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Bunts are a rather festive community. A Bunt Wedding is a sequence of steps with each part of the process having its significance. While there is no definite uniformity in what is followed in different parts of Tulunadu, we're here to attempt a deep dive into the most common way of getting a Bunt Wedding done!

Rarely heard of, but not a rare wedding in reality, a Bunt Wedding is a marriage celebration of the Bunt or Nadavas community. Located in the coastal districts of Karnataka and Kerela's Kasaragod district, Bunts are an ancient Hindu community of erstwhile nobility. They're known to be descendants of the fierce Nagavanshi lineage who follow the system of matrilineal system of descent and kinship. In the Tulu language, Bunt means a powerful or strong man or soldier. With a deep-rooted traditional culture, the Bunts play an imperative and primary part in the economic and social fronts of this area.

Scroll down and learn all the details of Bunt wedding rituals that you should know of!

Bunt Wedding Rituals

A Bunt wedding is a grand affair and a union of two different Bunt families. According to traditional Hindu culture, a Bunt wedding initiates with the exchange of the bride and groom’s horoscopes to check their compatibility as man and wife. Once, all the things are settled, the wedding ceremonies begin. A traditional Bunt wedding is encompassed by the following vital ceremonies:

1. The Engagement Ceremony

The men from the bride's family visit the groom's house with a silver platter laden with betel leaves, betel nuts and flowers. One of the elders from the family introduces the two families to one another. Though the visit is a mere formality to confirm the date and time of the Bunt wedding, the exchange of betel leaves and nuts is a confirmation of the alliance with the elders present as witnesses. Nowadays, engagement ceremonies are more elaborate where the bride and groom exchange engagement rings and the family follows this up by hosting a grand party!

2. Madarengee

According to Bunt custom, the Madarengee ceremony is performed individually at the bride and groom’s homes respectively. It's a fairly simple ritual where the bride's palms and fingertips are adorned with mehndi while being blessed by the elder females of the family. After this, she is given a ritual bath with turmeric, oil and coconut milk. Traditionally, the bath was given to brides to brighten their complexions and make them look stunning on their wedding day. After the bath ritual is complete, the bride-to-be wears a new saree and gold jewellery, following which she performs a brief prayer session in the pooja room and then the sacred tulsi plant. 

A similar ceremony is held at the groom’s house. The groom’s cousins and other close family relatives apply turmeric and coconut milk on his face, body and arms. The barber gives him a haircut and then his sister’s husband or maternal cousins lead him to his bath.

Also Read: Top 81 Mangalasnanam Pictures of Brides & Grooms We Are Swooning Over!

3. Murthasese

After the Madarengee ceremony, the bride is made to sit on a beautiful chair, festooned with garlands that's facing east. A silver plate is filled with raw rice, thoroughly mixed with kumkum and haldi, and a coconut is placed on the rice to symbolise the presence of Lord Ganesha. Then a tall wick lamp adorned with jasmine flowers is lit. All the women present during the ceremony wearing red and green bangles come forward towards the bride. The eldest married woman, known as sumangali, begins the ceremony by putting a toe ring on the bride's second toe. Following this, other sumangalis put red and green glass bangles on the bride's hands and jasmine flowers in her hair. A black bangle is also worn by the bride to ward off the evil eye. The bride is considered the Laxmi of the house, so the Murthasese ceremony ends with doing aarti of the bride. 

4. Aarathi

With the Aarathi ceremony, the actual wedding ceremony begins. The bride enters the wedding venue half an hour before the share. She is welcomed by her sister-in-law who welcomes her in after washing the bride's feet. As the bride comes in, the sumangalis are present in the ceremony and the bride’s aunt performs aarti and applies haldi & kumkum on her. The mandap, where the wedding ceremony is to take place is decorated with jasmine flowers, mango leaves and areca nut leaves. The bride's sister-in-law must guide her to the mandap while trumpet music welcomes her to the mandap. The same ritual is followed to welcome the groom to the mandap as well. The brother of the bride replaces the bride's sister-in-law for the groom's welcome. Once the groom sits next to the bride, the groom’s family give haldi-kumkum, poove sere (sari and flowers) and wedding jewellery to the bride.

5. Dhareyeruna

Source Pinterest

Marking the beginning of the wedding rituals, the bride's parents fill a brass vessel with water and present it to the elders of both families for their blessings. This ritual is known as the Dhareyeruna or Kanyadan. An antique gold coin is placed on the palm of the bride underneath which the groom places his hands. The bride's parents begin pouring water onto the couple's hands from the same brass vessel which was blessed by the elders earlier.

Bookmark: South Indian Real Brides Who Knocked their Saree Game Outta the Park!

6. Mangalsutra Ceremony

Source RajRJ

After the Dhareyeruna, the groom ties a Mangalsutra around the bride’s neck. The mangalsutra has been blessed by five sumangalis. Then, the groom puts the wedding ring on the bride's right ring finger and the bride slips a gold wedding ring on the groom's ring finger. Following this, the couple holds the brass vessel, also known as the 'chambu' and sits down and rises swiftly three times.

7. Homa

The pandit presiding over the wedding lights up a sacred fire known as homa (or a havan) and recites Vedic chants. The bride's brother gives a fistful of puffed rice in the hands of the couple, which they offer to the sacred fire each time they take a phera (go around the sacred fire). Everyone present at the ceremony takes raw rice, mixed with kumkum and haldi, and showers the couple with it while giving them their blessings. Following this, the sumangalis perform aarti and put kumkum-haldi on the couple. As the wedding ceremony comes to an end, the elders of the family gather to bless the couple. This is known as the Sese Padunu.

8. Saptapadi

Also known as the seven steps around the sacred fire (homa). In this, the groom holds the bride’s hand and they take seven steps around the fire together. With every step, the bride has to tip over small heaps of rice with her right foot and recite the sacred seven marriage vows along with the groom.

Also Read: The Significance & Meaning of Saat Phere According to Hindu Marriages

9. Neer Maipunu

Following the Saptapadi, the bride and groom come down the stage and go out to pray to the Sun God (Surya Darshan). The bride's brother washes the groom's feet and the latter has to reward his brother-in-law handsomely for his troubles. Upon re-entering the hall, the bride's mother gives a tender coconut to the groom. The groom is meant to drink a little from it and then share it with his wife. This signifies their everlasting commitment to share everything. Finally, the groom's mother gives the bride a gold memento as a gift to welcome her into the family. 

10. Ponnu Vocchidu Korpunu

The women of the bride's side gather and give the bride's hand to the groom's mother (or an elder member of his family). While doing so, they sing a song or speak words of praise for the girl and how she's been brought up like a princess. The groom's side replies by accepting the bride as not just a daughter-in-law but their daughter, promising to treat her like one. 

11. Post Wedding Ceremony

Once all the wedding rituals are over, a grand wedding feast is arranged for the family and guests. Traditionally, the feast serves a five-course vegetarian meal. Following this, the bride leaves for her new husband's home, which takes place according to a special muhurat. After receiving blessings from her parents and familial elders, the bride takes her leave. 

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Final Thoughts

Though grand in their way, Bunt weddings are pretty simple and elegant. There aren't many rituals that entail this celebration but the community makes up for it in grandeur. Today, couples have chosen to hold separate mehndi and sangeet functions as well. But that's all based on how much time they have. All in all, a Bunt wedding is a gorgeous affair to witness and everyone, should the opportunity arise, must visit one for sure!


To learn more about South Indian weddings, click here!

Learning Everything About Bunt Wedding Rituals!

by Shivani Singh

Learning Everything About Bunt Wedding Rituals!