Gujarati wedding traditions – Mandap Mahoorat/Ganesh Sthaapnaa/Thaambli Poojan
Some of you may have walked into a Gujarati home in India and see a poster or a mural of Ganapati(Lord Ganesh) in the living room of a house especially in small villages. This is most likely from someone in that house getting married and performing the ritual of Ganesh Sthaapanaa — which in Gujarati language means actual presence of that deity in that house . This will include the bride or the groom’s names, their parent’s names, the date of the event in English calender and in the Hindu calendar.
This in many homes proceeds the Pithi (Yellow mask and cleansing with milk) ceremony of purification of the bride and the groom and in some homes is done at the same time. The priest is invited to recite Ganesh mantras along with other mantras to purify the space where the wedding ritual will be taking place.
Ganesha is believed to be the lord who removes all obstacles so many Hindu folks pray to him before beginning any new ventures where they may encounter any obstacles or ‘Vighna’. Many desi (including many Gujarati people) people have small statue of Ganesha in their cars as well to protect them and their loved ones in the vehicle.
Back in the day, the wedding ceremony normally took place in front of the bride’s home by setting up a special square Ghzebo called Mandap for the hindu wedding ritual. The prayers to bless this space and to bless the new couple are performed during – ‘mandap mahoorat’.
The ritual of putting the first pillar down for the ‘mandap’ is known as ‘Thaambli poojan’. Where all the elder man in the house, including the bride or the groom’s father, uncles and brothers use the red powder known as ‘kankoo’ on the 4×4(wooden pillar) known as ‘Thaamblo’ and with the priest chanting the mantras put it in the ground. This symbolizes that the foundation for this marriage and for the ceremonies has been firmly planted with lots of love and good wishes.
This is an important part of a Hindu wedding as there are many ceremonies and rituals to be performed with many many guests and the host family appreciate this prayer of thank you and a prayer for a smooth 3-4 days without any obstacles at all.