Indian weddings never fail to impress the world with their unique aesthetics of touching the cultures and traditions followed by Indians for over hundreds of years. India is a land of mixed cultures, languages, traditions and religions. One such beautiful event to witness in Sydney is their Goddess Durga themed wedding ceremony.
In the Hindu mythology, Goddess Durga is a powerful deity associated with strength, motherhood and destruction. Legend has it that Goddess Durga stands to fight against the evil and dark forces that threaten the peace and wellbeing of the country. The Indian weddings associated with Goddess Durga in Sydney are conducted in their most popular temple – “The Sydney Durga Temple”.
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The Sydney Durga Temple was constructed with the funding of millions of dollars from Sri Durgadevi Devasthanam, a non profit organisation, to stand as an icon representing and promoting the Hindu religion and tradition in Australia. They aim at teaching religious values and beliefs and impart them over to the newer generations.
The entire wedding hall is decorated with ancient murals and figurines of elephants that represent the Hindu mythology. The floor is decorated in red carpet and flowers are spread on the floor to give a heavenly touch. Chairs and tables are arranged and disguised in matching colours of Red , white and gold. The entire stage is decorated with flowers and garlands.
The wedding couple are adorned in red dresses mostly. The bride wears a beautiful saree and embellished with gold bangles, earrings, necklaces. Her palms are drawn with decorative designs known as Mehendi, which goes all the way up to her forearms. Her eyebrows are overlined with a white streamline and dots just like Goddess Durga. The Groom wears a Tall Turban that has religious meaning over his head and a red ‘Sherwani’ which is a traditional occasion oriented dress in India.
The wedding hall is fit for not just weddings, but all kinds of events like conferences, cultural, musical performances and more. The stage, tables and chairs are beautifully decorated with colourful fabrics and adorned with flowers to add to its serenity. The floor is covered with a red carpet that Various facilities like projectors, plates, lighting, backdrops etc are available along with amenities like dressing rooms, green rooms, washrooms etc. The backdrops are designed with floral designs
On the auspicious day, the Bride’s family welcomes the Groom and his family. The Groom is seated in the Mandap and the bride is lifted up by her brothers and they take 7 circles around the groom as it stands for securing their bond. After the wedding rituals are done by the ‘pujari’, the bride and groom are then lifted up in the air by their families, and are made to garland each other, otherwise known as ‘Mala Badal’. This is a fun moment in the typical Bengali wedding tradition.
An elderly male from the family of the bride offers the Sampradan by holding the hands of his son-in-law and the bride and tying an invisible thread along with the chanting of mantras. The bride and the groom are asked to sit in front of the fire to make it the witness to their wedding, while repeating the chanting the mantras after the priest. An offering ‘Anjali’ is made to the Gods where the groom holds the bride’s hands and they offer puffed rice to the fire. The couple then prays to Goddess Durga, seeking her blessings to have to keep at bay all the evil.
The groom then applies the sindoor on the bride’s forehead that is a symbol of the long life of her husband. It is considered auspicious and said to bring good fortune.
The ‘bidaai’ or farewell is a moment of mixed emotions of happiness and sadness where the bride bids farewell to her parents once all the wedding day rituals are completed.The bride is welcomed to the groom’s house after stepping on the dish filled with alta and milk. The bride then cooks and serves food to all the guests from the groom’s family. Fishes are a significant food among Bengalis and thus they are sometimes beautifully packed and gifted and are considered a token of having plenty of resources to live on. The groom gifts his wife a new saree and later in the evening, their bedrooms are decorated with floral garlands, after which the couple completes their first night of being together.
The Wedding Mantras
Wedding mantras are an important part of any Indian wedding just like all the other religions. Mantras are mostly written in sanskrit and preached by the learned priests that bless the event by evoking the Gods.
“Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike
Saranye Trayambike Gauri Narayani Namostute”
(The One who bestows auspiciousness on one and all, the One who accomplishes all objectives, to the mother of the three worlds, O Gauri, I bow again and again to you.)
Goddess Durga is said to be one of the most powerful deities in the Hindu religion. She is the epitome of strength and womanhood. She blesses her worshippers with strength, patience and many such virtues. She treats her worshippers just like a mother treats her children and eliminates their sufferings.
Why Should you Consider having a Temple Wedding
Some of us may prefer to have a simple and minimal wedding. A temple wedding has comparatively lower costs than a private wedding at a hall.
The wedding is celebrated by making God as the witness to the auspicious event of uniting two families. The feeling is divine.
You don’t have to make a separate extra payment for the pujari or priest. Everything is taken care of by the temple authorities upon request.
Wedding photographers have a pre-hand idea of the photos and angles in which the shots must be captured. They have the picture of the best wedding photos so you can be sure of getting some really good pictures for your wedding album. The pictures capture the ambience of the ancient weddings and traditions while adding to the divinity of the occasion. Check out some great temple wedding photographs for Indo-Aussie weddings here.