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Meaning Behind the Rituals of a Traditional Telugu Wedding

A Journey through Telugu Marriage Traditions in Telangana's Weddings

In a recent Telugu wedding, an intriguing scenario unfolded as a North Indian guest found herself engrossed by the intricate rituals and profound cultural heritage that define the essence of a quintessential Telugu wedding. This encounter sparked a dialogue where questions about the cherished customs intrinsic to Telugu weddings were raised. This prompted us to embark on a comprehensive exploration of these timeless traditions and their underlying narratives through this informational post. Join us as we delve into the captivating tapestry of Telugu wedding rituals, offering a detailed insight into their significance and significance.

The first thing that comes to our mind when we talk about a Telugu wedding are the colours – the sumptuous green of the mavidakalu (Mango leaves), the pleasant aromatic yellows of the pasupu kommalu (turmeric pods) and the undeniably rich reds of the kumkum (vermillion). You will never miss these three elements in a Telugu wedding which play an important role – right from the beginning, through the wedding. The mango leaves are used for decorating the mandap and the houses of the groom and the bride as it is an indication of a celebration and is meant to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. The significance of the mango leaves is mentioned in Bhagawat Gita too. The pasupu kommallu or the turmeric pods are used in most of the rituals, in fact, it is considered to be a holy act if turmeric paste is used in our bathing ritual too. It wards off evil and is supposed to give your body a healthy glow. Kumkum is offered to our Gods and Goddesses and is supposed to absorb a divine energy, which explains its sacredness.

Running helter and skelter with plates full of fruit and coconuts, the families of the bride and the groom cannot be disturbed at all. You will find them everywhere, sometimes asking if you’ve eaten, and sometimes attending the purohit. A commonly referred term in our Telugu weddings pelli sandadi is how one would explain all the excitement and rush in a Telugu wedding – A treat to look at, a delight to be a part of. Amidst all this, don’t forget to take a moment to explore the pre-wedding places in Hyderabad, which adds an extra layer of charm to the festivities. The other important thing one would look forward to is, the pelli bhojanam (wedding food) – a true affair with ambrosia. Ladles of steamed rice are served hot on an arati aaku (banana leaf) with different types of curries, dal, sambar, pulihora (tamarind-flavored rice), with papads, chutneys, and pickles. One can never get enough. The family members of the bride and the groom take an active participation in serving food to all the guests. 

We could go on with all the festivities of the wedding, but before that let’s dive into the world of Telugu rituals.

Pelli koduku/kuthuru or Pelli Pandiri (పెళ్లి కొడుకు/కూతురు, పెళ్లి పందిరి) 

This is the beginning of the wedding where the man or the woman are dressed as the groom or bride. The entire family takes part in this pre-wedding ritual, where a pandiri (a stage) is set up using the arati chettu (banana tree branches) at the houses of the groom and the bride. The bride and the groom are bathed in holy water that is mixed with tulasi leaves, pasupu etc. On the day of this ritual, the bride’s family conducts a Satyanarayana Vratam and Tulasi Pooja at their residence.

Snatakam (స్నాతకం)

This is also a pre-wedding ritual that is conducted by a purohit on the day of the wedding to purify the groom from all the sins and bless him with a healthy body and mind as he begins a new chapter of his life.

Kashi Yatra and Edurukolu (కాశీ యాత్ర)

Kashi Yatra is a fun ritual where the telugu groom slips into a pair of slippers and carries an umbrella and dresses minimally and pretends to set on a journey to Kashi to renounce worldly pleasures. The bride’s brother pleads and convinces the groom to marry his sister. When the groom agrees to marry, he is welcomed by the bride’s parents with a spectacular gaiety, which is the ‘edurukolu’.

Mangala Snanam (మఙ్గళస్నానం)

The bride and the groom are taken for the mangala snanam. This is an equally fun ritual where the women of the household sing together while bathing the groom and the bride. This is done to purify the bodies of the groom and the bride for the rituals of the wedding.

