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Known for being fierce soldiers across the world, Rajputs primarily reside in North and Central India. Historically known as the Kshatriya, they conjure up images of nobility. Rajputs are considered members of the Hindu warrior (Kshatriya) caste and honour their heritage and traditions.
The traditional Rajput wedding dress complete with the Rajput bridal look outweighs all other aspects of beauty. The bride and groom dressed up resemble no less than a king and queen. A beautiful aspect of Rajput marriage in the Rajput clan is that it involves a connection believed to be unsevered for seven generations between the families of the bride and the groom. This union is celebrated amongst lavish wedding celebrations. Every Rajputi wedding custom holds immense significance, and their culture is distinctive and occasionally militaristic. The one thing impossible to miss in all Rajput weddings is the grandeur and royalty with which they commence. Rajputs also have unique and special wedding customs that last for days. A Rajput wedding is full of various traditions, colours, lights, and royal vibrancy, which still hold their allure today. With all said, a Rajput wedding, too, is an Indian wedding. Hence the customs vary trivially yet significantly in attire, food and destination. But like all Indian weddings, the royal wedding marks the start of the journey that two individuals vow to share.
Scroll down to delve into unique rituals and practices involved in a Rajput wedding.
The engagement ceremony commences with a customary 'Tilak'. This is when the royal rajput brides’ maternal uncle or brother applies a Tilak (A kumkum mark) to the temple of the groom, a sign of acceptance into their family and a token of respect towards the groom. A ceremonial exchange of blessings and gifts follows. The chief highlight of this ceremony is the gifting of a golden Rajput wedding sword that every Rajputi family possesses to the groom.
Ganpati Sthapna and Graha Shaanti Puja
Hindus carry out important ceremonies only per the auspicious dates predicted according to astrology after consulting a 'Panchaang' or the astrological calendar. Hence, the dates are fixed as per the predicted astrological sanctity of the wedding.
Before beginning any significant or auspicious event, devotees worship Lord Ganesh to remove obstructions. To calm all nine planets, the priests also execute a Navgraha Shanti Pooja.
If you wish to know more about the planets, read about them on our InstaAstro website!
After the dates are fixed, the families of both the bride and groom set up idols of Lord Ganesha in their respective homes commemorating the propitious day. The relatives engage in a Havan (fire ritual) to invoke Lord Ganesh's blessings on the couple and their impending wedding.
One of the most exciting rituals for the couple and the guests comes a couple of days before the wedding. The bride and groom are treated with a paste made of turmeric, sandalwood, and rosewater during this royal Rajput wedding ceremony, which is said to give them radiant skin. Turmeric, also known as haldi, is valued for its healing abilities and therapeutic ingredients. This ceremony is conducted amongst a cacophony of pleasant music, unusually sung by the ladies of the houses, along with a 'dhol' and dance, making the day one of the most fun events of the wedding! It is common to see 'ghoomar', the traditional dance form of Rajasthan, being performed.
In customary rajput wedding rituals, after the Pithi Dastoor, the maternal uncles of the couples come bearing lavish gifts, the finest of jewellery and beautiful garments to the bride and groom. This ceremony is conducted in their respective houses post Pithi Dastoor. In addition, a string of music and dance make their way into the celebration.
Amidst the holy chants in front of a yagna, the Janev ceremony begins. The groom adorns a saffron robe and dramatises as though he will become austere after the yagna is through before fleeing. His maternal uncle persuades him to get married. An atmosphere of mirth and laughter persists. This odia ritual holds great significance since it demonstrates the moment the groom lets go his bachelorhood and starts shouldering responsibilities of a house-bearer.
A day or two before the wedding, the groom's relatives pay a visit to the bride's house, bearing gifts, jewellery, and garments to be worn during the wedding. Accompanied by an array of delectables and trousseau, they exchange greetings and bless the bride.
Baarat and Nikaasi
Typically, the groom travels on an elephant or a horse while brandishing a sword towards the wedding venue. Additionally, the relatives in the 'baraat' don Achkans or royal Rajputana Rajasthani wedding sherwani along with Jodhpurs and turbans as they make their way to the bride's residence.
Although they share the same name for the ceremony, the proceedings vary in a traditional Rajputi wedding procession from typical Indian baraats. The regal-looking groom wears a traditional orange turban, a gold 'Achkan' with a 'chudidar' or 'jodhpurs' with 'jootis,' and a piece of jewellery called a 'Serpech' that is made specifically for the turban. Adorning a necklace around his neck and a 'Kammarband' around his waist, he exudes composure, sophistication, and royalty. His friends, relatives, song, and grandeur join him as he mounts a stallion. After seeking graces at a temple, the groom and his guests head to the Mandap (wedding venue). The groom steps into the Mandap and strikes the Toran (decoration) with his sword as a mark of protection from evil. Post this, the bride's mother applies Tilak on the groom's forehead to commemorate the marriage.
