5 June 2013

A Tamil Wedding

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a wedding to be performed at the Sri Ganesha Mahal Wedding Hall on Sannidhi Street. The wedding was performed at the auspicious, very early hours between 6.00 a.m. and 7.30 a.m. on Monday, May 20th, 2013. 

The night before I was going through my clothes to select an appropriate silk sari for the occasion. I had definitely made up my mind to wear silk, but then the next day even at the early hour of 5.00 a.m. it was already muggy, close and hot and I knew that the mercury would soar and I lost courage and put away the silk sari and instead selected an easy-to-wear cool crepe muslin. 

Definitely felt that I was cheating once I got to the marriage hall and was surrounded by ladies wearing glorious, silk ornamental saris -- but what to do? It had been so hot. For six weeks we had been suffering at daily temperatures of around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and at such times we may lose our courage and go for comfort. So although I felt a little guilty when I met with so many ladies who obviously were more stoic than I, frankly I was able to shrug it off pretty easily! 

Sri Ganesha Mahal Wedding Hall, Sannidhi Street

The first photograph is of the Sri Ganesha Mahal Marriage Hall which is right in the heart of Tiruvannamalai and close to Arunachaleswarar Temple. 

View (from Hall) of Raja Gopuram and Arunachala

The above is a view from upstairs at the Marriage Hall looking down a very deserted early morning Sannidhi Street with the Temple and Arunachala in the background. Wonderful darshan.

Musicians at Wedding

The musicians playing at the wedding played popular classical instruments including the Nathaswaram (also known as Nagaswaram), Thalam (brass cymbals) and Tavil, a drum played with thimbles, tacks and sticks and used to accompany performances of the Nathaswaram. The auspicious music is traditionally used to accompany South Indian weddings. 

Nathaswaram on left, Tavil on right

Tavil being played with thimbles

The below photograph is of a blending of auspicious leaves found in Tamil Nadu which are used in traditional marriage ceremonies. The leaves are Ficus Bengalis and Bamboo. 

Ficus Bengalis and Bamboo Leaf

The next photograph is of the bride Radha who hails from Vellore where she taught Computer Science at local Schools. In Tamil marriages, the wife will move to the native place of the husband, so the marriage not only means she will be moving household, but she will also be relocating from Vellore to Tiruvannamalai. Here she is wearing her pre-wedding sari.

Radha, the Bride

Below is the offering of Wedding clothes for both the bride and groom. 

Wedding clothes for Bride and Groom

The below statue is of the wedding of Lord Shiva and the Goddess Meenakshi -- Meenakshi's brother Lord Vishnu is there to give away his sister. The wedding of the Gods, which you can read at this link here, is very auspicious, and the presence of the the wedding statue brings good fortune to the couple who marries in front of it.

Wedding of Shiva and Meenakshi with brother Vishnu

The next three photographs are of the wedding ceremony itself and shows the bride, Radha and bridegroom, Sampathkumar during the various parts of the wedding ceremony, surrounded by family members from both sides. Sampathkumar's family have been living at Tiruvannamalai for many generations. He is currently completing his studies in Botany at Tiruvannamalai, and will be awarded his Ph.D this upcoming September.

Time for the Mangala Sutra

Ceremony being captured on video cam

A very happy and now married couple

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wishing the attractive couple a happy life and marriage.