Marriages in the temple

Lata Jain

A hardcore fan of Hindi films from the ’80s and ’90s cannot be completely immune to the romance of a temple wedding. Ek young couple in love, against the wishes of the family manage to give a slip and run to  an ancient pile of stone and exquisite sculpture, black clouds lowering in the sky, some vermilion to mark the bride as one’s own, and a genial temple priest and they are tied into a nuptial knot.

lata jain

Lata Jain

Many young couples today are opting for exactly that – minus all that twist and tension of a villain as the bride’s father and the bloodshed……. They want to get married in a place that has more character and charm than traditional marriage incurring huge expenses. This type of marriage can provide in a thousand years, and they are willing to brave a few logistical issues to get just such a wedding.

More and more couples are choosing ancient temples over wedding halls to tie the knot. Sangeeta belong to a kanadikan family and Jeetendra is a Guajarati from a middle class family. The echo of the nadaswaram competes with the chants of the temple priests performing their daily rituals; devotees walk around some chatting, some singing and few others looking at the crowd gathered around the mandapam within the shivalaya IN Sultan Bazaar.

Jeetendra and Sangeeta belong to a new generation of people who prefer ancient temples rather than state-of-the-art halls for their wedding. “We invited just a few close family members for the wedding, which took about an hour, both of us were traditionally dressed and then we all headed out to Taj Mahal hotel for breakfast and by 11.30 we both reported to work.

Take for instance the Yadgiriguatta temple. Situated in Nalgonda district convenient distance of some 50-odd km from Hyderabad, this ninth century temple is increasingly a niche wedding venue that remains a closely guarded secret among a few people. Hyderabadis who regularly drive down to Yadgirigutta to get away from the city may have noticed a turn that marks the way to the temple, but few actually visit it.

This generation thinks differently,” says Sidhanti , manager at the Yadgiri gutta temple.“People these days like to go back to their traditional roots.” Sidhanti , who has been with the temple for 27 years, adds that, people believe that married life will be prosperous if it begins in a temple, and in the last few years he has seen a steady increase in the number of weddings conducted here.

The trend of choosing unusual and historic locations for weddings is catching on. Everyone wants a memorable, unusual wedding and a considerable number of people are rejecting the hotel ballroom or traditional marriages have nothing unique to offer.

To have a wedding at the temple, there are several rules and regulations,” says the manager at Arya samaj  “You will need to submit birth certificates, address proof, age proof, a tahsildar-attested document stating that it is the first marriage for both bride and groom, he says and points to a notice board that lists out all the requirements. “We only accommodate two weddings in a single day, so you need to book your dates at the earliest,” he adds. He also goes on to explain that most temples ask for more or less the same set of documents.

Preeti and Arul also got married at Srikakulam , in 2011. With a gathering of just 30 people, they tied the knot in the temple, followed by a simple archanai. “We are both atheists, and our parents are not. The ceremony was 40 – minutes long, and she recollects getting a certificate from the temple, which helped them register their wedding and then we hosted a dinner for those who were very close relatives.

The trend of choosing unusual locations for weddings is definitely catching up among the urbane population. Sudha, a wildlife worker wants to get married at the thousand temples in Warangal for her wedding scheduled in August this year. “The thought of getting married in a temple that dates back 1,000 years, gives me immense happiness,” she says. She is trying to get details on the same and if they permit.

The beauty lies in architectural beauty and history of these temples and these couples are ready to face a few challenges to get married in the abode of gods and goddesses.

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