According to the Hindu caste system, Rajputs are of the Hindu warrior (Kshatriya) class, and respect their lineage and tradition. Rajput weddings are known for their grandeur. For the Rajput clan, a marriage is a relationship of seven generations between the bride and the groom’s families.
Here’s a list of the many beautiful wedding ceremonies that convey the Rajput beliefs:
Before the actual wedding, the ‘Tilak’ ceremony makes the alliance between the two families official. For this ceremony the men of the girl’s family visit the boy’s home. The bride’s brother, via application of ‘tilak’ on the groom’s forehead, acknowledges the relationship. He is then presented with traditional gifts including a sword, clothes, fruits etc
Ganapati Sthapana and Griha Shanti ceremony
While Ganapati Sthapana refers to the installation of a Ganesha idol, the Griha Shanti ceremony is a ‘havan’ to propitiate the gods. This is done before the ‘muhurat’ (auspicious date) of the wedding.
Amidst fanfare and music, a paste of turmeric and sandalwood is applied to the bride and groom at their homes. Women singers perform with ‘dholaks’ and sing wedding songs.
The bride and the groom’s maternal uncles visit the bride and groom to present them with clothes, jewellery and sweets. The gesture represents the goodwill of the uncles in helping with the financial burdens of their sister’s family.
The groom, dressed in a saffron robe, performs a ‘yagna’ the night before he begins his duties as a householder. He must then act like an ascetic and “run away”, but is then stopped by his maternal uncle!
In this ceremony, the boy’s family presents the bride’s family with a trousseau of clothes and jewellery 1-2 days before the actual marriage.
A gathering of men from the groom’s family comes together for a wedding procession. The groom wears a gold ‘achkan’, an orange turban and carries a sword.
The marriage ceremony
After the bride’s mother performs a traditional aarti, the groom is escorted to the ‘mandap’, accompanied by a male relative. While the traditional ‘agni’ of a Hindu wedding ceremony is part of this ritual, the bride must keep her face veiled throughout the ceremony. As the men tend to the guests during this time, only women attend this ceremony.
As the bride leaves her parental home for the home of her husband, a coconut is placed below the car’s wheel. The moving car must break the coconut on its journey to the groom’s home!
After the wedding ceremony, the bride enters the groom’s home for the first time. She is welcomed with prayer, followed by playful games that she must play with the groom.
The day after Grihapravesh, the bride meets the groom’s family and receives their blessings. She is also given gifts.