A Royal wedding
The striking features of weddings in the royal families of India are gracefulness, pomp and pageantry minus the garishness. A personal letter is sent by the bridegroom and bride’s parents to all their relatives and close friends announcing the dates of the marriage & to be in readiness to grace the occasion. The relatives and friends are spread across the country and their accommodation is customarily made by the bride and the groom’s families – the hosts. Hence the need for a confirmation.
This is followed by an invitation card that has an insignia of the royal family.The card has details of venues for sacred ceremonies and banquets.
The first invitation goes to Lord Ganesh – the elephant God to invoke his blessings for the success of the event.
The bridegroom and his party in their finery – colourful turbans, silk achkans, jewellery and ceremonial swords come in a procession led by musicians to the brides’s home. They follow the groom astride a caparisoned elephant. The groom specially looks resplendent on the occasion. At the doorstep of the bride’s home, once he disembarks, the priests perform elaborate ceremonies. After this the groom is led inside where
the bride’s parents and relatives join in the rituals that are performed in front of sacred fire.
While the sacred marriage rituals are on both the families’ relatives and friends move to the banquet area for drinks, bar-cue and sumptuous dinner while classical and folk music is played.
The photo accompanying this feature is that of the prince of Bhavnagar – performing rituals on the threshold of the bride’s home. Bhavanagar – a coastal town – was established by the present Maharaja’s ancestors in around 1280 AD. Their reign was marked by reforms in education and taxation. They promoted maritime trade to Mozambique, Zanzibar and the Gulf region. They were great wildlife conservators and helped in creating sanctuaries for the Asiatic lion.
About KV Singh
K V Singh Your host in India in your journey through this fantastic land !
Tourism Planner since 1976, Singh is widely traveled, a wild-life enthusiast, horseman, mountaineer, environmentalist and gourmet. He & several of his relations from royal families own & operate lovely boutique hotels & resorts in India where you would be warmly welcomed and personally looked after. His wife is a social entrepreneur and conducts study tours in India for volunteers, students and teachers from all over the world. Singh is a scion of the royal family of Khandela. The photographs displayed along side are some of his ancestors in regalia. They were great patrons of music & dance, paintings, culinary arts and were themselves gracious hosts.
The tradition continues.