The entire procession is spectacularly majestic and involves special music, typically Rajasthani songs, for a brother's wedding.
Granthi Bandhan Or Gathjoda
Following the customary Aarti, the bride's mother leads the husband to the ladies' area for blessings. Then he is led over to the wedding Mandap. In the witness of the 'agni', the sacred fire, and Vedic chants, the 'Saat Pheras' or seven circles commence. Throughout the proceedings, the bridegroom is accompanied by a male member, a brother or an uncle from his family. The bride, complete in her Rajputi bridal look, hides her face behind an exceptionally long veil throughout the ceremony. The Gathjoda is the tying of the groom's scarf to the bride's chunni or dupatta, unifying the eternal bond of two souls.
Sindhoor (Red Powder)
The wedding is marked complete as the groom places a tiny dot of vermilion, a scarlet powder, on her forehead. The bride is then welcomed as his lifelong companion at the 'sindoor' ritual.
With their Gathjoda knot, the bride and groom prepare to circle the 'Agni', the holy fire, seven times. During this ceremony the royal rajput wedding dress for bride steals is of great significance. It is usually a heavy lehenga, conventionally red in colour.
The priest conducts the Rajput wedding ceremonies while the bride and groom sit around a sacred fire. After seven full circles around the holy fire, the pair exchanges vows. The vows are a beautiful trade of promises to stick by each other through everything that comes in life and be each other's strength and family for the rest of their lives.
In this ritual, the father of the groom gives a bag full of money to the bride. It symbolises her official acceptance in the new family and her responsibilities to it.The bride then gives her sister-in-law and her spouse a portion of this money. With the blessings of the elders and the relatives for their everlasting relationship, the couple steps down the Mandap.
The 'chhol bharai' ritual also signifies a groom's father welcoming the bride into their family.
Finally, it is time for the bride to leave her home and enter into a new phase of life. Thus, Farewell, or bidaai, is a rather emotional and bittersweet occasion for the bride and her family. This is, indeed, her official goodbye. As the newlywed couple enters the car, she removes her veil and finally reveals her face to only the groom. It is customary for her now husband to gift the bride jewels for the same. Meanwhile, a coconut is placed under the car's wheel, which has to be broken by running it over. Indian occasions often witness the breaking of a coconut to denote good omen and success.
The Rajput wedding ceremonies are elaborate and joyful and provide lots of chances for the families to interact and form bonds.
'Griha' or house, and 'Pravesh' meaning entry, is the ceremony of the bride entering her new home in the presence of the groom's relatives. She is welcomed into the house with 'aarti' and many playful games. This is intended to break the ice and help build a comfortable bond between her and her in-laws and relatives.
Pagelagni or Lagun Function
After a brief evening of rest, the next day is a blur of formal introductions to the groom's family. The traditional rajput bride receives blessings and presents during this ceremony while still wearing her veil. It is then that her veil finally drops to reveal her face to the relatives.
With a royal feast of delectable foods, the Rajput wedding and reception ceremony is certainly complete. Therefore, all Rajput wedding traditions are vital for a contented and fulfilling marriage.
Rajput wedding attire is an essential aspect of Rajasthani culture and tradition. The attire worn by the bride and groom reflects their social status, wealth, and cultural heritage.
The Rajputi dress for the bride is traditionally a lehenga or saree, heavily embellished with intricate embroidery, beadwork, and zari work. The lehenga or saree is usually crimson red or maroon, considered auspicious in Rajput culture. The bride also wears traditional jewellery, including a necklace, earrings, bangles, and a maang tikka. The mangalsutra is adorned by the bride every day for as long as her husband lives as a symbol of their marriage.
The groom wears a sherwani, a long, knee-length coat worn over a kurta and churidar. The Rajput wedding sherwani is typically in shades of beige or cream and is also heavily embroidered. The groom also wears a turban, an essential part of royal Rajput wedding attire. The turban is usually the same colour as the sherwani and is decorated with a jewel or a pin.
In addition to the attire worn by the bride and groom, Rajput weddings also feature a variety of colourful and vibrant traditional attire worn by the guests. The men wear kurta and dhoti, while the women wear sarees or lehengas. The attire is also adorned with traditional Rajasthani jewellery.
Rajput weddings are known for their grandeur and luxury, and the attire worn by the bride and groom reflects this. The heavy embellishments and traditional designs are a symbol of the couple's wealth and status and reflect the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan.
In addition to traditional attire, Rajput brides and grooms opt for more contemporary and fusion dresses like Anarkali, Indo-Western, and fusion sherwanis. It is utterly dependent on the individual's personal preference and comfort level.
Overall, Rajput wedding attire is a critical aspect of a Rajasthani wedding and tradition and reflects the couple's social status, wealth, and cultural heritage. It combines grandeur and luxury with a touch of tradition and cultural heritage. The Rajput bride look is one of the most spectacular features of the entire wedding.