Rajputs are warrior people who celebrate marriages grandly and elaborately. They have a distinct and sometimes martial culture, and each Rajput wedding ritual has its meaning. Read on to understand the traditions and customs involved in a Rajput wedding.
Matchmaking – Sarva Sanpurna And Chatees Gunah
The families of an eligible boy or girl search for a suitable match within other Rajput families of a lineage or social standing equal to theirs. When a match seems suitable, the families exchange the Kundalis (horoscopes) of the boy and girl. A competent astrologer (who is usually the family astrologer) studies the Kundalis, matches them, and scores them out of 36 (Chatees) points. If the Kundali matching is satisfactory, both the families decide on whether to proceed with the match.
Engagement Or Tilak Ceremony
The engagement is official during the Tilak ceremony. The bride’s family visits the groom’s house and the bride’s brother or maternal uncle applies a Tilak (red Kumkum mark) on the boy’s forehead. The families exchange gifts of clothes, sweets, and fruits. Rajput wedding rituals add a martial touch by the girl’s family giving the groom a sword as a gift.
Devotees worship Lord Ganesh before starting on any important or auspicious event to remove obstacles. The families install Ganesh idols at the bride’s and groom’s homes, respectively. The families perform a Havan (fire ritual) to ask Lord Ganesh for his blessings to the couple as well as the upcoming nuptials. The priests also perform a Navgraha Shanti Pooja to calm all the nine planets.
Pithhi Dastoor And Mahira Dastoor
The Pithhi Dastoor is a ceremony that combines the Haldi and Sangeet rituals. Friends and family apply sandal and turmeric (Haldi) paste on the bride and the groom. There is music, song, and dance, and all the near and dear of the couple celebrate with zest. It is one of the most carefree as well as enjoyable celebrations in a Rajput wedding. During the Mahira Dastoor, the bride’s maternal uncle makes a grand entrance bearing gifts for the bride.
Five, seven, or eleven women of the groom’s family carry earthen pots while singing ceremonial songs to a potter. The potter’s wheel or Chaak symbolizes the creativity of Lord Brahma and the pot represents the universe. This Chaak Pujan celebrates new beginnings, and the Chaak is also honored by applying a tilak to it.
Binder (Bachelor Party) And Bindora (Bachelorette Party)
The Binder is a bachelor party and the Bindora is the bachelorette party, both an unmissable part of the Rajput wedding rituals. The bride and the groom individually have a great party where they eat their favorite foods and generally party the night away with their friends and family.
The bridegroom’s family visits the bride’s home and gives her gifts of clothes and jewelry. Palla Dastroor is often done a couple of days before the wedding.
The Barat or the groom’s procession is a grand affair in a Rajput wedding. The groom wears a Pagdi (turban), a golden Achkan, and a sword. He rides a horse and is accompanied by his friends and family, music, and pomp. The groom and his party visit a temple for blessings and then proceed to the Mandap (wedding venue). When the groom enters the Mandap, he strikes the Toran (decoration) with his sword to ward off the evil eye. The bride’s mother welcomes the groom and performs Arti and applies a Tilak on the groom’s forehead.
Paanigrahan And Sindoor
The bride and groom join hands, and the groom makes his marriage promise to care for her all his life. He then applies Sindoor on her forehead as a mark of marriage.
Granthi Bandhan Or Gathjoda
The groom’s sister or the priest ties his stole and the bride’s Chunni together to signify the eternal bond.
The bride and groom sit by a holy fire as a priest chants hymns and performs the Rajput wedding rituals. The couple circumambulates the holy fire seven times and makes their vows.
The family’s financial responsibility is symbolically given to the bride by giving her a bag of money. The bride divided the money equally between her husband and sisters-in-law. The new couple touches the feet of the elders and receives their blessings.
Wedding Reception And Feast
The families of the bride and groom host a grand feast for all their near and dear.
The groom’s family welcomes the bride into her new home with poojas and games. The games break the ice between the couple and their families.
On the day after the wedding, the bride is introduced to the groom’s family and they bless her with gifts.
The bride’s family bids goodbye to her as she leaves her birth home. The bride and groom drive off in a vehicle that runs over and breaks a coconut placed under the wheels. The bride is veiled and the groom gives her a gift of jewelry to lift her veil.
The Rajput wedding rituals are grand, filled with fun and laughter, and offer ample opportunities for both the families to get to know each other and bond.