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Thalikettu- Tying the wedding knot in Hindu marriage

In traditional Hindu marriage, Thalikettu or the groom tying the Thali (a wedding string) around the bride’s neck is the most important ritual. Thali represents the long lasting bliss of a marital relationship.

As the bride and groom wait on the Kathir Mandapam, the specially prepared stage where the marriage takes place, groom’s father hands over the Thali to the groom. The groom ties it around the neck of the bride while the background gets filled with auspicious musical notes.

After this, the couple exchange garlands and rings. The groom’s father gives the groom a Manthrakoti (bridal dress) which he gifts to the bride. He also applies some vermilion on parting of her hair. Then, the father of the bride comes behind the couple and places betel leaves on the groom’s right hand and puts the bride’s hand on it. This ritual is known as Panigrahanam.

The roots of Hindu wedding ceremonies in India can be traced back to the Vedic period. Kerala, too, has imbibed most of the ritualistic as well as ceremonious elements of the Vedic tradition. However, in the state, the ceremonies are simpler compared to those of the other parts of India.