Telugu Wedding Rituals

Telugu Wedding Rituals

The south realm of India is admired for its rich and unique culture. Several ways are there to convey the significant values of customs of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but the Telugu weddings hold supremacy in this enormous cultural empire.

A 3-5 days long Telugu wedding ceremony is full of several classic events that depict the rooted ancient customs along with some modern transformations.

Let’s dive into the ocean of Telugu wedding rituals that unite two souls physically, spiritually and emotionally. Understanding the core values of the Telugu wedding rituals according to the Telugu Wedding Dates 2024 will be an exceptional experience for you.

Pre-Wedding rituals in the Telugu culture

Nichyatartham –

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Similar to the Roka or engagement ceremony in the north Indian culture, Nichyatartham is the official announcement of the union of the would-be bride and groom along with their respective families. Deciding the wedding day, time and Muhuratam is also an integral part of this initial wedding ritual. The in-laws offer jewelry and gifts to the would-be bride and other relatives and close family members of both sides also exchange gifts and sweets.

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Pellikuturu & Pellikoduku –

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Two days before the auspicious Telugu wedding of the couple, Pellikuturu and Pellikoduku ceremonies take place respectively at the homes of the would-be bride and groom. A paste of flour, turmeric and fragranced oils is applied on the face and visible body parts of the bride and groom by the family members and close relatives. This paste is called Naluga in Telugu wedding culture. After this ceremony bride and groom take a bath in the sacred turmeric water at their homes.

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Snakatham –

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This Telugu wedding ceremony is celebrated at the groom’s place only. A very symbolic wedding ritual in Telugu culture in which the groom takes a ritualistic bath and wears a silver thread on his body. This wedding custom signifies that his life is now entering into the responsible family phase from bachelorhood. This meaningful before-wedding custom depicts that the groom is now fully ready to take on the responsibilities of married life and his family.

Check this also Marathi Wedding Rituals

Kashi Yatra –

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Akin to the ancient era culture when the disciples went to the Kashi (Varanasi), one of the most sacred places in India after completion of their studies, the groom plays the role of a Sanyasi and shows no interest in married life. He portrays the character in a very realistic way and moves forward as he is going to Kashi.

Then according to the Telugu wedding customs, the brothers and father of the bride ask him to stay and offer the bride’s hand for marriage. Now he accepts the proposal of embarking on the journey of married life and becomes ready to take the responsibilities sincerely. This beautiful tradition of Telugu weddings shows the significance of marriage and family in human life.

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Mangal Snanam –

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The term Mangal Snanam conveys the Holy bath of the Bride and Groom at a certain and auspicious time. In some Telugu families, the bride and groom are offered Mangal Snanam on the day of Pellikuturu and Pellikoduku as well. But on the morning of the wedding day, it is mandatory to perform this ancient practice. Some families organize Pellikuthuru and Mangal Snanam on the same day. The turmeric-mixed water is splashed on the bride and groom.

Mangal Snanam signifies the purity of the couple and it is believed that any kind of negativity can be warded off through this wedding ritual. This holy bath purifies the body, mind and soul of the bride and groom before embarking on a new life journey. After Mangal Snanam, the bride and groom wears their wedding costumes.

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Wedding rituals in the Telugu Culture

Ganesh Puja –

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The very first ritual that takes place in a Telugu wedding mandap is Ganesh Puja. Only the groom takes part in this ritual and seeks the blessing of Bhagwan Ganesh for his new beginnings. The priest chants the sacred mantra during Ganesh puja and prays for the obstacle-free wedding ceremony of the couple. This meaningful ritual brings ample good luck, peace and positivity in a newly wedded couple’s life along with their families.

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Gauri Pooja –

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Devi Gauri is considered the goddess of love, beauty, devotion, nourishment, fertility, motherhood, power, energy and harmony etc. So in a Telugu wedding custom when the groom prays to Lord Ganesh, the bride offers her all devotional feelings to Maa Gauri in a different place before entering the Telugu wedding Mandap.

Gauri Pooja is an age-old wedding tradition in Telugu culture that also symbolizes the showering of blessings and permission from Maa Gauri to the bride for a propitious beginning of married life.

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Bride’s Entry –

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Unlike the northern culture where the groom visits the bride’s home with baraat, in Telugu wedding culture in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the entire bride’s family is welcomed at the Groom’s place. The maternal uncles of the bride lift the straw basket on which the bride sits and reach the sacred wedding Mandap. These days the straw basket’s beauty is enhanced by several decorative ideas and many times Telugu brides choose a Lotus-shaped basket for their entry.

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Terasala –

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In Telugu wedding rituals, it is not allowed for the bride and groom to have a glimpse of each other before the Jeelakara Bellam ceremony. So for this purpose, a white decorated sheet is placed between them. This sheet/Chaddar/ Curtain is called Terasala in Telugu wedding rituals.

Kanyadaan & Paanigrahanam –

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It is a poignant wedding ritual of Telugu culture in which the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom and then place the hand of their daughter in the groom’s hand. This Telugu ritual conveys the love and reverence of the bride’s family towards the groom. An emotional moment of a Telugu wedding ceremony, Panigrahanam or Kanyadaan also symbolizes the promise of the Groom that he will always love and take care of his wife. This not only emphasizes the love and union of a couple but also of their families.

