Wedding is one of the biggest days in an individual’s life. It is not just the bond of the two people but two souls, two families. In India the wedding ceremonies are full of colours and celebrations and may span over several days. According to Hindu Dharma wedding is called Vivaha and is considered highly sacred. The purpose behind marriage in Hindu Dharma is to foster love for the entire family and the society at large, to develop religious and spiritual self. It is a vow to together work for the welfare of the family and Dharma and help each other attain spiritual peace. In the great Hindu Vedas it’s written that the basis of a happy and fulfilling married life is the sense of unity, intimacy and love between wife and husband both physically, mentally and spiritually.
In India an array of rituals and traditions are performed before, after and during the marriage as it holds great significance in Indian culture and marriages are performed according to the ancient practices. In different regions, different rituals which have been practised for centuries are performed and each ritual has a deep meaning behind it. One of the most beautiful and meaningful ritual of Indian wedding is “Pheras” (encirclements or roundabouts around the fire). The bride and the groom walk around the sacred fire (representing the fire god) taking seven vows. In Hindus fire is considered scared as it is believed to be the maintainer of life and all Hindu deities are always present around it. These pheras are the vows which both the bride and groom take such as to cherish each other, help each other in every situation, welfare and happiness of children and family, to be with each other in times of happiness and difficulties, to prosper, to respect each other, to love each other for the rest of their lives.
The meanings of the seven pheras
First Phera: In the first phera the boy and the girl offers prayers to God to bless with good food and other necessities of life, strength to live together and respect for each other. They vow to nourish each other and take good care of each other’s needs.
Second phera: In this phera the boy and the girl pray for the ability to understand each other. They promise to be physically, mentally and spiritually together and grow together. They will create happiness in each other’s life and in their home.
Third Phera: In this phera they pray to Gods to bless them with strength to love each other and their families selflessly. They promise to be devoted to each other for life and will never cheat on each other.
Fourth Phera: In this phera they promise to accept each other’s family and take good care of them with love and respect. Also the girl in this phera promises the boy that death ever comes his way she will stand before him and accept it.
Fifth Phera: In this phera the girl and the boy pray to God to bless them with healthy kids. They promise each other to raise healthy kids and teach them good values. They also promise to give a happy family to the kids.
Sixth Phera: In this phera they pray for a healthy and prosperous life and also promise each other that they will take care of each other during illness and will be with each other until death separates them.
Seventh Phera: In this phera they pray for companionship, understanding, unity and loyalty for each other. They promise that they will always be like friends, loving each other unconditionally.
Keeping the traditions intact, the Indian weddings are an experience in themselves. People from far and wide come to India to get married in a traditional style. And not only that they choose from a variety of destinations for their wedding to add more charm to it leaving one with indelible memories to last a lifetime.
Here are the most romantic escapades in India to tie the knot
Udaipur - Royal Grandeur
The royal palaces in Udaipur are an ideal location to experience a blend of romance with grandeur along with a traditional feel to the wedding. Here a wedding seem like an extraordinary fairy-tale.
Goa - Sparkling beaches
Being one of the most popular wedding destinations, one can really be spoilt for choice in Goa whether to choose amongst a beach wedding, a garden wedding, a sunset wedding, or even a church wedding.
Jaipur - Regal Extravaganza
It offers majestic wedding celebrations along with the feel of heritage in majestic palaces and mansions.
Kerala - Heavenly Backwaters
Also known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is one of the most romantic wedding destinations amidst the serene backdrop of backwaters and lovely house-boats.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands - Serene Islands
Looking for a quiet wedding amidst the white sand beaches and surrounded by the sparkling waves of the Bay of Bengal? Andaman Islands is the perfect bet.
Shimla - Call of the Mountains
It not only offers exquisite surroundings, cool climate, snowy hills and scenic beauty to captivate one’s mind but can make one’s wedding memorable forever.
Jungle weddings - Adventurous feel
If you wish to tie the knot in a unique way then jungle wedding is the best bet. The lovely flowers, lush greenery, beautiful butterflies and colourful birds in the sky will all be a witness to your wedding.