Spirituality & Symbolism: Telugu Traditions & Rituals Makes Their Weddings Stand Out
South Indian culture is assumed to be simple and elegant, when it comes to weddings. Which it is for most part. But the one that stands out are Telugu Weddings. Telugu Weddings have varied rituals, colorful ceremonies and an undying faith in spirituality that reflects in most of their Telugu wedding rituals.
In olden times, Telugu weddings continued for 16 days, and if one was a Telugu brahmin, it went on for period of 5-7 days. But owing to busy schedules and financial limitations, these Telugu wedding rituals are summed up within 2-3 days. Known more for spirituality and symbolism, let’s look at some of the Telugu wedding rituals that makes a Telugu marriage stand out.
Literally meaning graduation, this wedding ritual takes place at the groom’s house. It requires the Telugu groom to wear a silver thread across his body to signify that he is now ready for the next phase of life. This is where the boy moves on from wearing a sacred thread on his body (especially worn by Telugu brahmins) to a silver one.
Similar to what happens in Tamil weddings as well, the Telugu groom on the day of the wedding pretends to be unwilling to pursue the marriage and go to Kashi instead to complete his education and submit to a life of a sanyasi. The brother of the Telugu bride is then expected to persuade the groom to go ahead with the marriage and assume his responsibilities in this Telugu matrimony.
Ganēśa and Gauri Pūja
The Telugu bride performs Gauri puja at her house sitting in a big basket (Gowri Gampa) worshipping Goddess Gauri to give her the wisdom to lead a happy marital life. Similarly, the Telugu groom performs this at the mandapam where he worships Lord Ganesha, and wears the traditional attire for the wedding. It’s in this ceremony that the bride’s gotra is changed from her paternal gotra to the groom’s gotra.
While the essence of Kanyadanam remains the same across—to handover the bride’s hand (and thus the responsibility) to the groom—this ceremony in Telugu marriages demands a special mention for the visual spectacle it has. While you would have seen brides walk into the altar/mandap on their wedding day, a Telugu bride is brought sitting in a bamboo basket, carried till the altar by her uncle and cousins. Then throughout the ceremony, the bride and the groom are not allowed to look at each other, and this is ensured using a white sheet between them; a practice especially observed by Telugu brahmins. The groom then chants a mantra three times and assures the bride’s father thrice that he will be with his daughter in happiness and sorrow.
After the sheet is removed, the Telugu groom ties two mangalsutra threads around the neck of the Telugu bride and knots them thrice symbolising their union in all three respects—physical, mental and spiritual.
Jīlakarra Bellaṃ and Madhuparkaṃ
While the priest recites Vedic mantras, in one of a kind ceremony, the couple smears a sticky paste made of jaggery and cumin seeds on each other’s head symbolising their inseparable bond that will stick around just like jaggery does to cumin seeds.
In another exciting ceremony, the couple is made to observe two stars that belong in Big Dipper, or the Ursa Major—the Alcor star representing Arundhati and Mizar star representing Vasistha. Arundhati and Vasistha were regarded as the perfect couple and looking at these stars after completing all wedding rituals, is a sign of taking their blessings.
Usually, Telugu families prefer getting their children married within the community. And to facilitate such alliances, there are many Telugu matrimony sites that help ease out the hunt. We at, The Art of Living Matrimony offer various Telugu bride and groom profiles with the ease to find your perfect partner.