Rajasthan village celebrates cow-bull wedding in style

By Anil Sharma, IANS,

Jhalawar (Rajasthan) : It was a wedding complete with chanting of hymns, rituals, music, sweets and many guests – only it wasn’t the usual marriage in Rajasthan as the bride and groom were a cow and a bull!

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The marriage of Kaushalya and Kanhaiya Lal, as the animals are called, was solemnised late Monday amid much fanfare at a temple in the otherwise sleepy village of Hemda in Jhalawar district, over 300 km from the state capital Jaipur.

Scores of people attended the unique wedding as the cow Kaushalya, decked up in bridal finery and henna, went round the sacred fire with the bull Kanhaiya Lal, who was also beautified with accessories. The ceremony was conducted as per traditional Hindu rites.

The bull’s wedding procession passed through the main street of the village in the evening and people were seen dancing to the music played by the accompanying band.

“The procession was accompanied by lights, fireworks, music and dance,” said Bablu Bheel, the bull’s owner who also performed the rituals that a father would usually do.

“It was just like any other normal wedding. Ladies led the procession, singing wedding songs,” he told IANS.

The marriage party procession reached the Pipleshwar Mahadev Mandir, a temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva, where the two animals tied the knot.

“I was really excited. It was a different experience to perform rituals as the father of a cow,” said Kailash Chandra Soni, who owns Kaushalya.

A reception was also hosted on the occasion and sweets made of 40 kg sugar were distributed to all guests. The newly weds also got sweets, besides some green leafy vegetables.

The marriage wasn’t a one-day affair as a henna ceremony was held for Kaushalya Sunday. Villagers were thrilled about being a part of the unique wedding.

“This is the first time such a ceremony took place in our village. I attended it and it was a unique experience. While I was part of the groom’s procession, my younger brother received me from the girl’s side,” said Ram Bhan, a villager.

“These kinds of weddings were a regular feature during ancient times in India. But now they have become a rarity. It is believed that conducting a ceremony like this on ‘Somvati Amavasya’ (a new moon day falling on Monday that is considered auspicious) brings good luck and prosperity to the village,” a village priest said.