Lagna Muhurt

Everybody present in the mandap is given akshata and everyone stands close to the mandap. The groom, dressed in dhoti-kurta or salwar-kurta, head covered with topi and mundavalya tied on the forehead, is invited to the mandap where he stands on a paat facing west and holding a thick garland. The priests hold a cloth screen called antarpat in front of the groom chanting mangalashtaka. The bride's maternal uncle escorts the bride to the mandap and she is asked to stand on the other side of the antarpat also holding similar garland. Respective karvali stands behind the bride/groom with a copper kalash containing holy water and topped with mango leaves and coconut. Another young girl stands with arati. Mostly the bridegroom's mother stands behind the bride with eksari - black beads string with big gold bead in the centre .

Enthusiastic relatives, friends and guests also get chance to sing their own compositions of mangalashtaka which are typical Sanskrit or Marathi verses invoking Gods, describing the ceremony, praising the bridal couple's family members, giving advise to the bridal couple and finally giving blessing as also best wishes for the life together ahead. The Groom's mother puts across eksari around bride's neck and is supposed to tie a knot at the end of each stanza of mangalashtaka. Each stanza ends with "Kuryat Sada Mangalam, Shubh Mangal Savdhan" and everyone showering akshata on the bridal couple.

At the stroke of the muhurt, the priest chants last verses of the mangalashtaka loudly removing the antarpat and among the traditional music of vajantri (consists of shehnai and choughada) and/or modern band, the excitement builds up for the zero hour. The groom first puts a garland around the bride's neck. The bride also does the same. The respective karvalis apply holy water from the kalash to the eyes of bride and groom and perform arati.

Ladies are given haldi-kunku and all are given sweets mostly pedha.



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