The weddings in India are more pompous and colourful than anywhere else. The wedding here is not just a ritual but is the manifestation of family’s unity and love. In India, weddings take place differently among the people of different communities and cultures but each one is special and unique in its own way. The Udupi-Manipal wedding traditions are described here in detail.
The Gotra and its Importance
The Shivalli Brahmins belong to different gotra or clans. These gotras are named after the rishis or Hindu sages. A person belonging to any particular gotra cannot marry the girl of the same gotra, though those belonging to Agnirasa gotra are free from any such restriction. Some of the gotra among the Udupi Brahmins are Vishwamitra, Bharadwaj, Vashisth, Kashyap, Kundana, Agatha, Atri and Maritsa.
The Wedding Ceremony
The Udupi-Manipal wedding has many traditional rituals as this Brahmin community follows strict rituals and performs all the ceremonies. Among the Udupi, community rituals start as early as when the male child is seven years old. The young boy has to go through the Upanayana sanskar at that time and has to abide by all the customs since then. The wedding takes place when a boy grows up and find a potential match for himself. The Udupi-Manipal wedding is a grand affair, which lasts for four long days. This four-day ceremony is full of rituals, family gathering, food and lots of fun.
The Pre-Marriage Rituals
The Udupi-Manipal wedding traditions start with Naandi, which means to start this ceremony separately at the bride’s and at the groom’s place, but it begins at the same time. During this ceremony, coconut oil and turmeric powder is applied to the bride and the groom. They are later bathed in hot water. This ceremony is done in the presence of all the family members and is followed by other important rituals.
The Udupi-Manipal marriage is done as per the horoscope of the bride and the groom. The muhurta is decided and all the rituals are performed accordingly. It takes place in the afternoon and is performed mostly in a temple, a hall or an auditorium. Since the wedding is done in the afternoon, the guests are treated to lunch. Next day after the wedding, a reception party known as Bigara authana is held at the groom’s place and on the fourth day, a small function known as Aarthakshathe takes place at the bride’s place. On this day the decorative of the house are removed and the Basinga (a wearing specially by the bride and the groom on the wedding day) is tied to the pole in bride’s home. The newlywed thus make the beginning of their new life with the blessings of the elders of the family.
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