Tribal girl marries by ancient Swayamvar ceremony in Chattisgarh

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Durg (Chattisgarh), July 9 : Swayamvar, an ancient wedding ceremony, was revived on Tuesday in Chattisgarh, and that too by a tribal girl in Durg district.

Swayamvar is an ancient ceremony in which marriageable maidens, brides-to-be, stipulated certain conditions, and any individual who could fulfill and accomplish them, could marry the girl as the reward.

But this time it was organized in Chattisgarh's Ghumka Village, about 110 kilometers from State capital Raipur.

Following her tribal father's desire, Annapurna decided to select her bridegroom-to-be through the Swayamvar ceremony held at their village.

Invitation to all prospective bridegrooms were sent a month ahead for the ceremony. It was mandatory that the contenders must be from Halba tribe.

About 15,000 people from far off places converged to watch the Swayamvar ceremony that finds its last mention in Hindu epic Ramayana.

The three contenders in the ceremony were asked by Annapurna, the girl in question, to explain about "Panchtatva" or, the five elements of life, according to Hinduism.

The other challenge was to explain a couplet taken from Hindu epic Ramcharitmanas. It required the contenders to explain the value of five elements of life, Panchanan (or, Lord Shiva), Gyan (knowledge), Daan (donation) and Yagya (Yajna, the fire worship).

But the winner of the Swayamvar was Ghanaram, an intermediate by education. After his win, Ghanaram took permission from the girl's father and met her.

Ghanaram, the bridegroom, said: "Annapurna asked me about the five elements our body consists of. I am a disciple of Satpal Guru and so I knew about it. I feel very good, I could answer the questions."

Annapurna, the bride, said: "I am very happy. It feels like a festival. I feel good that my father has organized this elaborate ritual for my marriage."

Though the girl's father Ram Ratan Thakur is a peon in a local administrative office, his family is regarded one of the distinguished families of their village.

Annapurna has five siblings; five elder brothers and one young sister. By Shiv Shankar MenonANI)

ANI

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