WEDDING RITUALS IN AP

The rituals conducted by the Telugu speaking people during the ceremonious occasion of wedding are different from those conducted in neighboring southern states of India. In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu people follow their own traditions, while conducting a wedding. The bride’s maternal uncle and her brother play a prominent role at the time of the her marriage.
Telugu wedding ceremony is organized in a unique way. It is an elaborate affair, wherein a number of rituals are conducted before, during and after the marriage. The preparations for the festive occasion start with the finalization of the wedding date, which is done well before the ‘important day’. As a part of the customary, the Telugu people call on an astrologer to fix a date and time (muhurtham) for the auspicious occasion. This paves the way to the commencement of the preparations for the wedding, which are done in the most elaborate, colorful and vivacious way.
All the rituals conducted throughout the Telugu wedding ceremony hold religious significance. Each element in the ceremonies is connected with the other and is given special importance. Some people also conduct a couple of pujas prior to the wedding, so that the ceremony is organized without any hassle. This makes Telugu marriage a marvelous event to witness. One would be keen in looking at the way the bride is handed over to the groom by her father (kanyadaan) and the methods by which the groom ties the mangalsutra around her neck. In this section, we have given detailed information on the Telugu wedding ceremony.
The rituals conducted by the Telugu speaking people during the ceremonious occasion of wedding are different from those conducted in neighboring southern states of India. In Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu people follow their own traditions, while conducting a wedding. The bride’s maternal uncle and her brother play a prominent role at the time of the her marriage. Apart from being an event that calls for religious observance, the traditional Telugu wedding consists of some fun moments as well. If you want to know more about the Telugu wedding rituals, then this article is what you need. Here, we have provided comprehensive information on the ceremonies conducted during traditional Telugu marriage.
Telgue wedding customs are as follows:
Muhurtham
An auspicious time for the marriage, also known as muhurtham, is chosen by the family astrologer. The Telugu people generally avoid months including Aashad, Bhadrapad and Shunya, because they are considered inauspicious time for the ceremonious occasion.
Pendlikoothuru
In the Pendlikoothuru ceremony, turmeric paste and oil is smeared to the bride and the groom, at their respective homes. This is done to cleanse their skin, so that a natural glow is radiated. After bathing the bride and the groom, they are given a new set of clothing to wear. The bride is adorned with flowers and jewelry.
Snathakam
Snathakam ritual takes place at the bridegroom’s residence before the muhurtham. As a part of this custom, the groom is asked to wear a silver thread on his body. The ritual is conducted a few hours prior to the wedding.
Kashi Yatra
After reciting the Vedic verses, the groom pretends to go on a Kashi yatra. He shows that he has discarded the worldly pleasure an is no more interested in leading a family life. He is then stopped by the brother of the bride, who persuades him to assume the responsibility of a householder.
Mangala Snaanam
As a part of Mangala Snaanam custom, the bride and groom are required to take an auspicious bath on the wedding day. The aim is to purify them and make them prepared to perform sacred rites.
Aarti

Oil is applied to the bride and groom at their respective houses. Thereafter, the family members get together to perform Aarti. They pray to Lord to give wisdom to the bride and groom to lead their life happily.
Ganesh And Gowri Puja
Before the wedding ceremony, the groom attends the Ganesh pooja, which is conducted at the mandapam.
Kanyadaan
Kanyadaan is the ceremony in which the girl’s family hands over their daughter’s responsibility to the groom. During the ceremony, the bride sits in a bamboo basket. Her maternal uncle brings her to the mandapam. Until the completion of the kanyadaan, the bride and the groom are not allowed to look at each other and therefore, they are separated by a curtain that is place between them, as a partition. Thereafter, the bride’s parents wash the groom’s feet, assuming him as an ‘avatar’ of God.
Jeelakarra Bellamu & Madhuparkam
The priest recites the shlokas from the Vedas. Thereafter, the couple is asked to smear a paste made from cumin seeds and jaggery on each other’s hands. This custom is referred to as Jeelakarra-Bellamu. This ceremony is observed to communicate that the relationship of the married couple is unbreakable and inseparable.As a part of Madhuparkam ritual, the bride dresses up in white cotton sari with red border. On the other hand, the groom wears white dhoti with red border. White is the color for purity and red is for strength.
Sumangli
Ten married women (sumangalis) accompany the bride. Six out of the ten women hold plates containing a mixture of rice and turmeric powder, while the rest of the four hold small lit lamps in their respective plates. Rice represents abundance, while the lit lamps symbolize light.
Tying of the Mangalsutra
In order to perform the ritual, the partition between the bride and the groom are removed. After removing the partition, the groom ties the two strings of the mangalsutra, each with a golden disc, around the groom’s neck. The mangalsutra
represents the physical, mental and spiritual union of the couple. In the Telugu wedding, the groom ties three knots of mangalsutra.
Kanya Daan Akshata
In the Kanya Daan Akshata ceremony, the bride and groom exchange garlands. People witnessing this occasion come forward to bless the couple, by sprinkling flower petals and rice coated with turmeric powder.
Saptapadi
As a part of the Saptapadi ritual, the groom and bride walk seven steps together around the fire, while chanting mantras. When the pheras are conducted, the pallu of bride’s sari is tied to one end of the groom’s dhoti.
Sthaalipaakam
Sthaalipaakam is a ritual wherein the groom adorns the feet of the bride with silver toe rings. In order to ward-off the evil eye, she is asked to wear a string of black beads during the ceremony.
Grihapravesh
After the culmination of the wedding ceremony, the bride is formally taken to the groom’s house. This is called grihapravesh of the bride. As she steps into her new home, she is welcomed by the groom’s family members, including his mother and close relatives.
Uniting The Mangalsutra
Grihapravesh is followed by a ceremony, wherein the mangalsutra is united. As a customary, the Telugu speaking people unite the two mangalsutras (which was tied by the groom around the bride’s neck), on a common thread. This ritual is done sixteen days post wedding. This ritual can be performed by either the groom or an elderly member of the family. A few black or golden beads are slipped between the two ‘plates’ of the mangalsutra, so that they do not clash with each other. The unison of mangalsutra signifies the harmony between the two families. After the ceremony is over, the bride takes a bath and wears a new sari.

– SANJAY SINGH CHAHAR

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