Royal Rajput Wedding Rituals

Rajput Wedding Rituals

Soaked in the cultural vibes and imbibed with the royal beauty of gigantic elephants, horses, colorful fabrics, impactful drum beats and the sonorous sound of ancient Shehnai, a Royal Rajput Wedding conveys too much about the rich heritage and age-old traditions of India.

Not only do the flamboyant visuals of Rajput weddings dazzle the eyes of a person but the core idea and thoughts behind diverse wedding rituals also compel the people to praise this royal beauty of the Rajput community.

Let’s start the voyage of knowing the beautiful customs of a Rajput Wedding and witness the peeping elegance from every bit of this celebration. The grand celebration of a royal Rajput wedding is segregated into three major sections – Pre-Wedding rituals, Rituals during the wedding and post-wedding rituals.

Pre-wedding festivities of Rajput Weddings

1. Matchmaking by the Chatees Guna –

Image source: Indiatimes.com

In a traditional Rajput wedding, the families of the boy and groom search for a suitable partner for each other that fits the social and financial criteria of the family. After finding a suitable one, the families take the assistance of a competent priest that matches the horoscopes of the girl and the boy. If the match of their Kundalis satisfies the included families, they process further for the next wedding rituals. The families also check some royal lineage in the opposite party as it is an integral part of matchmaking.

2. Seal the relationship officially with the Tilak ceremony –

Image source: WeddingWire

After fixing the marriage it’s time to seal it officially. All the revered male members of the bride’s family visit the groom’s home. The brother of the bride leads this ceremony by putting a Tilak on the forehead of the Groom. In the absence of the brother, the maternal uncle of the bride can also perform this ritual. After Tilak, all the male members shower gifts, clothes, fruits and sweets on the soon-to-be groom. Gifting a sword to the groom adds a royal touch to this auspicious ceremony.

3. Begin with a Ganpati /Ganesh Sthapna –

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Right before a few days in both homes, the priest establishes an idol of Bhagwan Ganesh and offers prayers to bless the homes with his divine arrival. All the family members including the bride and groom seek blessings for the obstacle-free wedding ceremony and a strong nuptial knot. After this priest also performs a Navgriha or Griha Shanti puja to appease all the nine planets before the wedding. This ritual marks the commencement of all main wedding-centric functions.

4. Mel, a feast for the official announcement –

Image source: WeddingWire

After Tilak and Ganapati sthapna, the families of the bride and groom arrange a grand feast for their relatives. All the invited people know about the details of wedding functions in this ritualistic event. The sumptuous traditional feast completes this celebration and at the end, folk wedding songs are also played. The relatives and family embers groove on these wedding songs. This Rajput wedding ritual is symbolized as an official declaration of the wedding.

5. A truly fun frolic event of Pitthi Dastoor / Telbaan –

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The royal Rajputs leave no chance of reveling in the fun of wedding celebrations. Pitthi Dastoor is one such ritual when both families enjoy a lot separately at their homes. First, the family members apply turmeric and sandalwood paste on the faces and bodies of the bride and groom. Then enjoy the traditional Dholak and Nagra beats by blending them with the Rajasthani wedding songs. These singing, dancing, giggling and fun visuals of a Rajput family transform the ambiance into a festive vibe.

6. Grand welcome of uncle through Mahira Dastoor / Bhaat Dastoor –

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This meaningful wedding ritual of the Rajput community depicts the dense love and strong connection between a sister and her brother. On this ritual’s day the maternal uncle of the bride lovingly known as “Mama’sa” arrives at the home of his sister. He brings a lot of gifts, clothes, jewelry and sweets for all the close family members of his sister. It shows the brother is ready to take responsibility for the marriage of her niece and showcases strong support towards his married sister. In return, the maternal uncle receives a grand welcome from his sister’s family.

7. Soulful prayer of pots in Chaak Puja –

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This colorful ritual of the Rajput wedding is a groom’s family-centric ceremony. 5, 7 or 11 women of the groom’s family visit a potter’s place where they put a tilak and rice on the pots. A Chaak – Chakra is also carried by the women that represents the chakra of bhagwan Brahma, the head of creation and prosperity. While the pots are presented as the universe. The women sing the traditional songs when they are heading towards the potter’s place.

8. A royal bachelor feast – Bindori / Bindora –

Image source: WeddingWire

Before getting hitched with each other, the bride and groom relish the traditional meal especially what they love the most in food. The friends, siblings, cousins and other close relatives join the bride and groom in this ritualistic event. For the groom’s side, this ritual is signified as Bindora and for the bride’s side, it is called Bindori. This tradition shows a glimpse of the royal dinner or meal of the Rajput community.

9. Wearing a Sacred thread, Janev –

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Another a groom- centric ritual takes place at his home. With the help of a community priest, the groom performs a Hawan and then wears a saffron-colored thread which is considered pious. After this Hawan puja, he pretends to adopt monkhood and leave a “Grihastha” life. Now the maternal uncle of the groom comes forward and convinces him to marry the girl. After a few moments, he returns home and accepts the “Grihastha” from Bachelor with great fanfare. The priest assists the groom not only in the Hawan and offering a dignified puja to the deities but also tells the essence of wearing that sacred thread and entering into married life.

