example of Rajasthani opulence can be found in the movie ‘Padmavat.‘ Rajput men are also very secure and dress as vividly as the women. They wear necklaces and jewelry too which is passed down from one generation to the other.
The glitz and glamour aside, Rajasthani weddings have some really interesting customs. Attending a Rajasthani wedding can mean a lesson in Indian culture and royalty! Did you know that it is compulsory for the groom to carry a sword? This is done to remember their ancestry and valor. A really funny and wild custom is the ‘Toran Bandana.‘ In olden days and times, the bride would attack the groom with a sword. He had to fend her off or avoid any injury. This would assure the families that he is fit enough to look after her and protect her dignity. Today, the families make a game out of it. The bride tries to playfully hit the groom while her relatives and sisters pelt him with flowers. The groom’s cousins and brothers also join in the fun.
Featured Photo by vijaymverma