264 weddings in a day: Marrying in Kerala’s Guruvayur temple is faster than making Maggi

The blink-and-miss weddings at Guruvayur Temple, you can get married at Guruvayur any time of the year.
264 weddings in a day: Marrying in Kerala’s Guruvayur temple is faster than making Maggi
264 weddings in a day: Marrying in Kerala’s Guruvayur temple is faster than making Maggi
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Compared to the festivities of a Punjabi wedding or the elaborate rituals of a Marwari one, Kerala Hindu weddings tend to be all about brevity. But what’s shorter than short is the famed Guruvayur Temple wedding.

The famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur in Thrissur district broke its own record of hosting the highest number of weddings in a single day on Sunday.

A whopping 264 weddings were conducted in a matter of few hours, with as many as 200 taking place between the auspicious time of 8 to 11 am. Since we’re in the month of Chingam (August-September) which is supposed to be the most auspicious month of the year according to the Malayalam calendar, the rush is understandable.

The temple has three mandapams or raised platforms which can accommodate a very limited number of people - usually, just the couple, the two sets of parents, a couple of photographers and someone from the Devaswom board presiding over the wedding. The three mandapams are located close to one another. 

Weddings of certain castes in Kerala are exceptionally short. While the ‘thaalikettu’ or tying of the mangalsutra takes like seconds, the entire wedding gets over in a matter of minutes.

Actor Sandhya and Venkat Chandrasekhar's wedding in 2015

What’s so special about getting married in Guruvayur?

1. Hindu weddings are usually avoided in the months of Midhunam, Karkatakam and Kanni. But if you can’t afford to wait for the auspicious months to roll by, you can get married at Guruvayur which keeps its doors open for weddings all through the year.

2. The weddings take place all through the day, even during rahu kaalam, though most people prefer the morning session.

3. Most weddings take place in Guruvayur because of religious vows taken by the families.

4. Guruvayur is also a popular destination for couples who wish to unite despite family opposition. The wedding can be conducted in a simple, inexpensive way. Besides, the belief is that they have the Lord on their side even if their families are not!

5.  Facing a time crunch and want an express wedding? Guruvayur is the answer for many Gulf Malayalis who can spare very little time to get married and have to rush back to their jobs.

Cricketer Sreesanth's wedding in 2013

The wedding ceremony, “thaalikettu” (tying the thaali), lasts for just two minutes and it can be a blink and miss affair, especially when weddings happen simultaneously. Traditional Kerala meals are served on plantain leaves - plenty of options to pick from as the state government as well as private players provide catering services at the temple. 

Many choose to tie the thaali at the temple and have a lavish wedding party at another venue later.

The 1992 Malayalam movie “Grihapravesham”, starring Jagadeesh and Rekha, is about the confusion that ensues after a groom ties the thaali around the wrong bride’s neck, thanks to the crowd at Guruvayur!

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