How do Telugu people conduct a marriage ceremony?

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Telugu marriage is a very sophisticated affair. As per the Telugu tradition, marriage is just not an agreement but in their culture wife is considered as a part of husband, termed in Telugu as, "Arthaangi". In a Telugu family, unless it is a love marriage, the family members finds Telugu bride or groom. Once they find the right match for their child the rituals and other arrangements for the marriage would start. The following ceremonies would take place in a chronological order from the time the match has been fixed.

  • Nischitartham or Engagement Ceremony: This is the first ceremony performed. This ceremony consists of exchanging the wedding rings in front of few selected family members and is guided by a family priest. This is the time where a "Lagna Patrika", is written. The lagna patrika decides the date and time of the wedding.

  • Vighneswara rice: This is one of the most important ceremonies but yet not much popular one. One the lagna patrika is given to both the families this ceremony is performed by both of them individually. They take a new white cloth, pour raw rice, tie it and keep it aside. This rice is considered as sacred rice and performs Pooja to Lord Ganesh, asking to get the wedding done without any hurdles.

  • Pelli koothuru: The grand ceremony of decorating a bride also called as "Pelli Koothuru" in Telugu wedding takes place 3-4 days before the wedding day. Once the bride is decorated for the first time she cannot go out anywhere till the wedding ceremony is completed. This is similar for the groom as well termed as pelli koduku in Telugu language.

  • Gauri Pooja: During few hours before the wedding, the bride would perform Gauri Pooja. Both the bride and groom would undergo holy bath individually called as "Mangala Snanam". Once this is done, the bride would perform Gauri Pooja and the good would perform Ganesh Pooja individually.

  • Kanyadanam : The ceremony consists of the arrival of the bride to the wedding venue. The bride's uncles would carry her in a bamboo basket to the wedding hall or mandap. There would be a curtain between the bride and the groom and they would not be able to see each other's face. The bride's parents wash the groom's legs and offer their daughter under the guidance of a holy priest performing certain rituals.

  • Mangalasutra and Jeelakarra bellam : The main part of a Telugu wedding ritual consists of both the bride and groom placing a paste made of jeera and jaggery on each other's heads. This is when the curtain is removed and they can look at each other. After this ceremony the groom would tie a holy yellow thread around the bride's neck using three knots. These three knots are considered to be auspicious and each knot has its own significance.

After this the newlywed couple would pour raw rice mixed with haldi and flower over their heads and this rice is referred to as "talambraalu". Then they would be taken outside by the priest and show them Arundhati nakshatra over the sky which is considered as a holy star.
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