The unparalleled vibrancy of a Rajasthani wedding
Rajasthan. The mere mention of it evokes memories of music, heritage, colour, grandeur, tradition. All of these ingredients were brought together in the most elegant manner for us to experience at the wedding of a dear friend in Jaipur. As it happens often in India, friends turn into family effortlessly over time; we are fortunate to still preserve those elements of our culture that allow us to do so. Nirbhay, whose sister was the bride, is a dear friend and because he lovingly calls Rahul dada (older brother), we are knit into a successive web of relationships in a manner typical to Indian culture. And so, there we were- Aadyaa, Amma and me, imbibing the ambience of a traditional Rajput wedding in Jaipur.
Some of what I saw was familiar to me, being married into the same community in another part of Rajasthan. But this was the first time I was seeing a Jaipur wedding and I was happy to sit back (with my camera) and admire the jewellery and clothes, the refined mannerisms and confidence of those born into royalty, with myriad interpretations of what that means in modern times.
The traditionalism in a Rajput wedding is marker, with the men and the women socializing in separate areas and everyone turned out in traditional attire. Whereas in a wedding in Delhi or Mumbai, one would see several interpretations of Indian clothing, much of it influenced by Western styling, this wedding very much reflected the pride of the Rajput community in its own unalderated traditions. Women wore heavily embroidered poshak (comprising of 4 parts-a lehenga, odhni, kurti and kachli), in colour combinations that were both the conventional bright as well as a more modern range of pastel colours. The jewellery also is distinct, with the typical round rakhdi worn on the forehead, the heavy aad on the neck, bajuband on the arms, bangdis (bangles) and gold pajeb (anklets) being typical to the Rajput community. I thoroughly enjoyed taking portraits of some of the loveliest women I have ever seen (see if you agree!).
While the women outdo each other to wear the loveliest and most unique poshaks, the bride traditionally wears red (or yellow in some families). The bride, Shruti, wore a lovely red poshak with traditional embroidery on it (I hear her mother hand embroidered it for her and I cannot imagine the love and feeling that went into that, lucky girl!) with exquisite jewelry. The impact was intensified by the minimal make up and I loved the simplicity of her look. It also ensured she was very comfortable through the ceremony. In fact, when I met her moments before her wedding, she told me she was surprised about how light and easy to manage her attire was! A sign indeed of a happy carefree bride!
The men are dressed in bandhgalas (also called sherwanis), worn with trousers or breaches. Men also wear jewelry, especially on the neck and ear studs as well plus the distinctive saafa (headgear) that is actually several yards of cotton tied on the head. I was specially impressed by the bridegroom’s sartorial sense, his sherwani was made of a subtle brocade silk and so were his jootis (shoes), all matching matching! His kamarband that held the traditional sword (a mark of the warrior class) was also very subtle and elegant.
Much of the ambience was also created by the architecture around us. Dera Mandawa, the stunning boutique hotel that Nirbhay’s family runs (it is an extension of their own home), made the perfect setting for a traditional wedding. I admired, through the evening, the taste with which the decor had been chosen, the wonderful voices of the folk musicians that pervaded the air, the understated elegance of the ceremony. I could have expected nothing less from the family, especially the father of the bride, Thakur Durga Singh who is a true connoisseur of art and culture and responsible for quite a bit of the insights that I have about the state and its culture, especially the Shekawati region. All in all, this was one of the most enjoyable evenings I spent. I was so glad I took my camera along, so I could share some glimpses here with all of you.
Posted on December 19, 2013, in Travel & Experiences and tagged folk music, Hindu wedding, Indian wedding, jaipur, Mandawa, poshak, Rajasthan, Rajput, rakhdi, Shekhawati, traditional jewlery, wedding. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
Thanks! Glad you found it so
lovely article bhabhisa. and amazing shots. i made Mama Hukum also read the article and we enjouyed it thoroughly. Thankyou for covering it in so much detail. I’ll share link with parents and family as well.
Thank you Yuvragi. Really mean what I wrote. Was fun to write this and thought of all of you all day!
Wonderful pictures 😀
Very good, very interesting,well written,you must get it published
Ah! That’s a thought!
Great narrative framing the gorgeous photos. My saalesaheb is married to a Rajasthani General saheb’s daughter, so I have witnessed the Poshak. Must say Rajasthani style beats us UP Rajputs more simple attires by a huge margin.
I see both sides constantly. Amma (Rahuls mum) is from UP and papa from Rajasthan, so it’s fun to experience two cultures. And be the bahu on two different ways also. Thakur panaa aur banaagiri poore style se hoti hai lekin dono jagah! 🙂 it’s such a different psyche.
I was told that “Rajputs marry within the community” . Your example shows some people have gumption enough to break the rules
Society is changing. Rajputs are largely traditional, but I guess the exceptions only prove the rule 🙂 Frankly, I love the culture and mixed marriages can bring fresh energies into a community if both parties tolerate and enrich each others’ culture rather than discard it! What say?
I would have been happy to embrace the culture
It wasn’t to be
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