Kanyadanam (కన్యాదానం)

Kanyadanam (Giving the bride away) is a ritual where the Telugu bride is given away by her parents to the groom. In a Brahmin wedding, the maternal uncles of the bride carry her to the mandap in a bamboo basket, which is yet another endearing act. The bride and the groom do not see each other till they are married. In the kanyadanam, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom, as the groom is considered as the Vishnu Murthy in the wedding.

Jeelakarra Bellam (జీలకర్రాబెల్లం)

In a Telugu wedding, Jeelakarra Bellam signifies the union/marriage of the bride and the groom. Jeelakarra (cumin) and bellam (jaggery) are made into a thick paste and put on a tamalapaku (betel leaf). The bride and the groom put it on each other’s head while the purohit chants mantras from the Vedas. The bride and the groom look at each other only after this ceremony is completed.

Madhuparakam ( మధుపర్కం)

Madhuparakam is the ceremony where the bride changes into a white saree with a red border and the groom wears a white dhoti for the next rituals of the telugu wedding The red colour signifies strength while the white colour represents purity.

Homam/Mangalasutram (హోమం/మంగళసూత్రం)

The mangalsutra is touched by all the married women at the wedding as a blessing to the bride, and the groom performs a prayer to the Gods before tying the mangalasutram around the bride’s neck. The groom ties three knots of the mangalasutram to represent the mental, physical and spiritual union of their togetherness for 100 years. The couple is blessed by all the guests with akshinthalu (rice mixed with turmeric). As this ritual might take a while, the ambience can be enriched by displaying captivating Pre Wedding Photos on the screen for the public to watch and enjoy, adding an extra layer of engagement and delight to the celebration.

Talambralu (అక్షితలు)

As we move on to the fun and more joyous part of the wedding, we must tell you that the talambralu ritual is always like a competition between the bride and the groom. The purohit chants mantras and the bride and the groom shower each other’s heads with talambralu (pearls, thermocol balls, or rice coloured by turmeric paste).

Pradhanam (ప్రధానం)

In a pot full of milk and rose petals, a gold ring is dropped and is brought to the mandap. The bride and the groom, in the midst of their joyous Telugu marriage celebration, put their arms into it to see who picks the ring first. It is a very exciting game for the ones watching the bride and the groom struggle and fight for the ring in a humorous way. The first one to pick the ring puts it on the other’s finger, marking a playful yet symbolic gesture of their impending union. This is a game in which the bride or the groom have immense fun, sometimes conceding for the sake of the other person and indulging in light-hearted camaraderie that reflects the joy of their shared journey.

Yedu Adugulu or Saptapadi (సప్తపది)

One end of the groom’s dhoti is tied in a knot to one end of the bride’s saree, and they walk together around the homam (fire) seven times. The couple takes promises of togetherness with every round around the homam.

Arundhati Nakshatram (అరుంధతి నక్షత్రం)

After the homam is performed, the couple is taken out by the purohit and the family to spot the Arundhati nakshatram (star). The groom points out the arundhati nakshatram to his bride, as Arundhati (wife of sage Vashistha) and Vashistha are an ideal couple.


An immensely tear-jerking and emotional moment for the bride and her family as the bride’s family gives her away to the groom and his family. As she leaves the mandap with the groom to begin a new life with him, the bride and her family get very emotional throughout this.

With these rituals, the wedding comes to an end. But it is only a fresh beginning for the bride and the groom.

 At Vshoot Photography, we understand the significance of preserving the essence and emotion of each moment during a Telugu wedding. Our team of best wedding photographers in Hyderabad is committed to capturing the intricate details, vibrant traditions, and heartfelt emotions that define these cherished occasions. With a keen eye for candid shots and an artful approach to composition, we ensure that every frame tells a story that will be treasured for generations to come. Our passion for photography is matched only by our dedication to creating timeless memories that resonate with authenticity and beauty. From the radiant smiles of the Telugu bride to the joyous camaraderie among the family, we are there to encapsulate it all. Let us be your storytellers, weaving the narrative of your Telugu wedding into a collection of photographs that mirror the love and warmth that envelops these precious moments.


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