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Every Indian wedding begins but then there is an engagement ceremony where the bond of love is tied between the bride and the groom and the official wedding date is decided on that day. Nischitharthum is the engagement ceremony in Telugu culture where things like Ganesh puja, matching of the horoscope and exchange of gifts is done as it marks the beginning of the official wedding.
Every wedding ceremony includes a special haldi ceremony in which a paste of turmeric, mixed with sandalwood is applied on the face and body parts of the bride as well as the groom. In a Telugu Wedding the couple is painted with Nalugu that is a mixture of oils, flowers and turmeric.
This interesting ritual is also a part of Tamil culture and thus, the groom leaves all the materialistic things of the world and goes on a spiritual walk. The brother of the bride then stops the groom, requesting him to continue with the wedding rituals.
On the wedding day, after a purifying bath, Ganesh Pooja is done to worship lord Ganesha as before the beginning of any auspicious occasion, the blessings of lord ganesha are necessary. Hence the first and foremost thing in all the Indian weddings is the Ganesh Pooja.
Next ritual is the entry of the bride when the pride is escorted to the Mandap in a palaki or basket. A curtain is set between the bride and the groom and the wedding process begins.
Now comes the ritual of Kanyadan where the hand of the bride is placed on the hand of the groom and holy mantras are chanted by the priests. This ritual depicts that the bride is now the responsibility of the groom and he has to take care of her. It is considered to be the most important and overwhelming ritual that is performed by the bride's father with the blessings from The Almighty.
The time of mangalsutra is a yellow thread which contains 2 gold pendants in it with a little touch of turmeric as applied on the auspicious thread and it is tied around the bride's neck with 3 knots that vow for the spiritual, mental and physical health of the couple.
Under the great God of Fire seven rounds are taken by the couple as wife and husband. These seven rounds are seven vows that a husband and a wife take and promise each other a successful and happy married life ahead. These seven rounds are taken under the presence of family members and priests that chant the Vedic mantras that bless the couple with power and energy to live life as a husband and a wife.
After the wedding is complete, the bride then departs to her new home. The grihaparesh is a special ritual in which as the couple stands on the entrance of the house, an aarti is performed by the mother-in-law. A pot of rice is kicked by the bride and hence the bride is welcomed to her new family. This completes the wedding.
A Telugu Wedding comes with a lot of rituals, fun, dancing and singing of the local folklore. The community is enriched with its cultural heritage and is deeply connected to it that can also be seen on the special occasions of the Telugu Culture, such as a Telugu Wedding.