Saturday, 15 July 2017

Wedding City

My general understanding of Janakpurdham was that it is a prominent religious city. The suffix 'dham' itself alludes to this as it refers to the dwelling place of God. It is believed that this town is the birthplace of the Hindu Goddess Sita and it is named after her father, King Janak. Because of its historical significance, Janakpur attracts a tremendous number of religious tourists.
Last week I, however, visited Janakpurdham for an official purpose. Although I did not have enough time to explore the city and learn about the local people and their culture, I noticed a peculiar thing over there as soon as I started walking around.
I realised that the institution of marriage is taken extremely seriously in Janakpur. The local people told me that every married couple is considered to be like Lord Ram and his wife Sita and treated accordingly as well. What was more amusing was that all sorts of wedding arrangements could be found at hand.
For instance, there is a place called Vivah Mandap at the city centre where, people say, Ram and Sita met for the first time, developed their relationship and eventually got married in the same place. These days this site is used as a meeting spot for families to fix their children's marriage. Not only this, the prospective bride and groom are also given an opportunity to talk to each other. If everything goes well, people rush to Raghupati Mishtanna Bhandar which is located just opposite to the Vivah Mandap to buy sweets and celebrate the success of a marriage proposal.
Those who do not belong to Janakpur can also use the place for the same purpose; no need to book a hotel or something like that wasting a huge amount of money as Vivah Mandap is available for free and sweets are nearby.
The wedding ceremony also goes off in style. We could see various types of chariots parked outside the people's residences which our local friend Nitesh Shah told us would be hired for a hefty price during weddings. Some pairs of beautiful white horses confirmed Nitesh's statement. You can just imagine the bride and groom sitting in the decorated chariot moving slowly down the road preceded and followed by files of people. Don't they really look like Ram and Sita?
Learning about all these exotic things, one of my female officemates who is going to get married soon was disappointed. She stated that if she knew about these special features of Janakpur, she would have planned for her wedding ceremony to take place in this city. After all, a wedding is a lifetime experience, and if better options are available, why not to go for them?
Therefore, I suggest those couples who are planning to get married to think about what I just said. If you have a pocket full of money you do not need to worry about anything as there is Masala Cottage at your service which will manage everything for you. If you allow your wedding ceremony to happen in Janakpur and follow the things mentioned above, I am sure you will also feel like a God on your special day. Wouldn’t that feel amazing?

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, June 2, 2017 

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).