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Jellakara Bellam –

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One of the very important Telugu wedding rituals that take place at an exact auspicious time or muhurta is Jellakara Bellam. This term conveys two-word meanings, Jellakara means Cumin or Jeera & Bellam is jaggery. First, the family members rub this Jellakara Bellam paste on the hands of the bride and groom and then the bride and groom rub it on each other’s head over the curtain “Terasala” as they are not allowed to see each other before the Jellakara Bellam ritual. An integral part of the Telugu wedding ritual depicts that the couple will stick together in every bitter-sweet moment of life. After this ritual, the sheet or curtain that is called Terasala is removed from the place and now the bride and groom can be pronounced a man and a wife.

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Mangalsutram –

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Right after the Jellakara Bellam ritual, the bride and groom go to change their attire and wear a cream or white-colored Madhuparkam. This attire has red/green/yellow borders. During this time, the leading priest places the Mangalsutram on a coconut and passes it to all the family members. Everyone touches it for infusing blessings for the new beginnings of the couple.

When the couple returns to the wedding Mandap in their Madhuparkam attire, the groom ties the Mangalsutram around the neck of the groom. This is also called Thali – a yellow thread smudged into the turmeric and has two gold pendants in the exact center. These lockets are known as Sutralu. The groom ties it thrice as every knot signifies – Mansa, Vacha and Karmana. Here Mansa is thoughts, Vacha is speech and Karmana is actions. Every knot symbolizes the union of physical, mental and spiritual existence of each other.

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Talambaralu –

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A fun wedding ritual of Telugu culture is Talambaralu. In the first three rounds, the bride and groom properly shower the turmeric powder mixed rice grains on each other and some people add pearls and colorful thermocol balls in it also. But after that, it becomes a fun ritual as family members of the bride and groom are involved in the competition of showering rice grains and preventing the members of their sides from receiving more rice grains. During this fun ritual, Telugu wedding songs are played in the background. After the completion of Talambaralu, the bride and groom exchange garlands and family members tie their Gathbandhan.

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Sthalipaka –

A small yet significant wedding ritual that takes place right after the Talambaralu is Sthalipaka. In this custom, the maternal uncle of the bride embellishes the toe’s second ring with a silver ring. This shows the love and respect of the maternal family of a bride towards her.

Pradhanam –

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Again it is a time for fun and enthralling wedding ritual in Telugu culture. This time a big pot filled with milk and floral petals is brought into the sacred wedding Mandap and then a gold ring is dropped in it. Now the couple becomes a strong competitor of each other for finding the ring first. Relatives, family members and friends enjoy this moment and support the bride and groom separately to find the ring. A lot of fun, giggling and teasing make this Telugu ritual more unique.

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Saptpadi & Sthaalipakkam –

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As the name of this ritual signifies, the Seven rounds that are taken together around the sacred fire by the groom and bride are Saptapadi & Sthaalipakkam. The bride and groom promise each other to stay in this holy relationship while walking around the fire. They promise to love, nourish and respect each other forever.

Arundhati Nakshatram –

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This Telugu wedding ritual can be considered a wrap-up custom. The bride and groom come outside of their wedding Mandap where the priest helps the groom to see the Arundhati and Vashishth Nakshatra (Stars) in the sky. Then groom indicates the finger at them and helps his bride to witness them. In Telugu wedding custom it is auspicious to see these Nakshatra as Arundhati and Vashishatha are symbolized as an ideal couple. In the end, the groom adorns the bride’s toes with silver toe rings.

These Telugu wedding rituals leave every attendee in awestruck mode due to the significant beauty they are carrying forward through the meaningful wedding rituals.

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Post-Telugu Wedding Rituals

Grahpravesham –

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This Telugu post-wedding ritual is quite similar to the North Indian wedding custom where the bride is welcomed at the groom’s house by all the family members and relatives, especially by her mother-in-law. She gently kicks the rice grains-filled vessel that is placed at the threshold of the main door and enters the home. It is beloved the new bride brings good luck, charm and prosperity into the house as she is considered The Griha Lakshmi and her arrival is Shubha for everyone.

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Satyanarayana Vratam –

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After the Grihapravesham ceremony, on any day except Amavasya or New moon day, the bride and groom keep a fast for the entire day. They can eat only those things that are allowed in fasting. This fasting is known as Satyanarayana Vratam. Here Satya and Narayana are two terms that mean – Bhagwan Vishnu who is the embodiment of truth. This fasting ritual is performed at the groom’s home and the couple seeks blessings from Bhagwan Vishnu for the newly wedded life.

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Uniting Mangalsutram –

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This unique post-wedding ritual in Telugu custom shows the divine blend of two souls and two families in one string. After 16 days of the wedding, the groom or an elder member of the family performs this ritual. The two golden plate discs are united in one common thread and separated by a few black and golden beads so that they can not collide with each other. After the ceremony, the bride takes a holy bath and wears a new traditional saree. This post-wedding ritual is very important for a newly wedded bride according to the Telugu culture.

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