Telugus or Andhra's have a rich legacy and history of migrating and exploring new places, inland and maritime. Despite this, it is not surprising that this community has defined and influenced not only the economics and politics, but also of the socio-political and economic structures of the homeland, Andhra Pradesh. Despite massive migration taking place, ocean currents have always helped the Telugu to transport the inherent Telugu culture, rituals, the language, values, beliefs, traditions and practices. No wonder then that Telugu matrimonials, whether in India or round the world, imbibe within themselves many similar rituals followed in the Indian matrimonial alliances.
The Telugu matrimonial alliance between two parties is got into, only if the horoscope of the boy and girl match. The Patrika or a written contract is gotten into, whereby both the parties promise in writing, of the matrimonial alliance in the future. read more..
The 'Nisachaithartum' or 'Pradhanum' is the Telugu engagement. Like in every Indian matrimonial ceremony of the engagement, the bridegroom arrives at the bride's home. Large numbers of his relatives accompany him along with shehnai players. The groom's family gifts fruits, jewelry, saris to the bride. In many Reddy families the groom does not accompany his family members during the engagement. The bride changes into the sari given to her and a pooja is performed.
The anointing of the bride and the groom with oil and turmeric before the ritual matrimonial bath is known as the 'Pendlikoothuru'. This takes place at their respective houses. After this ceremony, the couple wears new clothes. The matrimonial ritual bath taken by the couple is known as the 'Paindlipilla' or 'Haldipaspu' in Telugu. The 'Paindlipilla' or 'Haldipaspu' also involves the dressing up of the Telugu bride and takes place on the morning of the wedding day. The bride-to-be adorns flowers in her hair. The forehead is marked with a bindi or a vermilion dot. Like every other bride who gets ready for the matrimonial ceremony, the bride wears bangles on her wrists. The Telugu pre - matrimonial ritual bath 'Mangal Snahne' and beautification of the bride is just like the ritual bath in every other Indian pre - matrimonial ceremony. The Sumangalis (five, nine or eleven married ladies) perform a pooja which is small, to drive away the evil eye (dhristi). This is followed by an aarti. The Bride is then dressed up in a fine new sari and jewelry. The bride then hands her mother a paldaan (betel leaf, nut and fruits) and touches her feet to take her blessings and to show respect.
Once the pre - matrimonial ceremony for the bride is over, the 'Vara Puja' takes place. This pooja is performed in honour of the groom. The groom receives lavish gifts like clothes, money, a gold chain, a gold ring from the bride's parents. Another pre - matrimonial ceremony that is performed by the Telugu is the 'Snathakam'. This ritual is performed at the bridegroom's house before the muhurtam and involves a sort of thread ceremony, wherein the groom is made to wear a silver thread on his body.
A very interesting pre - matrimonial ceremony performed by the Telugu community is the 'Kashi Yatra'. The groom pretends to leave for Kashi (a pilgrimage center). The bride's brother then stops him and convinces the groom to fulfill his responsibilities as a householder. Once the groom is convinced, the oldest member of the bride's family applies kumkum on the groom's forehead, garlands him and escorts him to the marriage venue in a decorated car 'Vivaham' (Muhurtam). At the venue of the Telugu wedding ceremony the groom performs the Ganesh Pooja. By worshipping Ganesha, all obstacles that may stop the matrimony are warded away. The actual matrimonial ceremony is a very important ceremony in the Telugu community and is known as the 'Kankana Shastra'. The bride is led into the mandap and the groom ties the second Kankan on her wrist. The priest ties the first Kankan on the groom's hand, on his arrival. The Telugu wedding ceremony also involves seven pheras like in other Indian matrimonials.
The matrimonial ceremony of 'Kanyadan' or giving away of the bride to the groom is a very emotional ceremony for the bride and her parents. As two pujaris recite Vedic chants, a coconut is placed on the bride's palms. Her father gently holds the bride's palms and places them on to the groom's palms. The bride's mother pours water from a silver vessel on the father's palms signifying that the bride's parents have now "washed" parental authority over their daughter, with this gesture.
The groom then ties two flat pieces of inscribed gold pendants strung on a cord dipped in turmeric. This is composed of 108 very fine threads closely twisted together, on the bride's neck, in acceptance of the bride. This Telugu matrimonial 'Taali' is tied round the bride's neck with three knots. Exchange of garlands takes place.
The marriage ceremony over, the bride is taken to the groom's home for Griha Pravesh (entering the house for the first time). It is now time for post - matrimonial ceremonies. The matrimonial reception is not a traditional ritual in the Telugu community, but has become a common feature in many homes and can be as simple or as elaborate as desired. It is often held at the 'Kalyana Mandap' (wedding hall) where the wedding might have been held. The reception can also be held in a five star hotel or club. Cocktails and music accompany dinner.
In the final post - matrimonial ceremony, the two Mangalsutras (Taali which was tied round the bride's neck, on the wedding by her husband) are united on a common thread 16 days after the actual matrimonial ceremony. An elder member of the family or the husband himself can unite the two mangalsutras. The bride takes a bath and wears a new sari before wearing the mangalsutra on this day. A few black or golden beads are slipped between the two plates (taalis) so that they do not clash with each other. This symbolizes harmony between the two families that have been adjoined in this matrimonial alliance.