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Colours of Life

Wedding customs

There are bound to be variations in the ceremonies and rituals depending upon the city or state the Iyengars have been living in for several generations.

Some common surnames:
Iyengar, Ayangar, Srinivasan, Gopalakrishnan, Jagannathan, Ramakrishnan

List of ceremonies
1. Vethalepak : Exchange of gifts between the bride and groom
2. Pandalkal or Chapra : Blessing the wedding venue
3. Devar Samardhne : Seeking blessings from deities to keep the marriage free from any impediments
4. Varapooje or Janwaasam : Heralding the arrival of the groom and inviting him to the 'mantap'
5. Nischathartham : Commitment to be married is made and announced to all
6. Nandi or Vratham : Anointing the bride and groom
7. Kashiyatre : The groom embarks on a mock pilgrimage
8. Oonjal or Sambandhmale : The couple exchanges garlands
9. Piddishuttal : The couple is protected from 'dhrishti' (evil eye)
10. Kanyadaan : Giving away the bride
11. Mangalaya Dharane : The groom ties the sacred 'taali' on the bride
12. Akshathe : The couple is blessed with the showering of coloured rice
13. Homa or Havan : Lighting of the sacred fire
14. Saptapadi : Seven steps around the sacred fire
15. Nagoli Vasthra : The bride' s family welcomes the son-in-law
16. Gruhapravesha : The bride is welcomed into her marital home
17. Sambandhi Virandh : Both families exchange gifts
18. Reception: Post-wedding celebrations