10. Gifts from In-law’s family in the Palla Dastur ritual –

Image source: Weddingz. in

One or two days before the wedding the bridegroom’s family visits the bride’s family and performs this ritual at her home. All the close members of the groom’s family showers gifts, clothes, sweets and other valuable things on the soon-to-be bride. In some families, it is also known as Padla Dastoor.

11. Nikaasi – Preparing for the groom’s procession –

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This ritual marks the beginning of the Groom’s procession or Baraat. The groom’s family members help him in adorning his head with a colorful and extinguished Pagadi or Saafa. His sister-in-law ( brother’s wife) put kajal in the corner of his face or behind his ears from her eyes. This shows the “Najar Utarana” of the groom who is fully decked up for the wedding. Now the sister-in-law of the groom ties a golden thread on the mare’s reign. The groom mounts on this decorated mare and first visits a temple before heading towards the bride’s place.

12. Baraat – depiction of great pomp and splendor –

Image source: The New York Times

Witnessing a Rajput groom’s procession is no less than a lavish treat to the eyes. Adorned with the shining Sherwani, Silk Achkan, Pearl strings as the necklace, a Colourful safa and Rajasthani Juti tucked with gems and pearls, a groom gives the glimpse of a King of his entourage. Other male members who are included in the procession also wear beautiful clothes and pagadi to enhance the glory of Baraat. This rich procession of the groom who sits on a giant elephant or horse and holds a sword in his hand,  heads towards the wedding venue. The singing and dancing of the traditional as well as filmy wedding songs add fun to this ritual and make it more elaborated.

13. Dhukaav – Groom’s grand welcome –

Image source: WeddingWire

When the groom reaches the bride’s place or wedding venue, a warm welcome is offered by the bride’s family to him and his procession. Right after reaching the groom touches the Toran with his sword that is hanged by the family of the bride. This signifies warding off the evil sights from the venue and shows regards toward’s God’s grace for this wedding. Now the bride’s mother welcomes the groom with an aarti and put a tilak on his forehead. A welcome drink and some sweets are also offered to the groom and other guests.

Rituals celebrated during a Rajput Wedding

The presence of the bride and groom embellishes the entire wedding setup or the sacred wedding mandap. The face of the bride is hidden behind the veil at the start of the auspicious wedding rituals. Have a look at the traditions followed during Rajput weddings.

14. Granthi Bandhan or Gathjoda – Tie the couple with a sacred knot –

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The priest or the sister of the groom ties a sacred knot between the waste attire of the groom’s cloth and the corner of the chunari of the bride. This strong knot shows the depiction of the union of the couple and becomes a strong nuptial knot after all the wedding rituals.

15. Paanigrahan – Holding the hands for eternity  –

Image source: BollywoodShaadis

After the Gathjoda or Granthi Bandhan, the bride offers her hand and the groom holds her hand on his hand. This ritual signifies the promise of the bride and groom that both will keep their promise forever and live a happy married life.

16. Sindoor Bharna – A significant sign of married life –

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Sindoor or Vermillion powder conveys a deep meaning of sacred married life. The groom fills this vermillion or the sindoor in her hair parting. It also completes the bride’s wedding look. This ritual also shows the acceptance of the bride by the groom and his entire family.

17. Phere – the seven vows of togetherness –

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Taking seven rounds around the holy fire by the groom and bride together is called the Phera ceremony in the Rajput wedding. Each phera is concluded with one matrimonial vow. Thus all the pheras get completed with the seven sacred vows of togetherness. First, the priest reads the vows mentioned in our scriptures and the couple follows him by reciting the vows.

18. Anjhala or Chhol Bharai – reminding the duties –

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In this meaningful ritual, a member of the groom’s family places a bag full of money in the lap of the bride. Now the bride has to divide the money equally among her husband and her sisters-in-law. This ritual conveys that the wholesome responsibility of the family is now on the bride and she will bear this with great wisdom. After the completion of this unique Rajput wedding ritual, the couple touches the feet of all elder members and seeks blessings from them.

This marks the end of the grand Rajput wedding celebration. But a few more are yet to see and understand in this royal wedding festival.

Post-wedding celebrations in a Rajput wedding –

19. Bidai/ Vidaai – an emotional goodbye to the home –

Image Source: BollywoodShaadis

The grand exhibition of culture and Rajput heritage comes to quite an emotional moment at the end of the wedding. The bride waves goodbye with teary eyes and heads toward her new home. A coconut is placed under the wheel of the car carrying her to the husband’s home. The husband also offers her unique jewelry to lift her veil for the very first time after the wedding.

20. Grihapravesh – Time to welcome bride –

Image source: WeddingWire

To make the bride feel comfortable and loved there are a lot of fun frolic rituals take place at her in-law’s home. But before that, the bride receives a warm welcome through an aarti and some ritualistic acts. The fun games between the newlywed couple make things light and comfortable for the bride.

Image source: BollywoodShaadis

21. Pagelagani – Gifts and blessings to the bride –

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The very next day of the Bride’s Grihapravesh in her husband’s home, many relatives and family members are invited by the groom’s family. The bride seeks the blessings of every elder one regarding her wedded life and in return, the relatives give her precious gifts

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