Indian wedding is so beautiful and colorful. They are full of life and various traditions. Andhra wedding rituals are quite similar to Tamil wedding traditions. The wedding ceremonies of Andhra matrimony give you the glimpse of real regional attributes including the colorful wedding rituals of the state. Generally, the weddings in Andhra Pradesh are conducted through Telugu wedding rituals. However, some people in this state also follow Tamil wedding rituals. Andhra people are very religious and very specific about the wedding customs. They don’t like to do any alteration and modifications in their Andhra wedding customs except the food menu. They just ensure that all the customs of the wedding should be followed traditionally. Here, we are sharing glimpse of the colorful and sacred Andhra marriage traditions.
Andhra pre-wedding rituals: The first and the most significant Andhra wedding custom is engagement, which is popularly known as the Nischitartham among the people of the state. During the engagement Andhra bride and groom’s families exchange the gifts, jewelry, clothes, fruits and sweets. They perform all the engagement ceremony rituals traditionally. Andhra bride and groom also exchange the rings. On this special occasion both the families decide an auspicious wedding date.
Pendikoothuru ritual: This Andhra marriage tradition is very much similar to north Indian wedding haldi ceremony. In this ritual, a paste of turmeric and oil is applied to both Andhra bride and groom. After completing this ceremony, they are required to take bath and wear new clothes.
Snathakam: This marriage ceremony is generally conducted at Andhra groom’s house. In this wedding ritual, he is supposed to wear a holy silver thread. This is a kind of indication that he is now ready to graduate from the bachelorhood and wants to become a family man.
Kashi Yatra: This rituals is very much similar or replica of Tamil wedding kasha yatra custom. Here, the groom pretends that he is off to Kashi for a holy pilgrimage and is not interested in getting married or any worldly rituals and relationships. He is stopped by the bride’s brother who promises his sister’s hand in matrimony to the groom.
Mangal Snaam: Generally, this ritual is conducted in the morning of the wedding day. In this ritual, the Andhra bride and groom take a sacred bath after that they perform other sacred wedding rituals.
Aarti: After taking the holy both, the bride and groom are applied oil in their respective homes. After this, their families perform an aarti and pray for the couple’s happy and prosperous married life.
Gauri puja: This ritual is conducted at Andhra bride house where she offers prayers to Goddess Gauri and seeks the deity’s blessing for her new beginning and prosperous married life.
Ganesh puja: The groom is supposed to perform the Ganesh puja on the wedding day at the mandap before arrival of the bride. The main objective of performing this puja is to offering the prayers to God Ganesha and seeking his blessings for their happy married life and to ward off all evils and obstacles during marriage and in their life.
Bride’s entry: The bride is accompanied to the mandap by her maternal uncle. At the mandap, there is a curtain between the groom and her, while the priest recites the holy mantras. In some communities, the bride is carried to the mandap in a bamboo basket by her maternal uncles.
Jeerakalla-Bellamu: In this ritual, the bride and groom apply a paste of jeera and jaggery on each-other’s hands from under the curtain. This ritual denotes their inseparable and unbreakable bond.
Madhuparkam: In this ritual, the bride is supposed to wear a cotton saree with a red border and the groom wears a white cotton dhoti with a red border. This is the traditional Andhra wedding outfit of the bride and groom. These colors symbolize their strength and purity.
Mangalsutra ritual: During this tradition, the curtain between the couple is removed and the groom ties the mangalsutra around her neck and ties the three knots. This signifies their mental, physical and spiritual union with each-other.
Kanyadan Akshata & saptapadi: In this Andhra wedding custom, the bride and groom exchange flower garlands. During the satapadi ritual, the couple takes the seven rounds around the holy fire while taking the wedding vows. After completing this ritual, the groom puts a silver toe ring in bride’s toe.